Staff

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

School Director

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.

Paul Johnson ATCL Teaching Speech & Drama

Advanced Drama Tutor /Senior Show Director / HOD Senior Drama


A graduate of the Hartley School of Performing Arts, Paul has been teaching more or less for 17 years now. Earning his ATCL (Teachers) in Speech and Drama has allowed him to work extensively in the Performing Arts Industry as a Director, Lighting Designer, Touring Technician and Playwright, and he also owns an Event Management business based in Rangiora.

Previous credits include Director: Jekyll and Hyde, Disney's Beauty and the Beast (North Canterbury Musicals), Director and Playwright: Aladdin & the Arabian Nights, Robin Hood, The Jungle Book (Hartley School of Performing Arts), Lighting Designer: The Arsonists, Boudica (The Court Theatre).


He's been around long enough to be able to claim having taught nearly all of the current school's tutors and even helped during the first set of renovations for the building that the School is currently housed in.

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Sian Hassan ATCL Performance Speech & Drama

Senior/Intermediate Drama Tutor / HOD Junior Drama

Sian has been studying drama and sitting her grade exams since early primary school and in 2020 she successfully completed her Diploma (ATCL) in Speech & Drama with Trinity College of London.

Sian is also an accomplished vocalist.

She is in her second year as a tutor at HSPA and looks forward to the challenges it brings. Performing arts and the friendships it brings have formed an important part of Sian’s formative years and she is excited to be delivering that same gift to her own students here in Rangiora.

Sian’s credits include leading roles in several HSPA productions as well as school productions, most recently the role of Aslan in The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe for HSPA.

Kayla Mortimer Gr 7 Trinity College Speech & Drama

Junior 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 last year, in her final year. She is now out of school and keen to pursue her performing arts career.

Rachel May Grade 8 Trinity Pop & Rock

Singing Tutor / Vocal Coach / Junior Show Director

Rachel began at HSPA a decade ago as a Singing & Drama student.

She has recently gained her Trinity Grade 8 Pop and Rock Vocals with distinction.

Rachel has a passion and a love for all things musical. She has had 8 years of experience volunteering and performing in shows with the North Canterbury Musical Society.

Rachel a singer-songwriter and loves that she can provide an outlet for those who share the same passion for singing as she does. She brings a host of enthusiasm and ability to her role as an intermediate and private singing tutor at HSPA.

2018 she added the job of directing to her list of credentials as she took on the Junior Production

Rachel is in her third year of Teachers College.

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 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.

Carissa Brant NZAMD, ATCL Performance Musical Theatre

Hip Hop & Contemporary Dance Tutor / Senior Choreographer/ HOD Dance


Carissa joined HSPA as a drama student all the way back in 2007. She took up jazz dance classes at the age of three and hasn’t looked back since, over the years she has also studied Contemporary, Hip Hop, Ballet, Commercial and Tap.

Carissa has received her diploma for NZAMD as well as a Diploma in Musical Theatre with Trinity London College, which combines her love of dance with character and acting.


Carissa has performed in over a dozen shows since starting with HSPA in 2007 featuring in singing, dancing and lead roles.

She gained ensemble roles in Sound of Music ( NCMS ) Jekyll and Hyde ( NCMS ) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Carissa is so glad she gets to pass on all of her knowledge over the years to young kids aspiring to be little star performers.

Carissa currently studies at NASDA working towards getting her degree in Performing Arts.


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’BrienGr 8 Trinity College Speech & Drama

Junior / Intermediate Drama

Michelle began performing at the age of 10yrs here at HSPA. She has spent 7yrs training in Drama, Singing and contemporary dance.

She is currently set to sit her Associate Diploma for Trinity College in 2022. She currently has her Grade 8 Trinity College Speech & Drama with Distinction.


Michelle has extensive stage experience as a lead performer for HSPA in the 7 years she has been training here. Most recently she played the White Queen in Narnia in 2020 and Puck In Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2021. She worked as a drama trainee tutor for all of 2021 and enjoys sharing her passion for performing with other young people.


Michelle has also worked as a vocal coach and will be Assistant Director for HSPA’s 2022 Senior Production.


Hannah Thompson – ATCL Performance Speech & Drama

Junior / Intermediate Drama

Hannah has been taking drama classes since she was five years old and has been sitting Trinity College of London exams for many years. Hannah completed her ATCL Diploma in Speech & Drama in 2021. Hannah has also studied ballet and jazz and has been sitting IDTA and NZAMD exams since she was five years old. Hannah has also been taking singing lessons for a number of years now.

Hannah has taken part in many HSPA productions as well as ballet and jazz performances. With her most recent role being Hermia in a Midsummer Night's Dream for HSPA in 2021.



Daniel Mathers BA Perf. Arts NASDA

Senior Drama / Tap / Singing Tutor

Originally from Melbourne, Daniel has been performing since before he could talk. He recently graduated from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) with a Bachelor of Performing Arts, and has studied under international artists Luke Di Somma and Andrea Burns through the Christchurch International Musical Theatre Summer School (CIMTSS).


Daniel has studied Tap with Kirsty Alpress, and singing with several high profile singing tutors alongside his NASDA training.

Daniel has been involved with more than 20 local shows, including Footloose, Guys and Dolls (MUSOC), 42nd Street (NASDA), and Thomas Putnam in The Crucible (Court Theatre Youth Company).


Daniel is also founder of theatre company: Living City Theatre.





Trainee Tutors

Madison Tull & Summer Payton



At HSPA we like to provide opportunities for our students to grow and learn. As they become qualified, they get the opportunity to share their talent and skill with the younger students and learn the art of teaching Performing Arts.

In 2022 we have two trainee Dance tutors in Summer Payton (Jazz) and Madison Tull (Contemporary) Both have extensive performance experience with HSPA and elsewhere and have worked as classroom assistants for HSPA in 2021. They will be familiar faces to the students as they have participated in many HSPA shows taking leading roles as well as specialty dance roles. Summer has sat her 2021 DNZM exams with Honours and Madison has sat her 2021 NZAMD with Honours.

With support from Dale and the HSPA senior staff, initially they will be teaching Junior classes and building their experience base.

Both were the shared recipients of the 2021 Major Senior Scholarship for their dedication to their performing work at HSPA, they are highly competent and motivated performers and relatable role models for the younger students. We are confident our students will benefit from their involvement with these young adults.





Stacey Bruce

Administration


Stacey’s two children are both students here at HSPA and have been for a number of years now. Many of you will recognise her as a regular backstage parent help. She says “I have seen the postive impact that performing arts has had on the kids.” Which is why she is happy to be joining our team.

In her spare time she enjoy trampolining and took part in her first masters national competition this year. Recently she also took up ballet, something she hasn’t done for many decades, and lucky for her, the muscles can still remember what to do!

Stacey comes from a background in accounts administration, most recently with Luisetti Seeds here in Rangiora.


Doreen Hartley

Accounts

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 Dean, Doreen is responsible for the smooth running of HSPA on many fronts.