(Course Co-Director - Acting)
Scott Johnson is a NIDA graduate and has worked extensively in theatre and television around Australia for the past twenty years. He is most recently known for playing Tommy Devito in Jersey Boys, for which he was nominated for a Helpmann, Green Room and Sydney Theatre Award. Scott’s other theatre credits include: Third World Blues, Cyrano de Bergerac and John Proctor in The Crucible for Sydney Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company’s, Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf and August Moon, Anatomy Titus Fall of Rome (QTC & Bell Shakespeare Co.), The Siege of Frank Sinatra (Ensemble Theatre), Amco Riders (Tamarama Rock Surfers), How like an Angel (Railway Street), Alone it Stands (Ross Mollison Productions), Hansel and Gretel and Go Pinocchio (STC & Theatre of Image), Crimes of the Heart (Marion Street Theatre Co.) and Wonderlands (Griffin Theatre Co.) for which he won a Glug award.
Scott’s film and television credits include: Four Quarters, Offspring, Neighbours, Home and Away, McLeod’s Daughters, Jessica, Monster (US), Breathe, Oops, Heaven on the Fourth Floor, Road Rage, Blue Heelers, Big Sky and Rescue Special Ops.
Scott Johnson’s vast industry experience has seen him work at NIDA and VCA. As Course Director of Showfit, Scott’s great passion for teaching provides students with the skills and opportunities to engage in professional theatre practice.
Suzanne has worked as a dialogue coach for the stage at The Melbourne Theatre Company, HIT Productions, Malthouse and Red Stitch. In music theatre Suzanne has supported artists on such shows as Sunset Boulevard, Chicago, Mamma Mia, The Wizard of Oz, The Full Monty, The Lion King, High School Musical, Jersey Boys, West Side Story, Annie, South Pacific and King Kong.
For the small screen Suzanne has coached actors on all major networks and on numerous series and mini-series including The Slap and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. In film, Suzanne has worked on The Heartbreak Kid and The Eye of the Storm amongst others.
Ian was an actor, singer and director who worked professionally in the industry for over 20 years. He was an original cast member of Cats (Australia, Hong Kong & NZ), an original cast member of Les Miserables (Sydney), performed in Jesus Christ Superstar (Australia and Asia) and in Dreamer (Korea). He has toured with Toe Truck Theatre, created the role of ‘Father Blasé’ in the hit comedy Late Night Catechism and appeared on TV in Young Doctors, Chances, Mr Squiggle and Friends and Neighbours.
While performing with Cats, Ian also took over the role of Assistant to the Director and was subsequently asked to act as Children’s Director for the Australian tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in both 1993 and 1998.
Ian established Centrestage Performing Arts School in Brunswick in 1990 with his wife Leanne. Over the past 25 years Ian has taught Drama, Singing and Musical Theatre at Centrestage Performing Arts School. The Centrestage Agency was established in 2000, representing students in Theatre, Film and Television. In 2006 the adult section of the agency was launched with Ian White Management and since then Ian has focused his energy on developing the careers of many adult performers in Musical Theatre, Stage, Film and Television. Currently there are Showfit alumni represented by IWM who have flourishing careers in Australia and overseas.
(COURSE CO-DIRECTOR - DANCE)
Leanne danced professionally for over 23 years in shows such as Evita, Oklahoma, Song and Dance (where she was nominated for an “Adam Award”), Cats (as the original Dance Captain), Possum Magic and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Dance Captain and lead dancer). Her extensive TV work includes; The AFI Awards, The Don Lane Show, The Mike Walsh Show and several variety specials. From 1993 to 1995 Leanne was Resident Director of Cats throughout Asia and Australia and Resident Choreographer on Sunset Boulevard at the Regent Theatre. In 1998 she was Associate Choreographer with Anthony Van Laast for The Boy From Oz and continued to maintain the choreography throughout its Australian run. In 1999 she was flown to London by Paul Dainty to meet with Arlene Phillips, the director of Saturday Night Fever, to consult on casting the show in Australia. She was also Associate Choreographer on Happy Days the Arena Mega Musical, original casting consultant on Mamma Mia, Choreographer for the Production Company’s, Mack and Mabel and choreographed Putting It Together at Chapel Off Chapel.
Leanne has dedicated her professional life to resident directing, choreographing, performing and teaching. With more than 40 years experience in the performing arts industry, she brings a broad repertoire of experience.
At Showfit, Leanne has drawn on her extensive knowledge to assemble some of Australia's finest Musical Theatre teachers.
(DIRECTOR OF MUSIC)
Mathew Frank has worked throughout Australia and internationally as a Musical Director, Conductor, Composer, Performer and Vocal Coach. A graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Mathew was most recently the Musical Director of Jerry’s Girls, La Cage Aux Folles and The Pirates of Penzance for The Production Company. Other shows include; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with Geoffrey Rush at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Private Lives (composer/musical director), Next to Normal and The Drowsy Chaperone for the Melbourne Theatre Company. Mathew was also the Associate Musical Director on the Company’s productions of Poor Boy, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (and STC season), Urinetown (and STC season), and the Assistant Musical Director on The Sapphires.
He was Musical Director/Arranger of the smash hit Britney Spears: The Cabaret, which has played Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne over the last 5 years and recently did the same jobs on Rhonda Burchmore’s Vinyl Viagra and Christie Whelan-Browne’s Show People for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. With writing partner Dean Bryant, he composed the musical Prodigal, first produced at Chapel Off Chapel in 2000 (Green Room Award for Best Original Score) and revived at fortyfivedownstairs. Prodigal became the first Australian musical produced in New York City, with its Off-Broadway debut at the York Theatre Company in 2002. Other shows with Bryant include Once We Lived Here (Green Room Award for Best New Musical) fortyfivesdownstairs, Virgins: A Musical Threesome (six Green Room nominations) Malthouse and presented at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and an adaptation of Sonya Hartnett’s The Silver Donkey.
With 20 years experience in the musical theatre profession, Mathew has combined his skills to direct and develop one of the most elite musical theatre courses in the country.
Sally-Anne hangs up her apron as loveable Mrs Brill in the smash hit, Mary Poppins after 3 years delighting audiences in Australia & New Zealand, to enter the award winner Wentworth prison as the new gruff, foreboding inmate Lucy Gambaro. Sal was nominated for a Greenroom Award for her role as Widow Corney in Oliver. She has performed in two productions for the MTC; Measure for Measure with her wonderful characterisation of Mistress Overdone and in 2000 was invited to perform with Zoe Caldwell in the 50th Anniversary Production of The Visit. Sister Sal captivated audiences for 16 months with the Australian Premier of Late Nite Catechism and continued a blockbuster tour in 22 Victorian centres, plus a 4 month Queensland Tour & was a highlight of the New Zealand Comedy festival. Her portrayal of Yenta, the Matchmaker, in Fiddler on the Roof was considered a tour de force.
Sal’s television credits include: Aunty Donna, Rickets Lane, It’s A Date, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, Librarians, Stingers, Stark Blue Heelers, Full Frontal, Damnation Of Harvey McHugh, Comedy Company, Good Guys Bad Guys, Genie from Down Under, Law of the Land, Boys from the Bush and The Comedy Festival Gala.
Sally-Anne is proudly teaching 1st and 2nd year Character and Improvisation at Showfit.
Two time Helpmann Award winning Verity Hunt-Ballard has fast become one of Australia’s most versatile leading ladies. Graduating from WAAPA in 2003, Verity is best known for her performance as Mary Poppins in Cameron Mackintosh’s smash hit musical of the same name for which she received a Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Musical, a Green Room Award for Best Female Artist in a Leading Role in Music Theatre, and nominations for the Sydney Theatre Award, Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical and a Glug Award nomination, Best Female Actor in Music Theatre – Mary Poppins.
Most recently Verity received her second Helpmann award for her portrayal of Charity Hope Valentine in Luckiest Productions sell out season of Sweet Charity. Her other stage credits include: Guy and Dolls (The Production Company), Shane Warne The Musical Concert, Jersey Boys (New Theatricals), The Rocky Horror Show (New Theatricals), Eureka, Virgins with the Malthouse Theatre and the New York Musical Theatre Festival, After the Beep for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Metro Street at the State Theatre Company of SA, for which she won a Theatre Critics Award for Best Female Performance. Verity is featured on the Shane Warne the Musical Concert Cast Recording, Eddie Perfect’s recording- Drink Pepsi Bitch, Dean Bryant and Matthew Frank’s- Virgins Cast Recording and the Mary Poppins Australian Cast Recording which is sold world wide.
Verity has appeared in ABC’s The Doctor Blake Mysteries, on Vision Australia’s Carols By Candlelight, Good Morning Australia, The Today Show, Sunrise, The Circle, The Kerrie- Anne Show, Saturday Disney, The Footy Show, The AFL Grand Final, The Australian Open Grand Final and Mornings on Channel 9. Verity was included in the inaugural edition of the Who’s Who of Australian Women 2011 and is dedicated to sharing her broad industry experience with Showfit students.
Teachers and guests
Sue Ellen Shook
Michael Lavine (USA)
Rowena Balos (USA)