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 P&O Cruises, The Entertainment Department, Musical Starnights (European tour), Union Square Opening Ceremony (Aberdeen), 12 Tenors (European tour), Moulin Rouge TV Promotion (Germany). He has also directed and choreographed for musical theatre stars Adam Garcia, Ruthie Henshall, Kerry Ellis, Christina Bianco, Jon Lee and many more for concert series Tonight from the West End.

Murray is the founder and creative director of The MGA Academy of Performing Arts (Edinburgh), MGA Management, Beyond Broadway Productions and Fierce Theatre Schools. He is a founder and Trustee of the MGA Foundation, a charity offering financial support to people from non-privileged backgrounds in Scotland to pursue Performing Arts training. 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 Africa and World Final in Croatia.

murraygrant     murraygrant85

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 began her dance training at the Rebecca Walker Dance School in Edinburgh. At the age of 15 she gained a scholarship with the British Ballet Organisation (BBO) in London, training with teachers from the BBO, The Royal Ballet and Art’s Educational schools. She began her full time training in 1994 at the Theatre School of Dance and Drama in Edinburgh, where she graduated with teaching certificates from the Royal Academy of Dance (RTS) and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (AISTD). 
 
Through her training, Laura has gone on to achieve a first class BA(Hons) Degree in Dance, and is a fully qualified Teacher in Further Education (TQFE). She has been involved in promoting the development of dance in education in Scotland through her work as a Dance specialist and qualification assessor for the Scottish Qualifications Association (SQA). 
 
In 1997 Laura took up a full time position at Edinburgh’s Telford College as a Course Team Leader for HND Professional Stage Dance, and later progressed to the position of Programme Team Leader for Dance, overseeing the NC, HND and degree dance programmes. 
 
She has choreographed for venues such as the Edinburgh Kings and Festival Theatres, and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival.  She has worked as a visiting choreographer for The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, The University of Arizona, and Disney Performing Arts.  

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 with an Honours Degree in Musical Theatre. James is also a fully certified EMT (Estill Master Trainer) with Estill Voice International.

As a performer, James has performed in musicals including Footloose, Steel Pier, Children Of Eden, The Life and Sunday In The Park With George. James was also a featured Vocalist on board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.

For the past eight years, James has been performing with Fiona Kennedy in a new Scottish Musical The Kist.The show has taken him on tour around the UK and over to New York and also allowed him to share the stage and work with Alan Cumming.

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

As a 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 very excited to have joined the team at The MGA Academy Of Performing Arts as Course Coordinator for Foundation Courses.

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

Simon obtained a degree in music from the University of London where he specialised in orchestration and technical composition.

He has composed and arranged music for a wide variety of productions which have toured the UK and worked as Musical Director with a number of companies throughout the country. As Head Of Music with MGA, he is involved with the teaching of Ensemble Singing, Integration (Acting Through Song) and performance project work. He has also worked extensively with large Youth Theatre groups in Scotland and England, including Live Nation and Scottish Youth Theatre.

As half of the partnership JS Music Solutions, he also provides backing tracks and arrangements to MGA for use in their productions.

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.

Gillian McLaren Scott

Music Lecturer

As Scotland’s only Estill Mentor & Course Instructor with Estill Voice International, Gillian set up her own company McLaren Scott Vocals in 2016. She is a successful private singing teacher, running regular courses and workshops. Gillian has worked as a Vocal Coach on the Audition Tour for The Voice 2017, Voice Kids 2017-2020 and Change Your Tune for ITV.

Gillian is a voice specialist, advising on the “Sing to Breathe” project with The Cheyne Gang Scotland and joined the Teaching Faculty at the MGA Academy of Performing Arts in September 2017.

Gillian is a graduate of Glasgow University, where she attained an MA with Honours in Music and Drama. She has taught extensively in the Further Education Sector and spent 21 years as Curriculum Leader for Performing Arts at NCL (formerly Motherwell College), which has the accolade of being the first European Educational Affiliate with Estill Voice International. Gillian was responsible for the writing and development of two unique BA Honours Degrees in Musical Theatre and Acting in collaboration with Northumbria University, with graduates now working successfully on both a national and international level.

Gillian is also an accomplished Theatre Director and Musical Director with credits including Company at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, We Will Rock You at the Motherwell Concert Hall and the Scottish student premieres of Children of Eden, Rent, Bare, The Boys in the Photograph, Bonnie & Clyde, Soho Cinders and Lift.

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.

Junior School

Sarah Ford

 

Sarah studied acting and Musical Theatre at Edinburgh’s Telford College and continued her training at Edinburgh Napier and Queen Margaret Universities to gain her degree in Acting for Stage and Screen.

Since then Sarah has performed and worked on various projects within Edinburgh and Fife.

Sarah teaches among many Youth Drama and Musical Theatre schools through-out the Lothians and Fife, and enjoys passing on all she can to the future generation within the Arts.

Natalie Marks

 

Natalie trained at London Studio Centre, on the Classical Ballet programme, and graduated in 2005 from Images of Dance, the graduate company of London Studio Centre.

After graduating, she performed for a few years in Estonia in the Vanemuine Theatre, as well as other eastern European Ballet companies, where she performed in many classical ballets, as well as modern works and regularly danced in the operas.

Natalie then went on to study at the Royal Academy of Dance and embarked on the Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma programme, graduating in 2011. She is an RAD-registered teacher and teaches freelance across Scotland at many different schools, including The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and New College Lanarkshire.

Natalie has gained a large wealth of experience and now wants to share this, in order to teach and train students to the highest standards. Natalie also owns her own Ballet school, which she opened in 2017 in Glasgow.

David Wood

 

David is a theatre director, facilitator and tutor based in Glasgow. Having trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, his practice is rooted in ensemble and collaboration.

David has worked with some of Scotland’s most renowned theatre companies and directed award-nominated shows for venues ranging from the Edinburgh Fringe to Singapore.

As a facilitator he’s worked across Scotland, always aiming to give young people the right tools to support their own individual development.

Mark Cameron

 

Mark was born and raised in the North East of Scotland, where his passion for performing and dance began. Starting his dance training at Edinburgh’s Telford College, Mark then continued on to London Studio Centre to finish his training.

Mark has performed all over the world from Europe to Australia to the US. He was recently seen on HMT stage as part of QDOS Pantomines, and has been part of the QDOS family for over four years now, including playing the role of Prince Charming in Cinderella. He is currently working on projects for NTS, Make a Wish, PAH8 LTD, Befriend A Child and many other corporate and professional events.

He started his professional career working for Disneyland Paris in the world premiere of Animagique. He was a dancer/aerialist in Tarzan, Encore and The Lion King for Disney in Tokyo and Florida. Mark has danced around the world with cruise lines such as Celebrity Cruises, Transocean Tours, Princess Cruises and P&O Australia as a dancer, dancer/singer and Dance Captain. He worked with Cirque de Soleil in Las Vegas, Michael Curry in Paris, William Forsyth in Australia and was Dance Captain on the Best of the Musicals Germany Tour.

Mark has choreographed for many Scottish and UK companies. He has worked as a dance tutor/choreographer for Scottish Youth Theatre in Aberdeen and Glasgow and also Stagecoach UK. He has choreographed many corporate events in the UK and Europe such as mary queen of scots, Hamlet, Chevron Oil, Barclays Bank, Bacardi, trend Magazine, BG group, Hannah Mileys Farewell and many more. He has recently set up his own corporate entertainment company called Mark Cameron Dance which is doing well and has choreographed and produced many events in the past year. His company also provides first dance and hen party events – find out more at www.markcamerondance.com

TV and film work includes Braveheart, Vodafone, Corona, Bacardi, D2 Clothing, Asda, Barclays Bank and a few music videos.

Mark teaches various styles of dance from musical theatre, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, ballroom and many more at various locations in and around Scotland and the UK. He is teaching jazz, musical theatre, singing and contemporary for both youths and adults at MGA’s Stage Acadamies, Creative Stage the Aberdeen Academy of Dance, Scottish Youth Theatre and a few theatre groups around Scotland. He also runs his own classes for youths all over Scotland and has a vast experience in teaching both adult and kids.

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

Wendy Clydesdale

Finance Manager

James Mason

Finance Administrator

Carole Gibson

Administration and Systems Manager

Anne Mullins

Admissions Manager

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 trained as a Musical Theatre performer 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 MGA’s Directors, Andrew Gowland and Murray Grant and fork as an intern for SEA Personal Management, in London. Tabitha was promoted to become a full-time Agent in 2013 and in 2017, Tabitha was then promoted to Agency Director standing alongside both Murray and Andrew.

Tabitha is qualified in Business Administration, Digital Marketing and also lectures in Professional Development for students at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts. Here, she also manages the growth of our Clients In Training with the assistance of her associate Agent, Stuart Gray.

Tabitha is based between the Network Artist Management Edinburgh and London offices managing all clients alongside her team.

Stuart Gray

Network Artist Management

Stuart began his training at SLP college in Leeds where he was a recipient of a DADA Scholarship award. Stuart then went on to complete his training at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts graduating in 2013 with a Diploma in Musical Theatre.

Since then, Stuart has had a successful career as a performer traveling all over the world working for various well established companies. Keen to move over to artist management, Stuart took on the role of Agency Assistant/Junior Agent with MGA Management in March 2018 primarily based in their Edinburgh offices working alongside and assisting Tabitha. In November 2019, Stuart was then promoted to full-time Agent managing his own book of clients alongside the Clients in Training!

 

Published 10/11/20   6:44PM

Early bird booking for Summer Courses!

For this entire month of November we’re offering 50% off the cost of our Summer School and Week In The Life courses in 2021. Don’t miss out – book now and take advantage of this amazing discount! A Week In The Life — 2nd to 6th August 2021 Experience what… » Read more

Published 19/9/20   12:28PM

Join us next year - applications are open!

We’re already thinking about the future and can announce the opening of our Full-Time training application process for entry in September 2021. First Round of applications are being taken NOW – and this round will close on November 27th. You can apply right now through our online registration system and… » Read more

Published 18/9/20   6:44PM

We're back!!

We are thrilled to have had a fabulous first week welcoming back all our Full-Time Training students into MGA Facilities and getting to know our new first years. It’s been wonderful to welcome and work with over 100 new students and staff as this new academic year commences. Also a… » Read more

Published 12/6/20   5:50PM

End of the year, looking to the future...

Well, it’s been quite some journey, but we’ve arrived at our final day of teaching of the academic year. And what a year it has been! We are incredibly proud of each and every one of our students and faculty for their outstanding efforts and strength demonstrated, not just over… » Read more

Coming soon

Third Year Cabarets

Graduating Class of ’21

Impulse Dance Festival

Graduating Class of ’21