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

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. Peters acting training was completed at QUT, Brisbane and he has performed with Queensland Theatre Company, La Boite Theatre and Harvest Rain Theatre in Brisbane. He also has a vast amount of experience in directing large and small scale productions.

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.

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 thirty 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 in-school drama and literacy projects.
  • General Manager – Business Development.

Background: Juliet trained as a primary school teacher and her expertise lies in linking Drama and Literacy, Applied Theatre and Theatre in Education. Juliet also works as a casting manager and producer.  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’.

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.

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.

Andy Brigden

Andy has a BA Hons Performance Writing and Visual Performance, PGCE Secondary Drama, Certificate in Film and Television Production, graduate of the Venue Management School, LAMDA stage management

Andy is an experienced, teacher, actor, director and event manager. We are absolutely thrilled to have Andy on board and look forward to her becoming more and more involved in the business. Andy will be taking on more classes in Havelock North and will be managing the Corporate Theatre side of things with Expertease.