Coaches

STEPHANIE WAITES

DRAMA SCENE Founder (Head Coach and Writer)
Drama Scene Players Inc. – Drama & Creative Arts Director, President
BA Theatre, Theory & Practice (Hons)
Theatresports® Teacher Accreditation

St John Emergency First Aid certificate
Proud Member of Actors Equity since 1978

International Thespian Society, Life Member

Trained in Theatre, Drama, Voice, Singing, Dancing (RAD Ballet, FATD Tap, Jazz Ballet), with fourteen years professional performance experience including Title roles in professional musical theatre productions and roles in film, television, voiceovers and radio plays, Stephanie worked across Australia and in the United Kingdom before establishing Drama Scene back home in Sydney. In response to working professionally from the age of 8 years old and with 15 years’ experience working with pre-school aged children, school students, children with special needs, teenagers, professional juvenile performers, Stephanie continues to write for children and to develop a range of unique programs for children and young adults in the creative, practical and performing arts. She is trained in Improvisation and a former Judge for TSC (Theatreports® Schools Challenge).  Stephanie also acts as a mentor to Student Primary Drama Teachers and since 1999 she has been invited to run workshops for Drama NSW, Drama Australia and the Sydney Theatre Company, training Primary Teachers to use drama in the NSW Primary School Curriculum. She has presented at Drama conferences Australia wide on a range of topics from Puppetry for 5 year olds to developing performances from found objects and using Drama to teach subjects such as Literacy, Maths and History. Specialisations include Acting Techniques, Voice, Movement, Mime, Improvisation, Musical Theatre, Puppetry, Mask, Characterisation, Shakespeare, Script Analysis, playwriting, Storybook Theatre, Narrative Theatre, Readers Theatre, Image Theatre, Playbuilding, Theatresports®, Monologue Creation, Poetry Presentation, Audition Technique and Drama Scene’s unique ‘DramaDance’ program. In 2011, Stephanie’s play for 5-12 year olds, Puppy Wishes was developed and performed in three Sydney Primary Schools and she was invited to the Drama Australia National Conference held in Perth, Spaces Of Performance to present a process workshop. Steph continues to pursue funding for the Drama Scene Players Inc., particularly for projects promoting the work she and her Drama Scene trained Coaches do using Drama for children on the Autism Spectrum and with young people with Special Needs and as a tool to encourage resilience. In collaboration with Ever After Theatre (the only NSW Company for Adults with an Intellectual Disability) and Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre, Stephanie ‘s DSP Inc. project from 2012 – 2018 was the facilitation of weekly Drama classes for Disabled children including children with physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities and children on the Autism Spectrum.  Through DSP Inc. Stephanie was also the Artistic Director for DS Teens original theatre projects – Time, 11.11, Space.

 

 

SUE BROBERG

Bachelor of Education (Victoria College – Rusden)
Peter Sardi’s School of Acting
East 15 Devising Theatre

Sue is an experienced teacher and professional Actor. She began her teaching career at Sandringham Secondary College and has taught in a variety of primary and secondary schools in Australia and the United Kingdom. Sue’s experience teaching Drama includes facilitating a range of children’s programs for Stagecoach Theatre Arts School. She was the Education Producer at Open Channel and the Education Officer at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre. Her students have been selected to perform in their self devised plays at GPAC and she was instrumental in obtaining places for her disadvantaged students in the Melbourne Theatre Company programme. Whilst in London, Sue devised and directed, in collaboration with her multicultural primary students, graduation plays and holiday celebrations. Her short film, funded by the Australian Film Commission, used many of her students as Actors.
Sue’s theatrical credits included Sisters directed by Peter Sardi at Chapel off Chapel, performing new writing with First Draft Theatre Company at The Kings Head Theatre, London and most recently, Short and Sweet Theatre, Sydney. Her screen credits include Blue Heelers, Neighbours and many short films. Sue has appeared in numerous TV commercials, the most recent for Coles on line shopping and APIA. Corporate clients include BP, Westpac Bank and Royal Children’s Hospital.

 

WENDY BUSWELL

DIP ED. Humanities (Sydney University)
MASTER OF ARTS Theatre (UNSW)
Viewpoints Training, Queen Street Studio 2008, 2010
Theatresports Training, Impro Australia 1998

Wendy is an experienced Drama educator who has been employed in both Australian and International schools. Her career has spanned many facets of education from developing curriculum resources, coordinating drama camps and festivals, marking HSC (Written and Performance) to classroom teaching. Outside the education system she has worked as a Director, Dramaturge and Theatre Critic. She has a passionate belief in the importance of the arts in educating young people. She believes that through watching, creating and being involved in theatre, young people have the opportunity to explore themselves and their place in the world.

 

CONCETTA CARISTO  

Concetta is a trained Improviser, Actor, Stand-up and Sketch comedian who trained with Improv Theatre Sydney (ITS) and WAAPA. Concetta got her start writing and performing sketch comedy in Sydney University Revues with sold out runs at the Seymour Centre and an encore show at the Sydney Comedy Festival. From there, she co-wrote and devised a sketch show with her three-piece sketch comedy group, ‘What Are We’ and debuted their show ‘Here We Are!’ at the Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival. Concetta has also enjoyed success as an Improviser, having reached the grand finals of both the 2017 Manning Cup, and the 2017 Cranston Cup at the Enmore Theatre. Concetta has passed on her skills through 5 day play days and Magical Mystery workshops with Viva Voice.

 

CAITLIN CAULFIELDCaitlin Caulfield

Caitlin is a graduate of the Hunter School of Performing Arts (achieving 1st place in HSC Drama).  She has been performing on stage since the age of 8, when she was cast as a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz at Young People’s Theatre in Newcastle where she trained for a decade. Since moving to Sydney, Caitlin has taken numerous courses in screen acting at Actors Centre Australia, NIDA, the Hub Studio and Screenwise as well as the Actors Connection in New York and the Hollywood Acting Workshop in LA. Roles in TVCs and TV Series such as Home and Away followed. Caitlin has appeared in two short films: Jinxed for Eponine Films and Chloe Comes Through for Stray Dogs Film. Her stage credits include Cosi with Tantrum Theatre and Henry IV Part 1 (Stray Dogs Theatre).

 

KATE COATES  ABOUT US - KATE

Kate is an Improviser, Actor, Comedy Writer and Sketch Comedian who has trained with Impro Australia, Improv Theatre Sydney (ITS), iO and Second City in Chicago.  As a company Director, Teacher and member of the ITS ensemble, she performs regularly in the ITS Soap Opera at Giant Dwarf with The Bear Pack. She won the 2013 Fresh Cranston Cup, the 2015 Cranston Cup and the 2016 Theatresports Nationals Competition at the Enmore Theatre. Representing NSW, she won the National Theatresports Titans competition in the 2014 Adelaide Fringe Festival and performed in the Australian Theatresports Challenge for Amnesty International.  Kate produced the First Thursday Impro Club and Tennis Improv (formerly Full Body Contact No Love Tennis) at The Roxbury Hotel as well as Lybrary Impro. She runs improv workshops as part of IA’s Theatresports Schools Challenge.  Kate is also a solo sketch performer, making her debut with Guys, I’m Okay (Sydney Fringe, Fringe World, Sydney Comedy Festival) and touring Australia with her 2017 follow-up, Blerp.

 

CATE CUNNINGHAM

Recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Professional Service Award from the PTC (Professional Teachers’ Council)
Bachelor of Arts
Dip. Art (Education)
Drama NSW – Current Drama Australia Liaison Officer
ACAPTA – Australian Circus & Physical Theatre Association

Cate has spent a lifetime immersed in the arts, first in Visual Arts, then Dance, then Corporeal Mime, Drama and, more recently, Circus. Now that she has left a full-time Secondary Teaching career to teach Drama part-time while pursuing her interests in directing, circus, writing, street and parade theatre, and commedia del’Arte, Cate is finally available to share her experience with our students, she is also currently presenting the Drama in the Secondary School course at Macquarie University. Her remarkable experience means Cate has taught all ages from pre-school to adult, and her student achievements include finalists in the first Theatresports® Schools Competition (TSC), equal first place in Class Clowns and a national standup comedy festival at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, the selection of Director’s Notes for OnStage, original work called I Hate Dolls, devised and performed by students with learning difficulties at the Page to Stage festival at The Ensemble Theatre, performers in the first international Rock Eisteddfod, and her ex-students have formed their own circus troupe. Cate has marked HSC Drama for over 12 years, and she has been an active Committee Member of Drama NSW for as long (including terms as President and her current role as Drama Australia Liaison Officer).

 

NABELLA EARTH REDA (Bella)                                             bella-photo

Bachelor of Arts (current)
Masters of Nursing (current)
Qualified Yoga & Meditation teacher for Children and Adults

Bella is a double major student at the University of Sydney currently studying Arts and Nursing. Her history in Drama goes back to her parents who were both active in the field, and to her own experiences on stage, off stage, and even behind cameras, since 10 years of age. This interest is what drew her to assisting in drama lessons while appearing on stage and in film documentaries.  A winning essayist (Bella has many hidden talents) she is also someone who has spent 100s of hours volunteering for services such as the Red Cross. Bella has traveled extensively including time as an exchange-student in Hawaii where she became involved in after school Drama clubs and performances.

 

MHAIRI GILROY 

Queen Margaret University, Scotland (Drama & Performance – Hons)

Mhairi is a Drama and Performance graduate from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Scotland.  Her love for performing and the theatre began at a young age when she successfully auditioned for a children’s and youth musical theatre group.  Her first lead role came shortly after when she was cast as the title role in the musical Annie.  She then went on to dedicate all of her formative years to the arts; she was a keen dancer, attending dance classes since the age of three, received piano and singing lessons and performed on stage as often as possible.  She has performed in a professional pantomime in Edinburgh, took part in the Shakespeare for Schools festival and performed in Edinburgh Playhouse’s Stage Experience production of Anything Goes as a lead dancer and ensemble.  During her time with the youth theatre group she played many principle roles including Jaqueline in Me and My Girl, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and Bonnie in Anything Goes.
From the age of sixteen Mhairi began mentoring and coaching at the children’s youth musical theatre group that she had been a member of herself.  She discovered a passion for teaching and inspiring young people.
Under the direction of the late Andrew Dallmeyer she performed in two of The Witch plays Trilogy; The Cauldron and The Devils Craft.  Dallmeyer went on to cast Mhairi as the lead in his own musical Gala Day which toured around Edinburgh.
Since graduating with an honours degree in Drama and Performance Mhairi has travelled extensively.  She spent four years working at a summer camp in America for under privileged children, teaching and sharing her passion for the performing arts with campers. Mhairi came to Australia in 2017 and featured in Sydney Film Schools Ocean Blue.  Mhairi is now based in Sydney as a Professional Actor.

 

RICHARD HOLBORN    

Actorworks Academy Drama School (Post grad Actors Intensive)
London South Bank University (Ba Hons Drama and Performance Studies)
Theatre Royal Bath, Theatre School (The Egg, Worlds first dedicated children’s theatre)
National Youth Theatre of Great Britain 

Richard is a highly trained and experienced facilitator and professional Actor, working in Theatre, Film and Voice-Overs across the world including jobs in London, Venice, across America, China and now Australia.  Richard is also co-founder and director of Storycycle Theatre Company,  a community inclusive organisation where un-known stories are uncovered, explored and re-imagined through storytelling, workshops and installations. Recent commissions have been for Somerset House Trust in London, Kids Week in the West End and Liberty Radio London. His Theatrical credits include: The Short & Sweet Festival 2018, (Sydney), Hedda Gabler, (Star of The Sea, Manly), A Midsummer Nights Dream, (Italy – tour), Stay Happy Keep Smiling (Anna Jordan, Soho Theatre). Screen Credits include: TVC Kleveknife, Nothing To Wear (Seahorse Films). Audio: Unheard (Amazon Audible, UK). Richard has taught Drama in schools across the U.K for Unique Voice and the Pauline Quirke Academy and he most recently led a series of Shakespeare masterclass’ for Italian students in Belluno.

 

SHER KEARNEY

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Sher has worked as an actor for Sydney Theatre Company and Griffin theatre. For MSTYP Sher’s Directing credits include Co-Directing Babe, Captain Midnite, The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe and Danny in the Toybox. For MSTYP Sher has also taught Drama to children of most age groups for twelve years. As Co-Founder and Artistic Director of outdoor theatre company, Shakespeare on the Green, Sher has directed five Shakespeare plays. For five years, Sher worked at Chatswood High Directing their special needs group for the ‘Page to Stage’ program.
In 2015 Sher is re-directing The Crossing for Blaxland and Daughter which will tour Primary schools in the metropolitan area and NSW.

 

CHANTEL LESEBERG

Advance Diploma of Performing Arts (Acting) – Actors Centre Australia

Chantel is a graduate of Actor’s Centre Australia, having completed an Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts (Acting). Prior to moving to Sydney, she spent time training in the full time acting course at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, as well as performing and group devising with HotHouse Theatre in Albury-Wodonga.
A Grade 8 pianist, and a classically trained singer, Chantel also works as a Music teacher.
During her time at Actor’s Centre, Chantel portrayed such roles as Harper , (Angels in America) and Portia (Julius Caesar) and she is now working as a Professional Actor.

 

NATALIE MACKENZIENatalie headshot edited

MA Dramatherapy  Roehampton University UK
BA (Communications- Theatre and Media) Charles Sturt University, Bathurst

Natalie started working with Drama Scene over a decade ago as an After School Drama Coach.  She has always been passionate about the therapeutic aspects of Drama recognising Drama has an innate ability to facilitate creativity, imagination, learning, insight and growth.  Natalie relocated to the UK to gain qualifications as a Registered Dramatherapist, gaining a Masters degree in Dramatherapy from Roehampton University in London.  As a Dramatherapist, Natalie has worked with children experiencing emotional trauma, in adolescent mental health, eating disorders and with adults experiencing enduring mental health difficulties both in the community and in secure settings. Outside of her Dramatherapy work, Natalie has extensive experience in working with excluded young people developing creative programs aimed at reintegrating them back in to the education system as well as facilitating Drama programs for children and adults with disabilities. Natalie is an active performer and facilitator of Playback Theatre, an improvised form of storytelling, having performed in Australia and overseas.

 

CIARAN MAGEE    Ciaran Magee
ACTT (Acting)

Ciaran is a passionate Performer and Teacher, who has been acting in some way shape or form since he was five years old in his role as ‘tax collector’ in a home made Dracula film. Ciaran has gone on to study Acting at ACTT, perform in Sydney Fringe and Melbourne Comedy Festival. He has acted in sell-out shows such as The Staffroom, Adventures in Hair and Every Episode of Doctor Who Ever, and Directed the 2012 Sydney University Arts Revue Artsmageddon. He also ran the monthly comedy night Idiot Box in 2015. Ciaran is a long-time Educator, and has 8 years experience in tutoring private education, chiefly for primary school students, teaching a wide variety of subjects, with a keen focus on the Dramatic Arts, Science and English.

 

KAREN MITCHELL Karen Mitchell Drama Scene

Screenwise Film & Television graduate
TAFTA – Columbia College, Hollywood, Los
Proud Member of Actors Equity – MEAA

Karen is an experienced Actor/Presenter/Voice Actor and Model, working full-time in the Industry. Her love of performance was prevalent from the early age of 3, when she embarked on Classical Ballet and later joined The Victorian College of Arts School of Dance. Karen went on to Acting studies, graduating from Screenwise Film & Television School and completing numerous courses with TAFTA – The Australian Film & Television School in Sydney and Los Angeles. Karen also attended the Actor’s Centre in Los Angeles, had Mesiner Training at The Actor’s Pulse, spent many years at ACA and completed two years of courses with NIDA. She studied under Peter Andrikidis, Howard Fine, Ivana Chubbuck, Anthony Meindel, Larry Moss.
Karen’s lead and supporting roles in a vast number of films include; Torn Devotion, Broken Spirits, The Margin of Things, The Tail Job and sizeable parts in TV shows such as Atomic Kingdom, Nameless, Facing Evil. Stage roles and Corporate productions have notably included, Pygmalion and Calamity Jane. Karen has appeared in numerous TVCs, including campaigns for Coles & Dollars Direct. An experienced Model, Karen is also a past Miss Australia finalist.

 

DEBBIE NEILSON debbie-headshot

Diploma of Screen Acting (Screenwise)

Debbie has been inspiring and teaching kids Drama, Acting, Singing, Dancing, in after school and holiday programs for the past five years.  Debbie’s acting, writing and directing skills have also been recongised many times over this time in the finals of Sydney’s 10 minute Play Festival, Short & Sweet.  On stage, Debbie has co-hosted live shows with Humphrey B Bear and she has extensive experience touring with Meerkat Productions to Primary Schools across QLD, NSW, VIC and ACT performing two musicals adapted from books.  Debbie has performed in many musical productions such as: Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (Strathfield Musical Society). Other theatre credits include: Marianne in Jane Austen’s, Sense and Sensibility (Manly Star of the Sea), Little Voice in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (New Theatre).  Debbie’s screen credits include many short films one of which Leech (with Terry Serio and Denise Roberts) was shortlisted for Tropfest 2012 and a feature film Ambrosia, Directed by Rhiannon Bannenberg.

 

KATRINA PAPADAPOULOS (Kat)
Katrina Papadopoulos BIO

Diploma of Screen Acting – Screenwise

Katrina has been working as an actor since the age of thirteen. She completed 8 years of Public Speaking classes, culminating in ASCA examination High Distinctions and an Outstanding Performance medal. For HSC Drama, Katrina received the Premier’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. Katrina went on to train at Screenwise Film and Television College, graduating from a two year Full Time course with a Diploma In Screen Acting. She has worked on various Australian feature films including Infini and Dead Europe. On stage, Katrina has performed in two one women shows at the New Theatre in Newtown, Table For One and Lipstick and Mirror and performed in 1790: A Tale Not Often Told at the Lend Lease Theatre in Darling Harbour. Katrina has studied acting in both Australia and America and loves sharing her passion for the creative arts with her students.

 

Emma Pressman

Masters of Teaching (Primary)
Bachelor or Fine Arts
Certificate IV Disabilities
Diploma of Events & Entertainment Design

Emma grew up in a small town and devoted all of her formative years to RARA, Youth Theatre Company, developing skills in improvisation, comedy, slapstick, Readers Theatre and playbuilding. Since then Emma has never dropped the baton of love for theatre and arts, from behind the scenes (Prop, Costumes, Video Production), to right out in from (Acting, Directing). Recent achievements include developing, Directing and performing in Theatre de Restaurant. As she completes her Master of Teaching in Primary, Emma brings her performing arts skills into the curriculum lead classroom. What lucky school students she will have in the future.

 

KELLY ROBINSON

Diploma in Theatre Performance
Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts (Acting)
Proud Member of Actors Equity (MEAA)

Kelly moved to Sydney from QLD to do a Diploma in Theatre Performance with Sydney Theatre School. After graduating she performed This Mortal Coil at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She then completed an Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts (Acting) with Actors Centre Australia and worked with Directors such as Gale Edwards and Craig Illott. During that time she taught Drama to children at ATYP (Australian Theatre for Young People), Brightsparks and Jenniffer Shames Speech and Drama. Since graduating from Actors Centre Australia in July 2012 Kelly has done several Short films and early this year she finished playing Cathy in the Australian Feature Film Mirror directed by Matt Hutchinson. In 2013 Kelly will also be seen on a guest role in Home & Away on Channel 7.

 

CLARA SOLLY-SLADE

clara-solly-slade

Advanced Diploma of Creative Arts (Acting)
RADA (Acting Shakespeare)

Clara graduated from Adelaide Collage of the Arts with an Advanced Diploma majoring in Acting. Clara has a strong passion and history as a theatre maker and Teacher as well as an Actor.   Clara cut her teeth as Drama Teacher with Urban Myth Theatre of Youth before founding ACTive YOUth Theatre where she taught and organized classes and productions for 7 to 17 years old. She has also taught with ACT NOW Theatre for Social Change, Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) and Kid A in Annandale.  This year Clara undertook further training in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in a specialist Shakespeare course. This was thanks to the support of the Helpmann Academy and the Ian Potter Cultural Fund.

 

ANNE WILSONAnne Wilson 9

BA Dip Ed Major Primary Ed., Minor Secondary Drama
ImproAustralia Teacher and Performer Graduate
Lynette Sheldon Actors Studio (New York and Sydney)
EDTA- Dance Teacher Qualification
Proud Member of Equity

Anne has taught the HSC Drama syllabus for over a decade and is a specialist in Improvisation. In 2013 her Intermediate Theatresports Team qualified for the Grand Final of the Schools Theatresports® Challenge, at the Enmore Theatre. She has marked the HSC Drama Curriculum in the areas of Written Examination, Costume Design, Video Projects and Itinerant Performance Marking. Anne has taught countless drama and improvisation programs, at schools, in corporate settings and institutions including ATYP. As a writer and performer of cabaret, she has been involved in Fringe Festivals and Short, Sweet +Cabaret in both Sydney and Melbourne. Anne has performed at Belvoir, Griffin, NIDA, The Enmore Theatre and the Seymour Centre in theatre, improvisation, musical theatre and as a presenter. Anne produces and performs in HSC Drama texts under her company Illuminate Educate.

 

Odessa Young

Junior Assistant Coach

Odessa began Drama Scene classes when she was 7 years old and she first appeared on Australian television at the age of 11, when she was cast as the imperious and wealthy Alexandra Owen in the ‘Victoria 1888’ episode of the ABC production, My Place, she also landed a role in a nationally televised TV commercial. Odessa’s film credits include a 2007 independent short film Rose of Baziz and in 2012, the role of Holly in Handyman. In 2012 you may also have seen Odessa on Channel 9 playing the ongoing role of Emma Christie in the TV Series, Tricky Business. Odessa is passionate about acting and music and she is currently a drama student at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts. Odessa knows how to form an immediate rapport with younger players (she has two much younger sisters at home) and her ability to step into characters quickly and so convincingly, engages and inspires in our Holiday Scene workshops.

 

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