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.

Daniel Mathers BA Perf. Arts NASDA

Adv Senior Drama / Tap / Singing Tutor

Originally from Melbourne, Daniel has been performing since before he could talk. Whilst Daniel never attended HSPA as a student, he has family connections to the Rangiora Performing Arts Community through his cousin, Caitlin Constable, and her parents Mathew and Debbie Constable.

Over the years, Daniel performed on stage in countless theatre productions, such as Singin’ in the Rain (Kirwee Players, 2022), 42nd Street (NASDA, 2019), The Crucible (Court Theatre Youth Company, 2017) Urinetown (NASDA, 2020), and Mary Poppins (CentreStage Rolleston, 2024). He holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts after graduating from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) in 2020; where he studied Tap under Kirsty Allpress and Jamie Herrick.

Daniel has also done behind the scenes work on several shows including producing Clue: On Stage (DRAMASoc, 2020), directing and writing Pinocchio (Hartley School of Performing Arts, 2022), and directing Footloose (Kirwee Players, 2023).

Daniel is also the founder of independent theatre company Living City Theatre, which has produced several concerts in the last four years; including Disensembled (2021), and Villainous Voices (2024). 

Bryony Jamison  ATCL Trinity College

Singing Tutor /Advanced Senior Drama

Bryony began performing around the age of six in a French production of Snow White

then went on to take singing and acting lessons at the Hartley School of Performing Arts

in her teens.

She gained her ATCL in Speech & Drama through HSPA and her passion for theatre

landed her teaching, vocal coaching and directing roles with the school throughout the years.

Bryony’s performance credits include: Guys and Dolls, Blood Brothers, Oliver, Chicago, Beauty and

the Beast and Retrospective (North Canterbury Musicals); Cabaret and Rent (MUSOC);

Evita, Broadway Hitmen, Les Misérables and We Will Rock You (Showbiz Christchurch)

along with improvised shows and concerts with Black Peach Theatre Company.

Since lockdown in 2020 Bryony has worked as a professional soloist for organisations such as: Blackboard Theatre Collective, Reach for the Stars, Visionary Dance Studio, Christchurch Art Gallery, Playspace Productions, and has performed in multiple Drag shows.  She appeared as The Diva in The Entertainment Company’s production of Nouvelle. Recently she performed as Kate Sheppard in Showbiz Christchurch’s production of That Bloody Woman. Bryony wrote and directed Alice!  In 2022 for HSPA and is HOD for wardrobe and costume. This year she is looking forward to directing Rangiora Highschool’s production of We Will Rock You and continuing her work as an apprentice with the Jesters at The Court Theatre.

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.


Hannah ThompsonATCL Performance Speech & Drama. NZAMD & IDTA.

Junior / Intermediate Drama / Musical Theatre Jazz & Dance Technique

Hannah started taking drama classes when she was five years old, which is where she first found her spark for performing! This led her to sit Trinity College of London exams for many years, completing 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. Most recently NZAMD Gr 9 Ballet, NZAMD Advanced Stretch Leap & Spin and NZAMD Advanced Jazz. She is currently continuing her dance training through Convergence Dance Studios and the NZAMD Teaching programme.

Hannah has taken part in many HSPA productions as well as ballet and jazz performances. With her most recent roles being Hermia in a Midsummer Night's Dream for HSPA and ensemble in CentreStage Rolleston’s Mary Poppins in 2024. In 2022 she was assistant director for Pinocchio and debuted as a director in 2023 with HSPA’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Hannah is ecstatic to be directing again this year and can’t wait to share her love of drama and dance with her students in 2024!

Michelle O’Brien ATCL Trinity College - Speech & 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 has been Assistant Director for HSPA’s Senior Production.


Ava Berry  3rd Year NASDA

Hip Hop / Acro & Technique / Commercial

Ava has always loved performing, when she was just 5 years old, she was enrolled into her very first jazz class, where she instantly fell in love with dancing. She became involved in musical theatre and choir from the age of 8 and found her passion for all things Musical Theatre.

She continued to be involved within choirs and theatre whilst adding to her dance styles with tap, hip hop, contemporary and ballet along with jazz throughout her schooling years. Ava sat AJDA Jazz and BAL Tap examinations achieving up to both Advanced tap and jazz grades. It didn't take long for her to realize that she wanted to take this passion and turn it into a career.

In 2021, Ava Left high school after completing year 12 to study a Level 4 Certificate of Performing Arts at the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) . After passing her year she successfully auditioned for the Bachelor of Music Theatre at NASDA. She is currently halfway through her second year and will graduate in 2024.

Earlier in 2023 Ava was a member of the ensemble in the NASDA second year production of 'Honk Jr' that toured around schools in Christchurch. Ava Most Recently Played Sir John Tremayne in NASDA's Second year show 'Me And My Girl’. Ava's other credits include playing Horton the Elephant in 'Seussical', and Ancestor in 'The Addams Family'. As well as dancing in Christmas in the Park, The Santa Parade and The Crusaders Half Time Show With JK Performing Arts.

Oliver Burns  ACTL Trinity College - Speech & Drama

Musical Theatre / Drama Tutor

Oliver has been part of HSPA for over a decade - as both a student and, more recently, a tutor. He has taken classes in Drama, Singing, Musical Theatre, Jazz, and Contemporary Dance in his time at the school. Throughout his years, he’s sat many exams. Most recently, in 2023, he completed his ATCL in Speech and Drama.

Oliver is endeavouring to continue his love for the theatre beyond the school. He has recently begun performing with Living City Theatre in Christchurch, and will soon appear in their season of Villainous Voices, alongside many other previous HSPA students.

Oliver’s time at HSPA has taught him many great skills. He hopes to continue to pass down the knowledge and passion this school has given him.


Madison Tull - ATCL Trinity College - Musical Theatre

Jazz / Hip Hop / Contemporary Dance / Dance for the Differently abled.

Madison has been a student at HSPA since primary school. In fact, it is hard to remember a time when she was not part of HSPA. 

In her time here she has taken classes in Drama, Dance and Singing. Since 2015 Madison has completed many drama Trinity college exams, then switching to completing her Musical Theatre Trinity college exams in 2019. 2023 saw her pass her ATCL Trinity College Musical Theatre Exam. Madison has also completed many Dance exams, including jazz and contemporary Dance NZmade from grade 5-10 with high marks, as well as top of class. She has completed her grade 5 NZAMD tap exam with honors. She has also studied Ballet at Jenna McKenzie School Of Dance to further progress her technique. 

Madison has been in many HSPA shows from 2012 -2022 as a specialty dancer and many lead roles including, The Cheshire Cat in Alice in wonderland (2022) In 2021 she performed in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour dreamcoat, with the North Canterbury Musicals. For the last two years she performed in Visionary dance schools' yearly showcase. This included Jazz, commercial, contemporary, Lyrical, Tap and Hip Hop. This year she continues to progress her dance skills through Visionary dance school in all styles.  

Madison has been teaching Hip Hop, Contemporary and jazz  in our Junior and intermediate school department in 2022-2023. Now in 2024 she will also be teaching the senior/ advanced school department. In 2023 Madison Choreographed the junior show of Winnie The Pooh. She will continue to choreograph in 2024. Madison Also pursued her other goal, of working with people with disabilities in 2023.  She created a dance class for those with disabilities, ‘Dance for the Differently-Abled’. She plans on continuing to grow this class in 2024. We think her skills and passion in this area make her an exceptional tutor at our school!

Kitty Jamison  ATCL Trinity College Speech & Drama

 Drama / Glee 

Kitty has been involved with HSPA since she started taking lessons in 2009. She grew up at the school, taking drama and singing classes and performing leading and supporting roles in productions for many years. This led on to performing with North Canterbury Musicals for several years as well. 

After gaining her ATCL through the HSPA, Kitty joined the tutoring team in 2018 and taught drama from New Entrants through to Seniors over the next three years. During this time she took on many creative roles in productions including vocal coaching and assistant directing. She is proud to have been director of the 2020 Senior Production The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe which was made challenging for all involved by COVID-19. 

Kitty has been away from tutoring for a few years but has kept involved through roles such as assistant stage manager and Theatre Sports Competition judge. Kitty is now in her final year of studying Environmental Science and Geography at the University of Canterbury and is delighted to return to tutoring with HSPA in 2024. 

Rebecca O'Mahony - Grade 6 NZAMD Tap Distinction

Junior Tap 

Rebecca has been dancing for more than 14 years, she joined HSPA in 2012 at 5 years old. Over the years, she has trained in many styles such as ballet, tap, contemporary, hip hop, musical theatre, commercial and more. 

In 2022, she passed her NZAMD Level 6 Tap with High Honours and won the DNZM nationals with her competition team. She was also the 2022 recipient of the senior scholarship at HSPA. 

Rebecca has perfomred extensively as a dancer and company member, in 2023 for HSPA she played the role of Moriarty in Sherlock and was in the company of Grease for the NCMS.

Rebecca has completed her DNZM level 11 contemporary and DNZM level 12 hip hop qualifications, and is currently furthering her dance training at Visionary Dance Studios. She is looking forward to meeting all the little performers coming her way!

Daniel Mathers 


Entering his fourth year as a tutor at HSPA, Daniel has agreed to pick up the role of Administrator for HSPA.  YAY! 

Daniel teaches classes in all departments of the school now and as such, has great knowledge of how we tick.  

He has experience managing a theatre company of his own and has taken to our online systems like a proverbial duck to water!

He is a postive and friendly face who is popular with all ages of students.  

We expect him to be equally popular with everyone as their new Admin person! 

Doreen Hartley


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.