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THESPA offers exclusive classes and workshops with some of New Zealand's leading professionals and teachers at least once every term for our Company students.  

Our guest tutors are professional performers, successful theatre companies, and industry experts, who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our students.

Our aim is to expand the horizons of our students, allowing them to learn from the best of the best.



Mark studied music at Cambridge University, the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio in London. He was a member of the Music Staff at Scottish Opera for 4 years before returning to London where he was one of the UK's leading Musical Directors.


His extensive credits at the National Theatre include: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC with Dame Judi Dench; OKLAHOMA! with Hugh Jackman; PETER PAN with Sir Ian McKe11en; GUYS AND DOLLS; LADY nJ THE DARK; CANDIDE and SWEENEY TODD.

In London's West End he conducted the original productions of: Sondheim's INTO THE WOODS, ASSASSINS and PASSION . He has collaborated with many of the world's leading directors and choreographers including Trevor Nunn, Sam Mendes, John Caird , Declan Donnellan, Susan Stroman and Peter Darling.


His recordings include the original London cast recordings of INTO THE WOODS, LADY IN THE DARK, PASSION, CANDIDE and the 40th Anniversary Recording of SALAD DAYS.  He is Artistic Director of the NZ Singing School and Acting Head of Music for NZ Opera.



Te Whatumanawa graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelors of Health Sciences specialising in Māori Health. Whilst here, he was voted Best Dance Choreographer for the Otago Dance Association.


At the beginning of 2020 Te Whatumanawa successfully

auditioned for the Royal Family Dance Company where he has been based for 2 years. In this time he has performed for Beyoncé's choreographer JaQuel Knight and Greys Anatomy producer Debbie Allen, Royal Family Virtual Shows 2020, Masterclass with Parris Goebel,

Royal Family NZ Tour 2021 and is currently preparing for the Dubai World Expo 2020.


Te Whatumanawa also has experience in Musical Theatre performing as a chorus member in Hairspray and Mamma Mia, as well as a featured role in Sister Act.


Te Whatumanawa has always been surrounded by performing arts growing up, where Kapa Haka first provided his opportunity to perform. Te Whatumanawa comes with a dynamic range of experiences with a key passion for Hip Hop dance. He is very excited and honoured to share his knowledge with you all.


He uri tēnei no ngā iwi Waitaha, Ngāi Tahu, Ngati Mārnoe e mihi

kau ma.

James originally hails from Murihiku (Southland) but lived most of his life in Christchurch working as an actor, dancer, pianist and musical director.

In 2015 James moved to London to train at the prestigious Arts Educational Schools London (ArtsEd) and has since graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre with First Class Honours. Credits whilst in training include: Richard Grestham, HAYFEVER; George, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE; Belling, CURTAINS; Dance Captain/Henry/Theodore Roosevelt, NEWSIES (U.K. Premiere). Before graduating James made his West End debut as Asher/Cover Simeon in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at the London Palladium in 2019. He then played Randy Dexter/Cover Cioffi/Cover Belling/Cover Aaron in the U.K. & Ireland National Tour of CURTAINS. 


Since returning to NZ, James has made his debut as a choreographer for the NZOpera production of CAROUSEL. While home, James has also worked as a musical director for THE GIRL IN THE LOFT at Bats Theatre, Wellington and played the role of Prince Charming m the 2020 QMG Pantomime CINDERELLA at the Isaac Theatre Royal. He is grateful to be home and able to give back to the theatrical and performing

community. James is proud to be a sponsored scholar of Ngāi Tahu, the Lynne and Land Foundation (founded by New Zealand actor Peter Land and his wife Dame Gillian Lynne; choreographer of CATS, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) and the Dame Malvina Major Foundation.

J.R. Ballentine.JPG


Originally from Christchurch, Savannah began her performing arts training at the age of 6.  After years of competing and completing exams in NZAMD, Glenn Wood Tap and RAD, she relocated to Melbourne to study on scholarship at Jason Coleman's Ministry of Dance and has been dancing professionally ever since.


Her credits include working as Dance Captain aboard Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and was an ensemble member / understudy Marty and Cha Cha in 'Grease; The Musical for Royal Caribbean International. Musical theatre credits include Beauty and The Beast for the Rob Guest Endowment and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat for Showbiz Christchurch.

She has worked extensively in the corporate realm for companies such as The AFL Footy Show, Mercedes, Nickelodeon, Marvel International Comedy Festival, Australian Open, KPMG, Coca-Cola, Marvel and Dreamworks among others. Savannah is also a former Melbourne United Cheerleader. Savannah has featured in blockbuster Bollywood movies and hosted live children's entertainment such as Dora The Explorer, Shaun The Sheep and Dino Train. Savannah is also a co-director of the entertainment company, APEX Productions.



Jack is an Ōtautahi born music theatre performer and creative. He is a graduate of the Western Australian of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Jack's performance credits have included Madagascar the Musical Australia and NZ Tour, Cinderella (GMG Productions), Rudolpho in Matilda the Musical (Showbiz Christchurch), Shrek the Musical TYA NZ Tour (Showcase Entertainment Group) He Says, She Says, and Severely Queer: It's A Pirate Life (Blackboard Theatre Collective). He was a soloist on The Isolation Mixtape Vol. 2 with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Blackboard Theatre Collective, which can be found on Spotify. Upon graduating in 2019, he received the Music Theatre International Australasian Award.

When not performing, Jack works as an acting coach and dance tutor. He was assistant director for On the Town at NASDA and Elf Jnr at JK  Performing Arts, and has been a core tutor at the New Zealand Boys Dance Convention for the past two years.


Holly has a Master of Theatre Arts in Directing from Victoria University and Te Kura Toi Whakaari O Aotearoa: NZ Drama School. She is the co-artistic director and producer of 2Productions which has produced the

devised works Moemoea at Te Papa Marae, If You Only See One The Disaster Brothers, the immersive theatre show, The Powerful Event, on a vacant space in Christchurch, The Wild Hunt for The Body Festival 2014,

Open for Business in St. Kevins Arcade, Auckland and The Little Prince for the 2018 Anthony Harper Summer Theatre. She has directed for The Court Theatre, Auckland Theatre Company, Red Leap Theatre and the Fortune Theatre.

She is the Artistic Director of Little Andromeda, having programmed their 2019, 2020 and current seasons. She is head of acting at Original Scripts Theatre School, had a successful high school teaching career and worked as a director and tutor for Toi Whakaari and Whitireia Polytechnic.

Tom began his training at Original Scripts Theatre School at the age of 17. Since then he has gained a Bachelor of Performing Arts: Acting from Te Kura Toi Whakaari O Aotearoa: New Zealand Drama  School, performed in Red Leap Theatre's Sea and Dust Pilgrim, and Group F's The Breath of the Volcano and Skin of Fire in the Auckland International Arts Festival. In 2014 he was awarded the "Circa Award Donated by TACT Most Promising Male Newcomer" for his Role in the Wellington production of Equivocation directed by Peter Harnbleton. He was a deviser and performer in The Wholehearted for Massive Theatre Company in 2016. Tom has performed on the mainstage at The Court Theatre in their productions of Astroman, The Pink Hammer and as Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire.

He has taught and directed for Toi Whakaari, the Court Theatre Youth Company and Original Scripts Theatre School and NASDA. He is co-artistic director of Two Productions and has performed in their works Moemoea, If You Only See One Show In Your Life, The Disaster Brothers, Balmy, The Powerful Event, Open for Business, Moby Dick and The Little Prince.

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