Our team of talented teachers, performers, designers and facilitators are innovative, responsive and creative!

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Peter Cottrell

Managing Director

B.Ed (Adult Education); Assoc. Dip. Arts (Acting); Dip Teaching (Primary)

Peter is trained in both acting and teaching with 30 years experience in the industry.

Within The Drama Workshop Peter is:

  • Teacher of Play On drama classes.
  • Director of HaBYT (Hawkes Bay Youth Theatre).
  • Writer and performer for Expertease Corporate.
  • Workshop facilitator for staff development and recruitment programs.

Background: Peter founded Expertease in Australia and worked alongside change management specialist, writer and actor Leigh Walker to develop the Expertease concept and characters. He has also worked as an Adult Educator,  secondary drama and performance specialist, primary school teacher and media studies teacher.

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Juliet Cottrell

Managing Director

M. App Theatre and Drama Education (Hons); B.Ed (Primary); Dip. Teaching (Drama major).

Juliet is a drama teacher of over twenty‐five years experience at all levels of education including tertiary.

Within The Drama Workshop Juliet is:

  • Teacher of Play On drama classes.
  • Writer and performer for Expertease Corporate.
  • Workshop facilitator for staff development and recruitment programs.
  • General Manager – Business Development.

Background: Juliet trained as a primary school teacher and her expertise lies in Applied Theatre and Theatre in Education. Juliet also works as a casting manager and producer. She takes the majority of the drama classes across Havelock north and Napier and deals with the day to day running of the business. Juliet has just completed a Masters of Drama Education and Applied Theatre (Hons) and has graduated with 1st class honours.



Amanda Jackson

Amanda is a writer, educator and performer.

Her creative writing skills have blessed many of our conference and murder mysteries and she is an accomplished playwright recently bringing ‘Over the Top – An ANZAC play to the stage in Napier. Amanda plays roles in conference work and murder mysteries as well as teaching in the Play‐On! Drama classes. Amanda’s recent theatre credits include The Merry Wives of Windsor at Church Rd, Artie Gets his Man and Four Flat Whites.


Jane Sutherland

Jane is well known in Hawkes Bay theatre circles for her accomplished performance work across many genres.

Our resident ‘Detective’ in the murder mysteries and the coach’s offsider ‘Stitch’, Jane can turn her hand to any role and has been known to play up to 15 roles in one play. Janes recent theatre credits include: ‘Artie gets his Man’, ‘Four Flat Whites’ and ’The 39 Steps’.

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Champa Maciel

Champa trained at New Zealand School of Dance, and since graduating in 2008 has been freelance acting, directing, choreographing and teaching dance.

Since graduation, her life has made a massive and passionate shift towards theatre. She performs as much as she possibly can, and has a passion for Shakespeare. Besides teaching contemporary dance and ballet to older teens, Champa tutors for Play on and HaBYT and features in our murder mysteries and conference work.

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Lisa-Jane Hay

Lisa-Jane trained as an Actor in New Zealand before venturing overseas to further her studies in vocal technique (pertaining mostly to the spoken word) with Actors.

While overseas she worked with renowned vocal tutors including Cicily Berry, and Kristin Linklater. A tutor also at NYDS (National Youth Drama School) where Lisa-Jane has been tutoring Voice for over 11 years. She tutors nationwide working with vocal students (specialising in the spoken word) and runs many workshops for youth around NZ incorporating vocal drama work and vocal presentations. She now works as a Public Performance Coach with her company One Voice Consulting Limited and also is the Director of Performing Arts at Iona College.


Daniel Betty

Has a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts from Unitec in Auckland.

He has worked as an actor, musician, director and theatre educator for many years. He has a passion to see actors develop both physically and mentally through character work and encourages individuals to enhance skills using acting techniques.

Daniel has recently returned to New Zealand from Melbourne where he was the owner and artistic director of DR Productions, director of programs of Drama Victoria (the teachers subject association), assessor, writer and moderator for the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA), educational writer for Melbourne International Festival and teacher of drama and theatre studies throughout Victoria.

Kate Tarrant

Kate has an MTA – Masters in Theatre Arts, Directing  Toi Whakaari, NZ Drama School;
Teaching Training Certificate 1996, Wellington College of Education and a
Bachelor of Arts, Otago University
Kate is a Drama teacher who has training at both Otago University and Toi Whakaari, New Zealand Drama School. She has worked as a drama teacher at several secondary schools, most recently Napier Girls High School and has considerable success in the Sheliah Winn Festival for Shakespeare in Schools.
Being a Mum has also rekindled Kate‘s joy for storytelling and children’s theatre. You may have spotted her recently performing in the library as her alter-ego “Gertie Bubble” although the purple hair wasn’t her usual!
When she is not making theatre Kate enjoys spending quality time being silly with her kids or a spot of Salsa Dancing.

Jenny Oliver

Jenny has a Diploma of  Teaching and a Bachelor of Education.

Jenny has over thirty years experience in education and ran Spring in Hawkes Bay before taking up a leadership position in a school until the end of 2016. We are delighted to have Jenny joining The Drama Workshop in 2017 to bring Spring back to life. Many families have experienced Jenny’s magic touch with music and drama themed classes for new-borns to 6 yr olds. Jenny will be running the classes in both the Havelock North Green Room and the Napier Studio.