COMPANY AND CREATIVE DIRECTORS
Patrick Conlan, Founding Director
Patrick Conlan founded the Victorian Children's Theatre (now known as Stage School Australia) in 1984 to offer students with an interest in the performing arts the opportunity to develop both personal and performing skills. An experienced performer and director, Patrick has had an extensive theatrical career, working alongside many of Australia's leading artists, including Dennis Olsen, June Bronhill, Barry Crocker, Denise Drysdale and Norman Yemm. Patrick has directed countless productions for the Victorian Youth Theatre, in addition to many professional, amateur and school productions.
Eileen Dunn, Director
Eileen Dunn commenced her career as a teacher before pursuing her interest in arts administration with the Victorian Youth Theatre. As general manager, Eileen has coordinated rehearsals, workshops and performances for the many thousands of students who have graduated through the ranks of Stage School Australia. As tour and production manager, Eileen has overseen three national and five international Performance Tours to countries including Singapore, Italy, France, USA and England.
Robert Coates, Artistic Director
Robert began working for Stage School Australia in 1995. Most recently he directed the 2017 seasons of HONK! Jr - the musical tale of the Ugly Duckling and Chicken Licken at the Lawler Theatre, Southbank Theatres - home of the MTC, which also toured to the Adelaide Fringe Festival. His many other directorial credits include Rags, Joseph’s Dreamcoat, Oliver!, Man of La Mancha, Star-Cross’d Lovers, Godspell and all of the Young Australian Broadway Chorus Gala Concerts at the National Theatre, Back to Bacchus (Musical Director/Associate Director - Tours of Europe ‘97 and USA ‘99, World Tour 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008), What a Circus (Adelaide Fringe ‘98), Once On This Island (Adelaide Fringe 2010), Spring Awakening (National Theatre 2011), Conference of the Birds and Seussical TYA (Adelaide Fringe 2013), Guys & Dolls 2013, The Wizard of Oz 2014, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Malthouse & Adelaide Fringe 2014), Disney Alice in Wonderland and Conference of the Birds (Melbourne Fringe 2014), This Is Australia USA Tours 2015 & 2016, Disney Aladdin Jr. 2015, Disney The Little Mermaid Jr. 2015, The Secret Garden - Spring Version 2016, Disney Alice in Wonderland Jr. 2016 and Disney Beauty and the Beast Jr. 2016. Robert directed the world premiere of Devil’s Snuffbox, the Victorian premiere of The World Goes Round (Victorian Music Theatre Guild nomination - Best Director) and the world premiere season of the Bryant/Frank musical, The Silver Donkey which also toured the USA.
CREATIVE HEADS OF DEPARTMENT
Jacqui Green, Head of Dance
Jacqui Green is one of Australia’s leading choreographers, adjudicators, dancers and dance teachers. Most recently she choreographed the 2017 season of HONK! Jr - the musical tale of the Ugly Duckling at the Lawler Theatre, Southbank Theatres - home of the MTC, which also toured to the Adelaide Fringe Festival. As a choreographer and dancer, Jacqui’s credits include The Don Lane Show, The Ronnie Corbett Show, The Midday Show, The AFI Awards and The Logie Awards. Jacqui played the leading role of Cassie in the national tour of A Chorus Line (Mo Award Nomination), and has also featured in productions of Funny Girl, The Sound of Music, Hello Dolly and Cabaret. Directorial credits include a tour of Asia and New Zealand as the resident director of Joseph’s Dreamcoat for the Really Useful Group. She has toured internationally with numerous Stage School Australia productions including the 2015 and 2016 This Is Australia tours of the USA. Jacqui has choreographed the sell-out seasons of Stage School Australia’s productions of Seussical TYA at the Malthouse, Disney The Little Mermaid Jr., Disney Beauty and the Beast Jr. and Disney Aladdin Jr. at the Union Theatre, Disney Alice In Wonderland and The Secret Garden ~ Spring Version in 2016 at Southbank Theatre
Tony Nikolakopoulos, Head of Drama
Tony Nikolakopoulos is a leading Australian director and actor. He has played major and leading roles in various feature films like The Legend Maker, Alex and Eve, Predestination, Wog Boy, The Wannabes, Head On. On stage Tony has worked with MTC, Malthouse, South Australian Theatre Company, Sydney Opera House, the stage play Roulette (Adelaide Festival, Company B Belvoir, Portugal and Melbourne) and was producer/director of The Last Proxy (National Tour). Some of his recent work on TV includes Here Come the Habibs, Fat Tony & Co, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Reef Doctors, The Pacific, Please Like Me (ABC), Time of Our Lives (ABC) and Wentworth Series 2, 3 and 4. He is the Director, Writer and Producer of the short film Shabd and Let Go. Tony won a performance award by the Melbourne International Film Festival for his work on the award winning short film 296 Smith St. For the last 25+ years, Tony has directed countless productions for the Victorian Youth Theatre, including the Adelaide Fringe and USA Touring production of A Well Spun Yarn, BABE: The Sheep Pig (2015 Union Theatre & 2017 Southbank Theatre) and the 2016 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Tour of Regional Victoria.
Andy Coates, Head of Music
Andy has a Bachelor of Arts in Music Industry, an Advanced Diploma of Music Performance and is trained in voice, piano, trumpet and drums. In additional to directing all of the recent YABC mid-year and end-of-year Gala seasons at the National Theatre, Andy’s Musical Director credits include HONK! Jr - the musical tale of the Ugly Duckling and BABE the Sheep-Pig at the Lawler Theatre, Southbank Theatres - home of the MTC. Honk! Jr also toured to the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Disney Alice in Wonderland Jr. (2016), Disney Aladdin Jr. and Disney The Little Mermaid Jr. (2015), This Is Australia (USA Tour 2015), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Malthouse and Adelaide Fringe 2014), Guys & Dolls Jr, Seussical (Malthouse and Adelaide Fringe 2013), Wizard of Oz (2014), Barnum and Pippin. For over eight years Andy taught performing arts in primary schools; running a variety of choirs and ensembles and teaching music, drama, voice and circus. As well as performing in musical productions such as Assassins and Company, Andy has spent the last nine years performing with Melbourne swing act, Frankie Wants Out. Television credits with FWO include The Today Show, Better Homes & Gardens and Mornings with Kerri-Anne.
Emily Wilkinson, Head of Beginners OnStage
Emily grew up in Tasmania where she trained in classical voice and ballet. She completed her Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) from the University of Ballarat in 2003 and has since been lucky enough to perform with leading Melbourne companies such as Oz Opera, Melbourne Opera, Devanesen Productions and the Entertainment Store. Upon moving to Melbourne in 2004, Emily joined Stage School Australia (then CPCA) as a music and dance director. Emily holds a Graduate Diploma in Education (Music and Drama) from Melbourne University, and teaches singing across several Melbourne high schools.
Jennifer McKenzie, Head of Wardrobe
Jennifer is a graduate of Swinburne's Diploma of Entertainment in Costume. She has worked on major film, TV and stage productions such as Charlotte's Web, MacBeth, The Lion King, Nightmare & Dreamscapes and the Commonwealth Games. Jennifer also creates the costumes for Stage School Australia's international tours, including the 2006 World Tour season of The Silver Donkey. She has designed costumes for the 2010 production of Once on this Island, the 2011 production of Spring Awakening, 2013 productions of Guys & Dolls, Conference of the Birds and Seussical, 2014's productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Wizard of Oz Jr. (Union Theatre), Disney Alice in Wonderland and Conference of the Birds (Melbourne Fringe), and in 2015 This Is Australia USA Tour, Disney Aladdin Jr, Disney The Little Mermaid Jr and BABE the Sheep-Pig (Union Theatre), in 2016 The Secret Garden - Spring Version and Disney Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Southbank Theatre), Disney Beauty and the Beast Jr. (Union Theatre), Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Melbourne & Regional Victorian Tour), and in 2017 HONK! Jr - the musical tale of the Ugly Duckling and Chicken Licken at the Lawler Theatre, Southbank Theatres - home of the MTC, which also toured to the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
Sally Faraday, Associate Head of Drama
Sally has worked as a drama director with the company since 1999. She has a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Hons) and a Master of Arts in Drama and Theatre Studies from Monash University. Sally has worked as a writer on productions for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and as a director on final year productions at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar. Sally has also worked as a writer for the CPCA. During the completion of her masters thesis, Sally was a visiting scholar at the City University of New York where her play Pandora's Box received a public reading. After studying Screenwriting at RMIT she has worked on feature film scripts with Film Victoria and continues to work on television projects with melbourne film company, Resolution Independent.
Petra Glieson, Associate Head of Drama
A professional actor for over 24 years, Petra has appeared in television shows such as Dr Blake Mysteries, Stingers, City Homicide and Neighbours as well as numerous television advertisements. She has starred in productions by Melbourne based theatre companies such as Ward Theatre Company and in international independent films. She works in film and theatre production, casting and artistic direction. A qualified primary and secondary teacher, Petra has directed for Stage School Australia for 15 years.