Our Team


When you are sending your children to an activity you ask yourself a few questions; What are the tutors like? Are they positive role models? Do they know their stuff? Will my children be safe? Will my children be inspired? We also ask these questions of all our tutors and staff. Hunter Drama has the most dynamic and inspiring team of creative artists working with young people in the Hunter region. It is our mission to inspire young people to be the best versions of themselves and our tutors practice what they preach. Every week they turn up as the best versions of themselves ready to rock the socks off our students.

Daniel Stoddart - Founder/CEO

Daniel is one of the Hunter’s most well established performers in our region. He is an actor, director, artist, producer, entertainer, singer, business owner, blogger, designer, entrepreneur, public figure, teacher and writer. He is a busy guy!

With credits to his name for performing, directing and producing events Daniel has over 14 years of theatrical and event experience in the Hunter, Sydney and beyond

Daniel is a Multi-City of Newcastle Drama Award winner with recent theatrical credits including The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) for Popular…

Hayley Stoddart - General Manager

Hayley grew up dancing in the Newcastle area and eventually teaching for over 10 years It was this experience that saw her co-found the Musical Theatre courses here at Hunter Drama

Her theatre credits include City of Newcastle Drama nominations for Choreography for the productions Beauty and the Beast JR…

James Chapman - Program Director & Drama tutor

James is an actor, writer, director and producer from Newcastle, NSW His most recent stage credits include Circumference Of A Squirrel, Mamma Mia and Year Of The Rooster
He holds an Advanced Diploma of Arts (Acting) and has worked as a workshop facilitator with several well known drama schools in Newcastle…

Alison Hodge - Head of Musical Theatre

Alison has more than 10 years of teaching experience, as well as many years of training both in Sydney and Newcastle Alison has trained vocally with Kym Parrish in Sydney, and within this time studied the Estill Vocal Method, with a heavy focus on vocal health and anatomy

Alison has…

Allison Van Gaal - Head of Drama

Allison holds a Bachelor of Music (Voice) through  the  University of Newcastle and a post Graduate Diploma of Education ( University New England)

Allison has performed in over 80 local productions in her 28 years involved in the Newcastle Theatre Community, where she has had numerous lead roles in musicals and plays,  she…

Lesley Coombes - Drama

Lesley has had over twenty years experience in theatre Lesley was artistic director of Maitland Jr Repertory Theatre from late 2009 – 2014, teaching drama and directing their annual productions Lesley has a passion for teaching and is a qualified primary school teacher with Masters and is currently working…

Daniel Stranger - Drama

Dan is a performing arts worker from the United Kingdom Since moving to Australia in 2009, Dan’s work as a director and theatre-maker includes Ubu Roi (2013), The Tempest (2014), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2015 & 2018), Insert Drama Here (2015), Children’s Stories (2016), Titus Andronicus (2016), Wild Words…

Rylee O'Rourke - Drama

Rylee started her theatre journey in high school where she landed her first main role as Mike TV in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Since leaving school she has gone on to study a Bachelor of Secondary Teaching (Drama and English) at the University of Newcastle During…

Tim Turner - Drama

Tim is an actor, educator and entertainer, with a strong passion for teaching and instilling the joy of performance in young people Tim studied acting and theatre and holds a Bachelor of Arts/Communications majoring in Drama, Media Production and Public Relations from the University of Newcastle During university, Tim…

Adam Soldo - Drama

Adam is an enthusiastic young actor, writer and director who started his training in 2013 where he represented his school in the Newcastle Regional Drama With this, he pursued acting at Lambton High School where he was accepted into the Accelerated Drama Program which enabled him to participate…

Isabella Parker - Musical Theatre

Isabella started dancing at the age of 2 at Kicks Dance Academy She  then moved to Newcastle Dance Academy at age 6, where I began my training in Ballet (RAD – Advanced Foundation Certificate), Jazz, Tap (Pullar’s tap syllabus), Lyrical, Contemporary and Musical Theatre She has represented Newcastle…

Brooke Lidbury - Musical Theatre

Brooke has been performing in Newcastle and aboard for the last 15 years After completing her education, she went onto study at the University of Newcastle and Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK

Brooke has performed in various musicals such as MAMMA MIA (The Very Popular Theatre CO) ROCK OF AGES…

Samara Gibson - Drama

Samara is an experienced high school teacher who has taught Drama in schools throughout Sydney and the Hunter Region for over 17 years She holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Drama and a Diploma of Education in Secondary – Drama Under her direction her HSC Drama students…

Mikaela Whitehead - Musical Theatre

Mikaela Whitehead is a singer, actor, dancer and writer based in the Hunter Valley, NSW She is a 2020 graduate from The Australian Institute Of Music in Melbourne with a Bachelor of Music majoring in Music Theatre In 2019 she completed the Associated Studios part-time advanced diploma course and…

Chauntelle O'Brien

Chauntelle has been dancing for 26 years in styles such as Classical Ballet (BBO & RAD), Jazz, Tap (LGTDA & BBO), Contemporary, Show Girl and National Character

Chauntelle successfully created and operated CADA (Chauntelle Alydia Dance Academy) for 6 years and has been a dance teach for 16 years at…

Joel Howlett - Magician

Joel Howlett – Joel Howlett is a full time professional Magician, Juggler and Speaker who performs all over Australia at both private and corporate events Magician, Illusionist, Roving, Closeup Magic, Audience Participation

His love of performing started at the age of just six years old and since that time he has…