Our Faculty

Tim McDowell

Amongst his diverse credits, Tim performed with the Opera Australia’s Melbourne and Edinburgh Festival seasons of Baz Lurman's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Others include, Mack and Mabel, West Side Story, Me and My Girl, My Fair Lady, Sweet Charity, Crazy for You, Fiddler on the Roof, Happy Days, Anything Goes, 42nd Street and The Wizard of Oz. He runs his own Corporate Entertainment Company Crescendo Entertainment, whose credits include regular functions at Crown Casino, the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and the re-opening of Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne. Besides being a director at Left Leg Studios, he is on the faculty of the VCA Musical Theatre course.

Brooke McDowell

Brooke holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in Dance and Drama. She has taught for numerous dance schools, colleges and courses throughout Melbourne and has also gained her teaching diplomas and was later invited to become an examiner. Her musical theatre credits include Little Me, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Sweet Charity, Follies, Thoroughly Modern Millie and she played a lead role in Shout! The Legend of the Wild One. She was the Associate Choreographer for the 2011 production of Strange Bedfellows and resident choreographer for the Australian tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Matt McFarlane

Since graduating from WAAPA in 2007, Matt’s musical theatre credits include Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, Damn Yankees, Guys And Dolls, Fame, Saturday Night Fever, Grease, The Mikado, Love Never Dies, True Minds and Sunday In The Park With George. Matt appeared and was a finalist on Channel 10’s reality talent competition I Will Survive and has been seen on Neighbours, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Blue Heelers and Stingers. Matt has written, produced and performed in his own TropFest short entitled The Bloke Next Door. This winter Matt will feature as ‘The Wolf’ and ‘Cinderella’s Prince’ in the Victorian Opera’s production of Into the Woods.

Melissa Langton

Melissa has been performing since 1992 when she appeared in Jesus Christ Superstar - The Concert. Other music theatre credits include Les Miserable, We Will Rock You, Marry Me A Little, Crusade, Life By Drowning, Martin and GIna, Brigadoon, Sideshow Alley, After The Beep, Eurobeat, Threepenny Opera, Carousel, 42nd Street, Follies, Damn Yankees, Crazy For You, Sugar, Strange Bedfellows and How To Kill Your Husband. Melissa has appeared with The Australian Pops Orchestra, Side By Side BY SONDHEIM and is a regular soloist at HATS OFF. In 2002, Melissa received two Green Room Awards for Best Cabaret Artist and Best Cabaret Ensemble.

Dana Jolly

Dana spent 10 years in London, dancing and choreographing throughout the UK, Europe, Scandinavia and Japan. Her credits include Wayne Sleeps Hollywood and Broadway, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance, Royal Variety Performance, British Music Awards, National Music Express Awards-London, Shall We Dance Tour, the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Miss World Competition, Citrawarna - Colours Of Malaysia (2008 & 2009). She has worked with Ray Charles, Madonna, Gloria Estefan, East 17, Cliff Richard, The Kinks, Prince, Ewan McGregor, Alexei Sayle, Ronnie Corbett, Hale and Pace, Michael Ball and Michael Crawford to name a few. In Australia, she was Resident Choreographer for Susan Stroman’s Showboat, Resident Choreographer for the Australian productions of We Will Rock You and The Producers. She choreographed Respect: A Musical Journey of Women and Everybody Loves Rhonda.

Michael Ralph

Michael Ralph is one of Australia’s fastest rising choreographers, sought after for his dynamic, unique style and fresh take on Musical Theatre storytelling. His performing credits include Cats, Fame, Moonshadow, Singin’ in the Rain and Pirates of Penzance. Michael’s choreographic credits include Pippin, Milk and Honey, Flinders Street, Happy People, My Fair Lady, Pacific Overtures, So You Think You Can Dance?, The Petticoat Soiree, Yummy, Triage, Mood Swing, (2011 Short+Sweet, People’s Choice Award) and Project Elvis (2012 Short+Sweet, Best Choreographer) In 2013 he created his first full-length dance show Now & Then and in 2014 Hollywood Honky Tonk. Both shows had sold out seasons.

Luke Alleva

Luke's diversity as a choreographer, dancer, actor and singer has seen him work extensively throughout Australasia and Internationally. He began his Australian musical theatre career in Man Of La Mancha, going on to perform in Get Happy, We Will Rock You, Xanadu, MAMMA MIA!, Guys And Dolls, The Rocky Horror Show, 42nd Street and Little Me. Luke's West End musical theatre credits include We Will Rock You and Saturday Night Fever. On the big screen Luke can be seen as a lead Montmartre dancer in Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge; and in Dein Perry's Bootmen. Luke was the dance captain for Moonshadow, was a member of the Australian Tour of Hot Shoe Shuffle and Guys and Dolls.

Phillip Haddad

Phil began his professional career in 1995 after starting his training later in life than most. Since then, this talented, passionate performer and choreographer has not stopped working throughout Australia and the world. His long list of television appearances include Hey Hey It’s Saturday, In Melbourne Tonight, The Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, Australia Day Concerts, ARIA Music Awards as well and numerous TVCs both here and abroad. Phil has choreographed and toured extensively with artists such as CBD, Peter Andre, Boys II Men, N-Trance, Ru Paul, Marcia Hines, Steps and Laura Loe. As a musical theatre performer he has been seen in the Australian casts of Shout, Annie Get Your Gun, High Society, Grease, Countdown and Oh What A Night. In 2008 Phil played the role of Producer, Choreographer and Performer in Rhythm Runners, touring in 2009.

Kelly Byrne

Kelly Byrne is one of Australia's best dancer models, with perfect lines and extreme flexibility, earned from her years of classical training at The Royal Academy of Dance, earning a Solo Seal. Kelly has been working with Australia's best choreographers like Yvette Lee, Paul Malek, The Squared Division, Alannah Scanlon and Andrew Hallsworth. She has been seen on Dancing with the Stars, It Takes Two, Starstruck, Family Feud, The Footy Show, 100% Kylie Show, L'Oreal Fashion Week, Viva Las Vegas showgirl, Miss Universe Pageant dancer, resident dancer at Heavens Door nightclub, Dragons Basketball & Melbourne Storm Cheerleaders, Crown Casinos Gaming room shows, Norwegian Cruise Lines & the Hong Kong Christmas Show tour to name a few. Kelly has a passion for learning and continues her own studies at prestigious institutions such as the Edge in LA, Broadway Dance Centre in New York and Pineapple Studios in London.

Kim Van Hoorn

After 15 years intensive dance training and an extensive interest in human movement, health and fitness, Kim has studied to become an Osteopath obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Sciences and a Master of Health Science in Osteopathy at Victoria University. Further qualifications include a Certificate IV in fitness, Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance and a Certificate in Pilates (Mat and Reformer). Kim has a strong desire to help others learn about their bodies and reach their full potential. She believes education and knowledge is the key to reaching your academic, performance and health goals.

Jan DI Pietro

Jan’s credits include: Douglas in Seminar with Pop Culture Theatre,Tim/Rolf in Cyberia/The Magic Words, Gabe in Far Out! at NY Fringefest; U/study Goran Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Australian tour, The Boy From Oz, Music Man, Anything Goes, Promises, Promises, and The Pirates Of Penzance with The Production Company. He has also performed in The Producers and Sweet Charity (Dane Captain) with The Palace Theatre, NH, USA. Roles include Henry Apjohn in How He Lied To Her Husband and John Taplow in The Browning Version for the Triangle Theatre NYC. Jan is a graduate from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York, winner of the Charles Jehlinger Award for excellence in acting. AADA roles included Dan in Night Must Fall, Dr. Rance in What The Butler Saw and Clive/Edward in Cloud Nine.

Guest Faculty

Roger Hodgman

Has directed theatre, opera, musical theatre and television drama in Australia and internationally for over 30 years. He was Artistic Director of the Melbourne Theatre Company for twelve years. Formerly Dean of Drama at the VCA and Artistic Director of the Vancouver Playhouse. A highlight of his time in Vancouver was working with Tennessee Williams on two premières of his plays. Since leaving MTC he has been conducting a busy freelance career. He has won two Green Room Awards for best Director . Roger has directed plays for many Australian and Canadian companies and numerous musicals including five very successful productions of works by Stephen Sondheim for MTC and the Production Company and Bernstein’s Wonderful Town for Shaw Festival in Canada. Other operas include: Rigoletto (Oz Opera/Opera Queensland); Cenerentola (Opera Queensland), Xerxes (Victorian Opera and New Zealand Opera) and a Baroque Triple Bill (Opera Victoria). His telemovie, Stepfather of the Bride won the Best Telemovie Award at the Chicago Film Festival.

Mitchel Butel

Mitchell’s theatre credits include Meow Meow's Little Match Girl, A Life in Three Acts, Summer Rain (2006 Helpmann Nomination), Harbour, The Republic of Myopia (2004 Helpmann Nomination), Mourning Becomes Electra, Tartuffe, Two Weeks with the Queen, Dead White Males, The Café Latte Kid, Summer of the Aliens, Six Degrees of Separation, The Grenade, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Tomfoolery, Urinetown, Piaf (2000 Green Room Winner), Stones in his Pockets, The Venetian Twins (2005 Helpmann Winner), Othello, The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, The Laramie Project, A View from the Bridge, Dead Heart, Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Mad, Bad and Spooky, Blue Remembered Hills, Boeing Boeing and Woyzeck, Music theatre credits include Avenue Q, Assassins, Kismet, Sugar, Little Me, Oklahoma, Hair, Dusty, Man of La Mancha, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Little Shop of Horrors, Elegies, The Beggar’s Opera and Dunstan and the Devil, The Fantastic, Follies, The Mikado, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Bernadette Peters in Concert.

Luke Hunter

Luke conducted the Australian tour of Shout! the Musical (2002/2003) Falsettos, (Melbourne 2003), Leader of the Pack (Sydney 2003, Melbourne 2005), Oh! What a Night (2004), The Rocky Horror Show (2007), Jersey Boys, (2009 Green Room Award, 2010 Helpmann Award for "Best Musical Direction”), The Addams Family and most recently, Grease. He was musical director for Burn the Floor in Atlantic City & Las Vegas, USA. In 2003, Luke performed the cabaret show Get Here at the York Theatre Company, New York, alongside friends Simon Gleeson, Natalie O’Donnell and Deone Zanotto. Luke has taken to the stage himself, appearing in the Australian and Asian tours of Fame - the Musical, Oh What a Night! (Melbourne & Sydney) and in the original Australian tour of Shout! As a composer, Luke accompanies and musically directs solo cabaret acts and has organised charity benefit concerts, including 2004 Cabaret for Canteen.

Yvette Lee

Yvette is one of Australia’s most diverse choreographers, with a career working in all facets of the entertainment industry. Her TV credits include So You Think You Can Dance Australia, Everybody Dance Now, Dancing with the Stars, Australian Idol, ARIA Awards, So You Think You Can Dance Greece, Australia Day Live Concert, Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, Comedy Inc, Neighbours, The Taiwanese Wiggles & The Pacific, and has extensively choreographed throughout Asia for Walt Disney Special Events Touring Shows. Yvette’s theatre credits include Moonshadow, Rock of Ages, The Little Match Girl, The History Boys, Sweet Charity, Dusty, & Shout the Legend of the Wild One. Film clip credits include Selwyns Not Gonna Let You Go, Ricki Lee's Canʼt Sing a Different Song & Canʼt Touch It and Deni Hines Son of a Preacher Man & Water for Chocolate. Most recently Yvette Choreographed for Chris Lilly’s 'Ja'mie Private School Girl' and Cosentino The Grand Illusionist's Chanel 7 TV Special.

Kristin Keam

After graduating from VCA Drama, Kristin spent 15 years in London. Theatre credits there include Barnum, Whistle Down the Wind, Aspects of Love, Pirates of Penzance, Annie, The Mikado, Buddy, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marry Me a Little, Starting Here Starting Now, Mother Goose, The Recruit and the film Distress Signals.

She was also Head of Singing at Rose Bruford College. Back in Australia her credits include Minefields and Miniskirts (Malthouse), Nearly Beloved (SDC), Sid the Serpent (VSO), Magic Faraway Tree, The Comedy Company, Hey! Hey! It’s Saturday! and Neighbours. She also teaches at VCA, PSA, and is a consultant for the Gordon Frost Organisation. She musically directed Possum Magic (Gary Ginivan Attractions) and is doing an MMus in Songwriting at Bath Spa.

Anna Burgess

Anna is currently playing the role of Claire in Artefact Theatre's production of Proof whilst also being mid season of the National Tour of Bad Jews, playing the role of Melody after the highly successful season in 2015 at The Alex Theatre. Anna's previous stage credits include the National tour of The 39 Steps, critically acclaimed God of Carnage at Chapel off Chapel and successful Brisbane and Melbourne seasons of the new Australian play Goodbye Miss Monroe in which she played a multitude of stars including Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth and Gwen Verdon. Raimondo Cortese’s play Inconsolable for Metanoia Theatre, Neil Cole’s Groucho for the Adelaide Fringe Festival/Australian Tour 2013, the Original Australian touring cast of Mel Brookes’ musical The Producers; Rigoletto, Macbeth and The Barber of Seville (Opera Australia), Waiting for Godot, Memoranda, The Pursuit of Happiness, Time Warp (Australian Tour 2009-2013), Karaoke the Musical, 42nd Street, Crazy for You, The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees and Anything Goes (The Production Company).

Her recent film work includes Any Questions for Ben, The Caretaker (Awarded Seattle and DC best feature film 2012 and nominated for best actress in Buffalo Film Festival New York), Loves Brother and SMS.

Anna's television credits include Neighbours, Last Man Standing, ScreenStars and Thank God You’re Here. Anna has a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts Drama/Dance from Deakin University. She trained at the Lee Strasberg’s Institute of Film and Television in New York and The Melbourne Actors Lab and 16th Street in Melbourne.

Elise Jansen

Elise is an award winning Australian actress. Since graduating in Acting from WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts), Elise has become known to Australian television audiences for the lead role of Ava in Wonderland, her portrayal of Lorna Kelly, Squizzy Taylor’s wife in Underbelly: Squizzy, and her work on Neighbours, Winners & Losers, Footballer Wants a Wife, Moonman and City Homicide.

She has appeared in the feature films Predestination and Crawlspace, as well as the short films The Pick Up, which won Best Short Film at the #SaveTheScript competition for TROPFEST 2015, and iPhone Warfare, which won Best Short Film at the Penninsula Short Film Festival. Elise has also been awarded the Best Actress Award at the Western Australian Screen Awards for her role of Celina in the short film Misconception.

Nicole Melloy

Most recently Nicole appeared in the role of Austin in Sister Cities (Q44 Theatre Company) and was a featured vocalist in the Disney under The Stars concert tour. She also recently played the lead role of Sam in the world premier of Sexercise the Musical at the new Alex Theatre.

Nicole has also appeared in the role of Alice B. Toklas in Loving Repeating (Vic Theatre Company), The Production Company’s Showboat in the role of Ellie May, Flourish production’s Cybycybycy- The songs of Cy Coleman, the international tour of The Rocky Horror Show in the role of Magenta, and played the title role in Q44 Theatre company’s inaugural season of the play Dolores.

Other theatre credits include the national tour of Legally Blonde (GFO), Die Fledermaus (Opera Australia) in the role of Ginger Rogers, the national tour of Dame Edna’s Back with a Vengeance (Duet Productions), Monty Python’s Spamalot (Louise Withers and Associates) as understudy to the Lady of the Lake, 42nd Street, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Little Me, Damn Yankees, Anything Goes and The Producers all for The Production Company, and the Australian premiere season of Jersey Boys (Newtheatricals), in which she was Dance Captain.

She also co-founded Crazy Chair Productions and co-produced the play Spike Heels at Chapel off Chapel in which she also played the lead role of Georgie.

Screen credits include Natalie Schuman in Winners and Losers, the role of Bridget in the Australian film Rue, Danielle in the short film Winning as part of the Dozen Matter film project and numerous TVCs.

Nicole has also performed with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, has sung for numerous major corporate events around Australia and performs regularly in her self managed acoustic duo, Kurby and Cole. Nicole holds a Diploma of Classical Dance, has studied dance at the Victorian College of the Arts and more recently has trained in Acting (Strasberg method) at the Q44 studio.

Barnaby Reiter

Barnaby has recently returned home from training at The Juilliard School in New York with a special thanks to "ASTEP" and is currently appearing in the national tour of 'Hairspray - The Big Fat Arena Spectacular' as 'Fender (U/S Link)'. As well as being a 2014 graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts (Bachelor of Fine Arts: Musical Theatre), Barnaby has been singing, performing and playing piano from a young age recently used his musical skills to co-write, musically direct and perform in the sell out musical-comedy "Suitcases, Baggage and other Synonyms" in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Melbourne Fringe Festival.

On-stage credits include: Disneys Beauty and the Beast (ALG/RGE), Spring Awakening (Melbourne Premiere), The Candy Man (Arts Centre Victoria) and 'Matthew Lee Robinson Presents: New Voices' in addition to: Assassins (Charles G), A Little Touch of Choas (Artist) and Li'l Abner (Dr. Finsdale) at the VCA and Season 5 of 'The Voice Australia' with Channel 9.

Barnaby is a sought after Repetiteur, Vocal Coach, Musical Director, Performer and Accompanist for a wide range of Musical Theatre and Cabaret both Australia wide and overseas. Barnaby is a leading vocal coach and musical director at Swinburne University (Diploma of Musical Theatre), Young Australian Broadway Chorus and Stage Left given his years of training in Vocal Technique, health, anatomy and performance.

Barnaby is proudly represented by Emma Raciti Management, under the vocal tutelage of Rosemarie Harris and a member of Actors Equity.