All of our tutors are qualified or are in the final year of completing qualfications here at HSPA.
All are experienced in their field, having Directed, Choreographed or Vocal Coached for stage (many with us) and so come with experience in live performance and what is required to succeed in performing arts.
The exception to this, being our Trainee tutors who are in their first year of teaching. Our school gives advanced senior students the opportunity to move into a teaching role if they wish, and this is done in a structured environment to support their learning. We believe this allows students to aim high and allows younger students to gain aspiration from fresh new teachers who have the benefit of good support structures from management. Our trainees are excellent role models for our younger students!
Our tutors have been asked to teach at Court Theatre and elsewhere, and have performed extensively themselves. They are all great role models and very capable in their field.
Dale Hartley-Brown B.A. Canterbury University
L.T.C.L Teaching Speech & Drama Trinity College
Dale has been involved in theatre since her first role as Annie in 1987. However, she began her professional career in 1993 shortly after gaining her ATCL in Speech & Drama. Her first professional job in theatre, was as a cast member of Excalibur’s Theatre Restaurant where she performed for 5 seasons alongside Elizabeth Moody and Robert Gilbert. In 1995 Dale graduated Canterbury University with a B.A. in Classics, enjoying studying the origins of theatre as part of her degree. Since then she has worked as a performer for Showbiz Christchurch, in touring cabaret shows and in the corporate realm and gained her LTCL degree in Speech & Drama. Dale is also a trained classical singer and has extensive experience in theatre costuming, having worked professionally in this role also.
Dale’s love of teaching began in 1996 when she first took on students at her own school as well as teaching for St Margaret’s College. That year also heralded her first year as a director. She has since directed more than 25 shows both at her own school and for various amateur societies and school in the district, but lately prefers to mentor others in this role.
Carissa Brant NZAMD, ATCL Performance Musical Theatre
Hip Hop & Contemporary Dance Tutor / Senior Choreographer/ HOD Dance
Kayla Mortimer Gr 7 Trinity College Speech & Drama
Drama / Glee / Preschool Tutor
Kayla has been singing since before she began school. As a primary student Kayla began classes at HSPA and hasn’t looked back since.
She is currently set to sit her Associate Diploma for Trinity College in 2021. She currently has her Grade 7 Trinity College Speech & Drama with Distinction.
Kayla has extensive stage experience as a soloist and actor for HSPA for almost a decade now. She worked as a teacher’s assistant for Glee in 2020 and enjoys recording and sharing her music online.
Kayla studied Music and Drama during her time at High School and was head of Arts at Rangiora High School in her final year. She is currently in her second year studying graphic design and keen to pursue her performing arts career also.
Bryony Jamison ATCL Trinity College
Singing Tutor /Advanced Senior Drama
Leanne O’Mahony BA Mus., Dip Teaching (Secondary).
Senior Glee Tutor / HOD Singing
Leanne trained as a classical singer but has been focused more on musical theatre and choral singing in recent years. She is a secondary school teacher with experience both in New Zealand and the UK, and her Degree in Music is from the University of Canterbury. Leanne enjoys helping others improve their technique and the teamwork involved in creating group numbers together.
Leanne’s experience spans more than 20 years of Musical Direction and Vocal Coach work, not to mention extensive experience both in, and running top-end choirs and vocal groups through Burnside High school and other institutions.
It would be difficult to find someone in North Canterbury with more knowledge and experience in this field, than Leanne O’Mahony.
Caitlin Constable NZAMD & IDTA Pre-Assoc Dist. IDTA Classical Ballet Adv 2
Jazz Tutor/ Choreographer/Musical Theatre tutor
Caitlin began training in classical ballet from the age of 5, and over her 14 years of dancing she has gone on to study jazz, modern, lyrical, tap and contemporary styles of dance. She then discovered her love for singing and acting and to improve those drama skills began performing in new shows and roles such as Aladdin in Aladdin and the Arabian Nights (HSPA) and ensemble roles in Jekyll and Hyde (NCMS) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (NCMS).
After discovering her passion for teaching Caitlin has gone on to complete her Pre-Associate Teaching Qualification with the International Dance Teachers Association and is planning to sit her Associate at the end of 2021. She has also tried her hand in roles such as choreographing, directing and assistant directing and leading singing groups. She has a great love for theatre and the stage and loves to see this shine through in her students!
Rachael McInnes DNZM Contemporary Level 11 Hip Hop Level 8.
Hip Hop / Contemporary Tutor / Choreographer
Rachael has been dancing since primary school and won the prestigious National Champion Award for DNZM for her level 10 exam in November 2019.
Rachael continues her dance study at JMSD and will take part in teacher training with DNZM this year.
Rachael has extensive performance experience as a featured dancer in Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop.
Rachael was also Assistant Choreographer for The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, HSPA’s 2020 production and looks forward to choreographing more this coming year.
She is also excited about taking on more challenges in the classroom this year now that she has finished high school.
Michelle O’Brien – Gr 8 Trinity College Speech & Drama
Rebecca O'Mahony - Grade 6 NZAMD Tap Distinction
Junior Tap from Mid-year.
With qualifications in Accountancy, Doreen has been administrator for HSPA since it's fruition in 1996. Over this time she has proved invaluable managing accounts, administrating class lists, selling tickets for productions, planning advertising, paying staff and much, much more.
Doreen enjoys the challenge of new systems and automation with a fervour that belies her age bracket (Sorry Mum!) keeping HSPA up to date and able to grow.
Always at the end of the phone or email,
Together with Daniel, Doreen is responsible for the smooth running of HSPA on many fronts.