MGA Faculty and Staff

‘Training for the profession, from the profession’

Experience shows that young people respond well to staff members who have had – and still maintain – success in their professional fields. They can actually do what they are teaching you to do! That’s why the MGA motto has always been ‘Training for the profession, from the profession’.

World-class tutors drawn from across the UK, Europe and the US with exceptional careers and incredible teaching skills work alongside our experienced managerial and administrative staff to deliver our courses, preparing the next generation of professional performer.

We also have an enviable list of consultants and guest lecturers who are on hand to offer advice and support for projects and performances, maintaining strong links to the professional world of performing arts.

Staff by department

Click on the staff member listed under the faculties below to find out more about them.

Directors

Andrew Gowland

Managing Director

Andrew Gowland is a professional Actor, Musical Theatre Performer and
Director, having trained at The Royal Academy of Music, London, The Birmingham School of Acting and the College of Visual and Performing Arts in the USA. He has maintained a career in Performing Arts for over the last 14 years since graduating in 2003.

In 2005 he co-founded The MGA Academy of Performing Arts including MGA Management and MGA Casting with Murray Grant and remains MGA’s Managing Director.

As Managing Director and Producer for Beyond Broadway Productions Ltd, Andrew has, over the last 12 months, had the pleasure to work with Kerry Ellis, Adam Garcia, Christina Bianco, Ruthie Henshall, Natalie Weiss, Louise Dearman, Shoshana Bean, Scott Alan, Scott Morgan and Jonathan Reid Gealt and Jon Lee.

Finally, Drew is also a serving member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces as a fully-qualified Royal Air Force Reservist.

www.drewgowland.com / @drewgowland

Murray Grant

Creative Director

Murray graduated from London’s Bird College in 2001 and immediately won a contract in London City Opera’s US tour of The Merry Widow (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and others). He performed in numerous musicals subsequently, including Jesus Christ Superstar (Vienna), Paris Can-Can (Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland), Grease (Zurich) and Saturday Night Fever (Vienna).

As Director and Choreographer, Murray’s extensive credits include shows for P&O Cruises, Musical Starnights (European tour), 12 Tenors (European tour). He also directed and choreographed the concert series Tonight from the West End, working with musical theatre stars Adam Garcia, Ruthie Henshall, Kerry Ellis, Christina Bianco, Louise Dearman and Jon Lee.

Murray recently Directed and choreographed The ‘Life Story’ series of shows for Marella Cruises. There is one of these shows on each of their Explorer and Discovery class ships. He also Directed and Choreographed West End to Broadway on the Discovery Ships.

Murray is the founder of The MGA Academy of Performing Arts (Edinburgh), Beyond Broadway Productions, Network Artist Management, The Theatre Store and Fierce Theatre Schools. Murray has served as a freelance advisor for the Institute of the Arts Barcelona, Cyprus Performing Arts and The Entertainment Department. He is also an international judge for DanceStar world dance competitions, judging Qualifiers in South African and World Final in Croatia.

www.murraygrantofficial.com
murray_online

Marcella Macdonald

ACADEMIC DIRECTOR

Marcella trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama on the BA Music course and at the Royal Academy of Music, London on the post-graduate musical theatre course where she received the Ian Fleming Musical Theatre Award and the Musicians Benevolent Fund Award.

Theatre Works: A Little Night Music (Jack Lyons Theatre), Evita (Zouk Amphitheatre, Beirut), Richard Rogers Centenary Celebrations (with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall), Les Dialogues Des Carmelites (Edinburgh Festival Theatre), Manon (New Athenaeum). Marcella has also worked as a backing singer for Elton John, performing at Birmingham NEC, The Royal Albert Hall, The Royal Opera House and Wembley, and appearing on BBC 1. Other works include session singing and New Music Theatre Writers workshop.

Marcella’s teaching experience includes; Musical Supervisor for Montage Theatre Arts, London. Vocal Coaching for Forth Children’s Theatre and Musical Director for Edinburgh council’s Musical Theatre Summer School.

Senior Staff

Laura Proudfoot

Vice-Principal

 
Laura Proudfoot is the Vice Principal at the MGA Academy of Performing Arts. Before being appointed at MGA in August 2018, Laura was a Co-Founder and Co-Director of Morningside Advanced Training, providing the delivery of HND Professional Dance Performance qualifications to dancers in full-time vocational training. Prior to embarking on her own business, Laura worked in the Dance department at Edinburgh’s Telford College, where she progressed from Lecturer to Head of Department within her 15 years of employment.

Throughout her professional career, she has been actively involved in the development of dance education within the Scottish Secondary school Curriculum, and has worked with the Dance Development Team at the Scottish Qualifications Authority as an assessor and advisor for the Higher Dance Qualification.

Laura was awarded a First-Class BA (Hons) Dance Degree through Northumbria University, and continues to be an active teaching member of the Royal Academy of Dance, and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

Rebecca Wallace

Academic Coordinator

For over a decade Rebecca Wallace performed internationally with various musical theatre shows such as ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Broadway!’, Qdos Pantomimes and on Costa and Cunard Cruise Lines. She was Dance Captain and Company Manager for several international dance tours including ‘Spirit of the Dance’ and ‘Dancing Queen’. And although her performance career predominantly kept her in theatre she also had the opportunity to perform in music videos and television programmes. 
 
She continues to choreograph internationally having created the dance element of musical theatre and cabaret shows in Dubai, UAE and across Europe. 
 
After retiring from performing full time Rebecca now delivers classes in 9 styles of dance to an extensive range of abilities in both mainstream and private sectors including inclusive classes for adults to holistically support their physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing. 
 
Having completed her MSc Dance Science and Education with an additional teaching diploma at Edinburgh University her experience includes educational leadership, curriculum design, research, pedagogy and initial teacher training. 

Sup Dhanasunthorn

Head of Dance

Sup Dhanasunthorn is from San Francisco and trained at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. He moved to London after appearing in Miss Saigon, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Saturday Night Live. After touring Canada, the US and China with The Spirit of Christmas, Sup returned to London to launch his contemporary dance company, Embody.

Other credits include Universal’s 47 Ronin, Olly Murs, Aida at the Royal Albert Hall, Strictly Come Dancing and the UK and European tour of Disney’s The Lion King.

Choreography credits include: the opening of the Aquatics Centre for the 2012 London Olympics, Trophy Wife, Oxford College Ball, Phish Leong, and the UK and European tour of The Lion King.

Sup is the founder of the Hustle, the largest community of performing artists and creators in the UK. Currently a member of the new Equity Dance Committee, and a recent recipient of the Dance London’s Change Maker Award, Sup feels privileged to be part of the dance faculty at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, fulfilling his dream to enrich the future talents of dance.

Molly Innes

Head of Acting

Molly trained at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD) and has been an actor for over twenty years. During this time she has received a commendation at the Ian Charleson/National Theatre Awards (for Electra), was nominated for a Stage Award for Acting Excellence (for her role in Moving Objects) and was nominated for a Best Actress CATS award (One day all this will come to nothing). Her theatre work includes stints at The National Theatre of Scotland, The Traverse, The Royal Lyceum, Dundee Rep, Perth Rep, The Citizen’s and the Royal Court as well as many touring companies.

Film and television credits include: Rebus, Taggart, Holby City, A Mug’s Game, Psychos, Takin’ over the Asylum, Rab C. Nesbitt, Lovesick, River City, The Bill, Ratcatcher, Strathblair, The Ferguson Theory, Stella Does Tricks, Afterlife and Karmic Mothers. She has also performed in numerous radio plays for BBC Radio 4.

Molly was one of the Traverse Fifty writers. She received a New Playwright award from The Playwright’s Studio, Scotland in 2014. She has had rehearsed readings of her short plays Legacy and Roads of Grace. Her translation into Scots of Michel Tremblay’s Thérèse and Pierrette and the Wee Hanging Angel was presented by Stellar Quines as part of their Rehearsal Room. Her play Mother Ease was performed at the Traverse during the Edinburgh Festival.

Molly was Associate Director on 13 Sunken Years, a co-production between Stellar Quines and Lung Ha Theatre Companies. She directed the first rehearsed reading of her translation of Thérèse and Pierrette and the Wee Hanging Angel at the Traverse and has directed Five Kinds of Silence for Beyond Broadway Productions.

Molly is also a fully qualified secondary school teacher.

James Muldoon

Foundation Course Coordinator

James graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2009 and has performed in shows such as Steel Pier‘, ‘Children Of Eden‘, ‘Footloose‘, Sunday In The Park With George‘ and ‘The Lie’. James was also a featured vocalist on board Cunard’s luxury ocean liner, Queen Mary 2. As a performer, James has performed around the world and at prestigious events such as Tartan Day in New York City and sharing a stage with Alan Cumming.

Most recently James can be seen on BBC 1’s ‘I Can See Your Voice’.

As Musical Director, James has worked on Sunshine On Leith, Footloose, Grease, Bare, Boogie Nights and Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.

As Choreographer, James has worked on the Scottish Premieres of Bonnie & Clyde and Soho Cinders as well as Children Of Eden, American Idiot, Rock of Ages and Aida.

James is a fully qualified EMT (Estill Master Trainer) with Estill Voice International.

Louise Ferrier

Principal of Part-Time Studies

Louise has a Diploma in Professional Stage Dance and the ISTD Diploma in Dance Education. She studied in Edinburgh and furthered her training at Laine Theatre Arts London.

Louise has travelled the world dancing on prestigious cruise liners in the position of Dance Captain and Production Manager. In 2013 she completed the International Student Program at the World Renowned Broadway Dance Center, New York City.

She is the Principal of Centre Stage Performing Arts in Fife and Principal of Part-Time Studies at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts in Edinburgh. Louise has been a teacher, choreographer and adjudicator for many years, sharing her passion, love and knowledge with everyone she meets.

Dance Lecturers

Sarah Ballingall

Dance Lecturer

Originally from Glasgow, Sarah trained at Ballet West Scotland where she obtained a BA (Hons) in Professional Stage Dance which also included the opportunity to perform within three Scottish tours of Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.

Upon graduating Sarah knew that teaching was her passion and went on to further study at The Royal Academy of Dance where she completed her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies awarded by Darcey Bussell in 2017.

Sarah currently coaches three competitive dance teams which won the Scottish championship in 2018 and the overall UK championship in 2019.

Sarah is delighted to join the team at The MGA Academy.

Luis Drake

Dance Lecturer

Trained in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, and Tap (American and Irish) at Annette’s School of Dance (Quarteira, Portugal), Luis was qualified for and competed in the Dance World Cup 2011 (Paris, France), and had his choreography qualified for the two following Dance World Cups (Villach, Austria and Brighton, England).

Following that, he did the first two years of his BA in Dance at Escola Superior de Dança (Lisbon, Portugal), and the final year at Codarts University of the Arts (Rotterdam, Netherlands), where he had the opportunity to learn from internationally renowned teachers and choreographers, completing his BA in 2015.

Luis has since been based in Rotterdam and taught for over a year at the Technical University of Delft, toured the Netherlands and Belgium twice in Contemporary Dance company productions Ne Me Quitte Pas and Le Temps Perdu, by Belgian choreographer Isabelle Beernaert, worked for Princess Cruises, guest performed at events such as the Nederlands Acrobatiek Festival and most recently appeared in Pelléas et Mélisande by the Dutch National Opera.

Prior to his Dance experience, Luis held a regional title in kenpo karate (2001), regional and national titles in partner acrobatics (2003), and was vice-regional champion of high jump and javelin throw (2008) in the Algarve, Portugal. In high school, he studied advanced sciences, with the intent of pursuing astrophysics, up until he started dancing at the age of 16.

In early 2020, Luis began teaching at Edinburgh Festival Ballet School and The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, and is happy to be returning to Edinburgh as a full-time teacher at MGA.

Laura Oswald

Dance Lecturer

Laura is originally from St. Andrews and was introduced to dance at the young age of 3, by her grandmother who loved to tap dance!

At the age of 19, after completing a 3-year professional dancer’s course at Edinburgh Theater School of Dance and Drama, she embarked on her performing career which has taken her all over the world.

Laura’s professional dance career spanned 18 years, working for many cruise lines such as P&O Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and most recently Princess Cruises as Company Manager/Dance Captain. She then transitioned into the role of Project Dance Supervisor for Princess Cruises and has been living and teaching in Los Angeles for the past four years.

Laura recently moved back home to Scotland and is delighted to join the team at The MGA Academy.

Linda Brennan

Dance Lecturer

Linda hails from Glasgow and trained at Laine Theatre Arts in London.

Linda has been fortunate to have worked in all aspects of the industry as a dancer, singer and choreographer. Since graduating she has cruised the world with Celebrity Cruise lines as both dancer and lead vocalist. Her theatre credits include The Chuckles of Oz (Darlington Hippodrome), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Cardiff New Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (Cardiff New Theatre) and Aladdin (Hull New Theatre) with Qdos Entertainment.

She was also part of Walt Disney’s feature film Beauty and the Beast‬. ‬‬‬

Her choreography credits include productions all over Europe for ted Talent.

Ashley Jack

Dance Lecturer

Edinburgh-based hip hop dancer and choreographer www.ashleyjackdance.com

Trained at Edinburgh’s Telford college (now PASS), where she completed an HND in Professional Stage Dance, as well as by hip hop and house dance pioneers in New York, Paris and Holland, Ashley has nearly a decade of experience in both performing and teaching.

Ashley is a popular teacher in the community, teaching many classes each week to adults and children under her brand, House of Jack, as well as in studios, dance colleges and schools around Edinburgh.
She also organises regular workshops by international and local dancers. She has a love of hip hop culture, imparting its history and foundations to her students. Ashley has a passion for outreach and is very active in projects working with youth and community groups, and is keen to engage and involve young people.

Ashley has a strong interest in Hip Hop theatre, founding company Jackin’ the Box in 2010 and youth company the MiniJackers in 2014. In her theatre works, she often explores the dark or difficult elements of the human psyche, including sociopathy, social anxiety, OCD, insomnia, and effects of modern technology on young people, producing thought-provoking and gripping pieces. She also produces upbeat pieces for events, showcases and club nights. She was recently shortlisted for the 2017 Creative Edinburgh Independent Award, for her creative choreography and valuable work with young people.

Ashley was the only female to be picked as one of five choreographers to take part in Breakin’ Convention’s inaugural ‘Back to the Lab’ project in 2012, travelling to London to be mentored by Jasmin Vardimon and Jonzi D to choreograph a piece shown at renowned venue Sadler’s Wells.

Performance credits include numerous hip hop theatre performances, including at: Breakin’ Rules, Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, company, 2018; The Unknown plus guests, Galashiels, duet, 2017; Breakin’ Rules, Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, duet, 2017; NordDance, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, duet, 2015; Jam’n’Juice at Just Jam, Dance City, Newcastle, solo, 2014; Breakin’ Convention, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, solo, 2014; Breakin’ Convention, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 2012; Breakin’ Rules, Dundee Rep Theatre, 2011 and 2012; Jam’n’Juice at Just Jam, Dance City, Newcastle, 2011; several pieces at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival; on-stage appearances with artists Kelly Rowland, David Guetta, U2 and more; a wide variety of club nights and events, including the MOBO awards.

Her youth companies also regularly perform at prominent events, including Breakin’ Convention (2017), Breakin’ Rules (2018, 2017, 2015), the Audacious Women Festival (2017), the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival (2016), and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2018, 2015).

Adam McMillan

Dance Lecturer

Adam is a Glasgow based dancer who specialises in hip hop as well as having knowledge and experience within many other styles. His journey began when he was featured on the live semi finals of Sky 1’s Got To Dance back in 2011, originally as a soloist but soon pairing with another competitor. This experience motivated and propelled him into learning as much about dance as he could.

Studying in Glasgow at Reid Kerr for three years and achieving HND in dance and stage, he also trained with the pioneers of Hip Hop Dance, Elite Force Crew, both in Glasgow and New York, spending three months attending classes at Broadway Dance Centre. He then moved to London to continue further his studies and enrolled at London Studio Centre. 

Due to a road traffic accident Adam was then left with no choice but to return home and recover. Upon his recovery, he auditioned for Work at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and successfully left home to work away for another year in Dubai.

During his studies Adam has performed professionally in theatre, commercial, and corporate events. Some of which include, Commonwealth Ceremonies (2012 to 2014), BBC & Blue Peter (2012), Sky 1 Broadband (2012),  Miss Scotland Awards Ceremony Soloist (2011),  Pavilion Theatre Glasgow (2011/2012 – 2012/2013), Ferrari World Abu Dhabi (2015/2016), Dubai Arts Festival (2015), Burtons Men’s Summer Fashion Release (2015).

As well as performing on a variety of platforms he has taught all over the uk and aims to add to his list by teaching worldwide. Some places include, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Dundee, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, London, Budapest, Abu Dhabi, Dubai.

On top of performing and teaching Adam is also a member of Goblynz who are Scottish hip hop and street dance champions. He also participates in battles and events up and down the country and continues to explore the methods, techniques, and understandings of dancing as a form of self-expression. 

Very keen to be onboard with The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, he seeks to inspire and motivate all students to discover their inner artist and creative. 

John Burlington

Dance Lecturer

John made his west end debut at the age of 7 playing the part of Nipper in Oliver! at the London Palladium. He then went on to train at The Dance School of Scotland and Bird College of Dance and Theatre Performance in London gaining his BA (Hons).

Since graduating in 2009 John has danced all over the world and in theatres across the UK. Professional credits include: Dancer/Singer (Crystal Cruises); Musical Starnights (Best of Musicals, European Tour); Dancing Queen (Spirit Productions, UK Tour); Sleeping Beauty (Kenneth More Theatre, London); Dancing Queen (Spirit Productions, Asian Tour); Jack And The Beanstalk (King’s Theatre, Edinburgh); Dance Captain and Company Manager on Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria for Belinda King Creative Productions and QDOS Entertainment, onboard Cunard Line.

Most recently John has been working as assistant to choreographer Alan Harding for QDOS Entertainment. John also works regularly as a choreographer and Competition Judge all around the UK and Europe.

All or Nothing

Aerial Training

All or Nothing are Scotland’s leading aerial dance company. Based in Edinburgh they have been blending breathtaking aerial acrobatics with dance, theatre and contemporary circus since 2006.

The company’s creative work has seen them take on everything from large-scale outdoor spectacle to small scale theatre. They have hung from boats, abseiled down buildings and flown through trees at the Enchanted Forest. In 2015 they will be touring their new work for theatre, Three’s A Crowd.

All or Nothing create greater opportunities to experience aerial dance and theatre, running classes, workshops and training programmes, spanning both the professional and community sectors across Scotland.
The training at MGA is delivered by an experienced team of aerialists and performers including Andrew Green, Jennifer Paterson, Sharisse Tindell and Marie Williamson.

Acting Lecturers

Martyn Dempsey

Acting Lecturer

Martyn Dempsey is an Actor, Writer, Theatre Maker and Lecturer based in Edinburgh.

Training: East 15 Acting School, National Youth Theatre, Scottish Youth Theatre

As an actor Martyn has worked with companies across the UK including Les Enfants Terribles, Hull Truck, Derby Theatre, Gala Theatre, Chipping Norton Theatre, Greyscale, Gameshow, Supporting Wall, SCAMP Theatre, Mischief La Bas, Hopscotch Theatre, Tall Stories, Nabokov, Mansfield Palace Theatre, Magpie Puppet Company, Infinite Jest, Old Saw, Finborough Theatre, Scottish Opera, Young Vic and many more. Over the years Martyn has been involved in devising a range of productions which have toured both nationally and internationally to critical acclaim, as well playing in the West End. Martyn has regularly specialised in actor-musician work, new writing, devised performance, clowning, and children’s theatre.

As a writer Martyn’s work has been performed at venues including Theatre 503, Greenwich Theatre, Tron Theatre, Cambridge Junction and his play The Girl with the Imagination was shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award. Over the last year as a writer/composer Martyn has been involved with Mercury Musical Developments BEAM Follow Up group in Scotland.

As a lecturer, outreach practitioner, and facilitator Martyn has worked regularly delivering workshops and specialist courses for a wide range of organisations including MGA Academy, Royal Conservatoire Scotland, Old Vic New Voices, Almeida Theatre, Impact Arts, National Youth Theatre, Shakespeare Schools Festival, Scottish Youth Theatre, and East 15 Acting School. Martyn is also currently in his final year of study for the MEd in Learning and Teaching in the Performing Arts at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where his research specialisms have been mental wellbeing in the performing arts, devised theatre practices, and music composition within devised performance.

Samantha Robinson

Acting Lecturer

Samantha Robinson is a an Actress, Director, Writer and Teacher who trained at Rose Bruford College where she won the Laurence Olivier bursary award.

Her acting credits for theatre include: Two by Jim Cartwright at the New Vic, Rita, Sue and Bob Too (Out Of Joint and Royal Court Theatre London), Screwed (Theatre 503), Educating Rita (Mercury Colchester), The Grand Gesture (Northern Broadsides), Proper Clever and Dead Heavy Fantastic (Liverpool Everyman/Playhouse), The Tempest (Royal Exchange), Three Sisters On Hope Street (Hampstead Theatre), Order and Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down (The Lantern), The House Of Bernada Alba (Nuffield Theatre), The Laramie Project (Sound Theatre, Leicester Square), The Lemon Princess (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Untouchable (The Bush Theatre) and Song of the Western Men (Chichester Festival Theatre).

Television credits include: Little Boy Blue (ITV), Cilla (ITV), Five Days (BBC), The Girls Who Came to Stay (Granada), Shameless (Channel Four), Island at War (Granada), Final Demand (BBC), Holby City, Doctors and Casualty.

Film includes: Sixty Six (Working Title), and Jamaica Me Crazy (VBM Productions LTD); also FunTimes, a short film she wrote, and From Lewisham to Llandudno, a film she wrote and directed through lockdown of 2020.

Samantha’s recent directing credits include: Blink (The Lion and Unicorn), The Toad In The Hole (Barons Court), Motherhood Or Madness (Katzpace), Me, Mum and The Patriarchy (Tour/Tristan Bates), Darknet (The Union Theatre), and Attempts On Her Life (Drayton Arms Theatre). During Lockdown she created and directed the play Crazy For Loving You with ten students from LSDA in London for their socially-distanced graduation project. This can also be seen on YouTube.

Samantha is the Creative Director of theatre company Tiny Wife Productions.

Jake Norton

Acting Lecturer

Jake Norton studied drama at Liverpool John Moore’s University and then trained in Physical Theatre at Hope Street limited. He then cofounded the devising physical theatre ensemble Ullaloom Theatre company. The company devised and toured several successful horror productions across the UK and residency’s at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool. The company also wrote and performed The BBC radio series ‘Radio Macabre’ in 2003. Jake left the company in 2006 to pursue other acting interests.

Jake’s acting career has taken the form of an ‘all rounder’, something he is very proud of. He has over 70 professional credits in theatre, Shakespeare, television, film, radio and video game motion capture filming. He has performed throughout the UK, in Sweden, Mexico and Zambia.

In 2012 Jake travelled to Zambia to live and work with Bare Feet Theatre. There he designed a Physical Theatre devising course for the company to sell to international students, and before he left he taught the course to the Zambian facilitators who still now deliver it annually.

On his return to the UK Jake began lecturing and directing at Liverpool John Moore’s University and the Liverpool Institute for the performing arts (LIPA). He is now a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy after completing his qualification at Rose Bruford.

Jake is also a keen writer, having written four children’s books and several theatre immersion pieces.

In 2019 Jake left LIPA to become part of the MGA Academy family. He’s very glad he did as he’s loving life in Edinburgh!

Mark Hill

Voice Lecturer

Mark gained a BA (Hons) in Drama, Theatre and Television Studies from The University of Winchester before going on to Guildford School of Acting to study Musical Theatre. His first job after graduating was the UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

After years working as an actor and singer around the UK, as well as for Cunard and Princess Cruise Lines, Mark decided to return to Guildford School of Acting to complete an MA in the Practice of Voice and Singing. He has since taught at various drama schools including Guildford School of Acting, The Urdang Academy, London College of Music and Laine Theatre Arts. He is delighted to join the team at MGA.

Kris Harding

Acting Lecturer

Kris graduated with a First Class BA Honours in Musical Theatre from Mountview Academy of Performing Arts, London.

After graduating he went on to perform in London’s West End and on both National and International Tours. Roles included Rusty in Starlight Express, Narrator in Blood Brothers and Jamie in The Last Five Years.

Most recently Kris performed on BBC 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night live from the London Palladium with the Royal Symphonic Orchestra.

It has been my great privilege and pleasure to be a tutor here at the MGA Academy of Performing Arts for the last four years and I cannot wait to continue working with our students.

Tom Duncan

tom duncan edinburgh

Acting Tutor

Tom is the owner of photography and video production company Twin City Pictures, working as a director and cinematographer across Scotland producing media for theatre shows and marketing. Twin City Pictures is also one of the leading providers of actor services: headshots, showreels, selftapes and private coaching.

Tom trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting. Since graduating he has worked consistently for over a decade in theatre, film, television and commercials.

Theatre credits include: Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Hamlet, Much Ado about Nothing, Comedy of Errors, Winter’s Tale, Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Henry IV, The Tempest, Merchant of Venice, Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, This Fearful Country, Queen Margaret (for Bard in the Botanics); Coma (Arches); Romeo and Juliet (Erasmus Theatre Company); Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, Cinderella (The Byre Theatre); Jack and the Beanstalk, Beauty and the Beast (MA Productions); Aladdin (PACE); Mother Goose (MacRobert); Last of the Dragons (Manhattan Children’s Theatre).

Film and Television credits include: Sunset Song (Terence Davies); Scrotal Recall (Elliot Hegarty); Meet Me on the Southbank (Adam Rolston); Joyeux Noel (Christian Carion); The Celebrity (Simon Whyte). Commercial work for Sony, Real Radio and Channel 4.

Music Lecturers

Gerard Bentall

Music Lecturer

Gerard taught at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and also worked as Vocal Consultant for Paul Spyker Management. Over the years he has employed his services as a Vocal Coach for several Leading West End Artists including, Kerry Ellis, Louise Dearman, Matthew Rawle, Rufus Hound, Samantha Bond and Dean Collinson.

He has effectively instructed and mentored through the rehabilitation of voice problems.

Simon Hanson

Music Lecturer

After obtaining a degree in music at London University, where he specialised in orchestration and technical composition, Simon decided to follow his musical passions into the varied worlds of Musical Theatre. He has worked on numerous projects and productions of which the following are just a selection:

COMPOSER: Wind In The Willows, The Tales Of Hans Christian Andersen, Alice In Wonderland, Pinocchio (all touring nationally); All Creatures Great And Small (Gala Theatre, Durham); Man And The Donkey (Customs House, South Shields); Basketcases and The Princess Who Planted A Tree (for Victoria Stedeford); Sleeping Beauty The Musical (co-composer, arranger and orchestrator); Cinderella (for Key Theatre).

ARRANGER: Numerous concerts and cabaret performances including Hits From The West End (Hamilton Town Hall); Guys Sing Dolls, Bourbon Street Boys (Beyond Broadway Productions); Billy Joel Tribute Show (for Brian McCann and Royal Caribbean Cruises); co-orchestrator for Scottish Musical premiere John Paul Jones; arranger and orchestrator for Scottish Musical premiere Macpherson’s Rant; ongoing vocal and backing track arrangements for MGA Academy of Performing Arts productions and showcases including annual Christmas Wish concert in Usher Hall, Edinburgh; ongoing vocal and backing track arrangements for Beyond Broadway Experience Youth Projects.

MUSICAL SUPERVISOR/DIRECTOR: Me And My Baby (Gala Theatre, Durham); Durham Mysteries Festival 2010 (also composer/arranger); Hits Of The West End (Hamilton Town Hall); John Paul Jones (Scottish Premiere and concert staging in association with Scottish Chamber Orchestra); MacPherson’s Rant (Scottish Premiere); Last Five Years (PQA productions, Edinburgh Fringe); ship MD/Keys for Celebrity Cruises; production MD/Keys for We Will Rock You and Grease (Royal Caribbean Productions); MD and arranger for A Night At The Musicals (produced with Brian McCann for Royal Caribbean Cruises); MD for large number of Summer Youth Theatre projects in association with Ambassador Theatre Group and Beyond Broadway Experience Productions; MD of too many professional pantomimes to list(!) – currently resident MD and Supervisor based at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn for Evolution Pantomimes.

OTHER WORK: regular audition pianist for visiting production companies and Musical Theatre tutor and Musical Director at MGA Academy Of Performing Arts, Edinburgh.

Ian Sutherland

Music Lecturer

Ian graduated with a Bachelor of Music with Honours with a principal study in Composition from Edinburgh Napier University (studying under Kenneth Dempster), and received the Alexander McCall Smith Prize for Composition. This also included time spent studying Contemporary Composition Practice under Prof. Alex Sigman at the International College of Liberal Arts in Kofu, Japan as well as studying Conducting/Vocal Direction with Michael Harris, Master of the Music of St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh.

Since graduating, Ian has worked as musical director/musical supervisor for numerous productions of musical theatre in Scotland, including Sweeney Todd at the Brunton Theatre, Rabbie – a new production for the Burns and Beyond Festival, and most recently, a production of Jekyll & Hyde at the Rose Theatre for Gilded Balloon as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He is also the Musical Supervisor and Lead Orchestrator for the annual Edinburgh Gang Show.

Currently, Ian holds a position as Choral Scholar with the Choir of St. Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, and regularly features as a soloist for their CDs and international tours. He is also the Artistic Director for the Oto Collective which regularly performs as part of the St. Giles at Six concert series.

Linda Stewart

Music Lecturer

Linda is a freelance Musical Director, Pianist, Vocal Coach and Arranger based in Edinburgh. She also
teaches voice and piano for Edinburgh City Council schools, and on a freelance basis in Edinburgh.

Credits include: Music Director / Vocal Coach for Imagine Theatre; Deputy Keys on Wicked (National Tour); Music Director / Conductor Mamma Mia! (Royal Caribbean International); Music Director / Vocal Coach Howden Theatre; Ginger Monologues (Edinburgh Fringe); MGA Sumer School ‘Mary Poppins’; Carnegie, A Star-Spangled Scotchman (Edinburgh Fringe World Premier); The Producers (Churchill Theatre); Box Office Diva (Byre Theatre); Bard on Broadway (Oran Mor); Avenue Q (Assembly at the Fringe); RTÉ Tops of the Town (Gaiety Theatre, Dublin)

Linda trained at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Edinburgh University, and Trinity College of Music,
London, and is currently completing training with Estill Voice International.

Academy Staff

Tom Mullins

Resident Creative

Tom studied at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts from 2012-2015. His credits whilst training include Uncle Fester in The Addams Family, McCrae in Farewell My Son, Harry in Alan Ayckbourn’s Confusions, and Moritz Stiefel in Spring Awakening. After graduating from MGA, Tom moved to Barcelona to perform in Spring Awakening with The Institute of The Arts, Barcelona, before working with Peel Talent as Swing Principal Singer aboard several of their ship fleet. Upon deciding to change career path to the creative side of the industry, Tom has since worked with Captivate Theatre and Gilded Balloon, directing and choreographing Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables, Rent and Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical, in Edinburgh’s Rose Theatre and the world-famous Spiegeltent.

Within MGA, Tom has directed on the BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre Degree course, producing Fiddler On The Roof and Hadestown. He will also be directing Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music this coming summer, as well as Daisy Pulls It Off on the BA (Hons) in Acting Degree course. Outwith MGA, Tom is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of new Edinburgh-based production company, Arthur & Redpath Productions.

ACADEMY STAFF

James Mason

Finance Administrator

Carole Gibson

Administration and Systems Manager

Mandy Passmore

Recruitment and Admissions Co-ordinator

Shirley Hornig

Junior School Student Registrar

Ray Wilson

Facilities Manager

Megan Davidson

Executive Assistant and Events Coordinator

Emily Polson

Administration Assistant

Zoe Addison

Administration Assistant

Industry Staff

Tabitha Watson

Network Artist Management

Tabitha is the Managing Director of our Industry Partner, Network Artist Management.

Tabitha trained in Musical Theatre with a view always to move into Artist Management. Following a two year career as a professional performer, she returned to Edinburgh to work as an Agent’s Assistant with Network Artist Management’s (then, MGA Management) Founders, Andrew Gowland and Murray Grant.

Tabitha then spent some time working as an intern for SEA Personal Management in London before returning to Edinburgh to continue her journey with MGA Management representing artists from across the UK and beyond. Tabitha was promoted to become a full-time Agent in 2013 and in 2017, Tabitha was then promoted to Agency Director.

In October 2020, MGA Management became Network Artist Management and shortly after in February 2021, Tabitha took the reins and now stands as the Managing Director and Head Agent of the company.

Tabitha is qualified in Business Administration, Digital Marketing and Business Management and Leadership. She also lectures weekly in Professional Development for Performers here at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts as well as hosts Professional Development workshops annually for various schools throughout the UK. She works extremely closely with our third-year students at the time of showcase to ensure our students graduate with professional representation and support in the early stages of their career.

Tabitha passionately spends each day managing her clients and directing the continual growth of Network Artist Management. We are very proud to be working with Network Artist Management as our Industry Partner.

 

Published 11/6/21   9:38AM

Congratulations Caitlin!

Huge congratulations to our Musical Theatre class of 2018 graduate Caitlin Tipping! Caitlin is currently touring the UK as Jane Seymour, part of the new UK Tour cast of SIX The Musical. The whole MGA team couldn’t be more proud!

Published 13/5/21   2:49PM

Third Year Dancers get their Momentum!

It’s here! Momentum 2021 has arrived! As part of their professional development, our third-year Dance students work with a professional film team to shoot various dance styles, creating a unique, diverse and dynamic showreel as part of their promotional portfolio after graduation. This essential project, entitled Momentum, offers our students… » Read more

Published 29/3/21   3:48PM

BA (Hons) Acting course produce 'Back to Normal' with Wonder Fools

Earlier this term, our graduating class of Actors had the opportunity to work with Scottish-based production company Wonder Fools. While in isolation, the students developed and filmed a piece of work called Back To Normal. The performance takes the form of a mockumentary featuring material that varies from the dramatic… » Read more

Published 29/3/21   10:17AM

Laura Proudfoot joins the Board of Directors

MGA is proud to announce that Laura Proudfoot, our current Vice Principal, has been appointed to our Board of Directors to help guide MGA through our next exciting stages of development and expansion. Throughout her professional career, Laura has been actively involved in the development of performing arts education within… » Read more

Coming soon

A Christmas Wish 2021

20th-21st December, Usher Hall

New York Trip 2022

January 2022, New York City USA