All of our tutors are qualified and experienced in their field.  All have Directed, Choreographed or Vocal Coached for stage (many with us) and so come with experience in live performance and what is required.

Our tutors have been asked to teach at Court Theatre and elsewhere, and have performed extensively themselves.  They are great role models and very capable in their field.

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 energy and enthusiasm from fresh new teachers who have the benefit of good support structures from management.

Dale Hartley-Brown
School Director
B.A. Canterbury University
L.T.C.L Teaching Speech & Drama Trinity College

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.

Paul Johnson
Advanced Drama Tutor
ATCL Teaching Speech & Drama Trinity College

Paul has taught Speech & Drama for 14 years, after graduating with Associate Trinity College London Speech & Drama (Teachers) from the HSPA in 2004. His time as a student at the school sparked a passion within him and provided him with the right experience and contacts to go on and write two successful musicals (Robin Hood, and The Jungle Book), both of which he also Directed, along with several other productions for various groups, create a business providing Theatre Management Services, and provide freelance technical and lighting services for a variety of different Companies in the greater Canterbury area.

He's been around long enough to be able to claim having taught nearly all of the current school's tutors and even helped renovate the building that the School is currently housed in.

Briar Patrick
Singing Tutor
Drama Tutor
ATCL Performance Speech & Drama Trinity College
Teachers Dip. NZMSM

Briar has been involved with many facets of the performing arts since taking the stage in her first HSPA show in 2006, including performing onstage, directing, vocal coaching, and occasional forays into stage crew work. As well as being involved in some capacity with the past 20+ HSPA productions, Briar, performed with Showbiz Christchurch, North Canterbury Musicals, Magnitude Productions, and MUSOC, as well as the Rangiora-founded Black Peach Theatre Company. 

Briar gained her ATCL in Speech and Drama with Distinction in 2013, as well as a Teachers Diploma in piano under the New Zealand Modern School of Music. In 2016 she completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English, and is currently working towards a Masters of Teaching and Learning. 

Briar was a student at HSPA from 2006-2013, and has been teaching here ever since. She adores the culture of encouragement and inclusion that Dale fosters at her school, and has been having the time of her life passing on her love of performance to the talented students currently making their way through the HSPA family

Holly Diepraam
Senior Dance Tutor

Holly have been teaching Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop and Contemporary at HSPA for 6 years, and has choreographed 8 of our full-scale shows. She is passionate about fostering a life-long love of dance in my students. In her classes, she has a focus on technique, but mainly aims to grow confidence and create a fun and safe atmosphere with innovative choreography and open dialogue. She considers it her greatest achievement in the studio space, when she sees students begin to transform an interest in dance, into a passion!


Elizabeth Mullan
Drama Tutor
ATCL Performance Mus.Theatre Trinity College

Elizabeth has always enjoyed being the centre of attention and is often labelled a "drama queen" by members of her family. It wasn’t until she was 11 that she discovered HSPA and began taking as many classes as she could. Through high school she sat Speech and Drama exams via Trinity College, obtaining Grade 8 before electing to sit her performance diploma in musical theatre. Aside from the opportunities to be the centre of attention, Elizabeth loves the way that performing arts offers a platform for creativity, expression and self-exploration. She believes that it has served her as a relational tool and that her experiences as a member of the performing arts community has given her a well-rounded world view.

When she is not teaching at HSPA, Elizabeth spends a lot of her time at the University of Canterbury, studying towards a Bachelor of Arts and working as an executive member for The University of Canterbury’s Musical Theatre Society. 

Rachel Long
Singing Tutor
Rachel began at HSPA a decade ago as a Singing & Drama student.  Her aptitude and love of singing and all things musical, was soon apparent and she continues her study of music and voice until she left school and began work as a Barista. But making a good coffee was never going to be enough for Rachel and HSPA were pleased to be able to offer students the chance to learn from her.  A singer and song writer, as well as an experienced musical theatre performer, Rachel brings a host of enthusiasm and ability to her role as Junior and private singig tutor at HSPA.  2018 will see her add the job of directing to her list of credentials as she takes on the Junior Production. 

Carissa Brant
Dance Tutor
ATCL Performance Mus. Theatre Trinity College

Carissa has been dancing since the age of three and hasn’t looked back since!  She now has my diploma for NZAMD as well as a Diploma in Musical Theatre with Trinity London College, which combines her love of dance with character and acting.

Carissa is so glad I get to pass on all of her knowledge over the years to young kids aspiring to be little star performers! 

Carissa currently also works teaching dance within North Canterbury schools.

Caitlin Stevenson
Drama Tutor
ATCL Performance Speech & Drama Trinity College

Performing has always been something that's connected with Caitlin, her family would probably argue that she has been finding ways to perform from the get go. Caitlin has performed in three previous HSPA shows, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan and Robin Hood, taking leads in all three.  Caitlin’s directing debut was HSPA’s 2017 junior show Snow White, an experience she thoroughly enjoyed with fellow tutor, Elliott Andrews, and learnt a lot from. Outside of HSPA Caitlin was a cast member in both Into the Woods and High School Musical through Rangiora High School. In 2017 she also earned her ATCL in Speech and Drama with distinction. She feels she has a drive to learn and perform herself, and wants to share that with those she teaches.

Kitty Jamison
Junior Drama Tutor

Kitty has been performing and taking lessons with HSPA since 2009. During that time she has taken leading roles in productions such as Red Riding Hood and Peter Pan, as well as performing with the NCMS and Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti High School, where she studies subjects ranging from music to chemistry. She has also supported several HSPA productions backstage, in the role of Microphone Technician. 

Kitty currently is currently a Diploma level student at HSPA, expecting to gain her diploma part way through 2018. She has studied drama since the age of 9, picking up singing a few years later, and is delighted to now be sharing her love of creativity and all things theatrical with her young students at HSPA. She hopes they will gain confidence and develop a life-long love of theatre in her classes, just as she has through her time in the nurturing HSPA environment.

Elliott Andrews
Junior Drama Tutor

For several years Elliott has been working through the Trinity College performance speech and drama exams at HSPA.  He enjoys learning all he can about acting, and applying it as much as possible to his own work.  This has earned him one of only 20 places on the New Zealand National Shakespeare Society trip to London’s globe Theatre in 2018.

This year Elliott will be completing his ATCL Diploma. Working as an entertainer is a path with many great obstacles, but for those who work hard it is a path with many great opportunities too. Elliott’s aim as a tutor is to hone the skills of his students and build their self-confidence, as this is what HSPA has done for him.

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 challange 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, Doreen is responsible for the smooth running of HSPA on many fronts.