Staff

The Drama School draws its staff exclusively from active Industry professionals. Not only does this ensure the currency and relevance of its training but also provides students with valuable contacts in a wide range of performance and 301 Moved Permanently technical areas. Recent staff have included:

Trent Baker – Head of Acting

Trent Baker has over 20 years’ experience in the Australian entertainment industry as an educator, theatre director and actor.

He is a graduate of WAAPA’s three-year acting stream, the VCA’s postgraduate directing program and

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an International Fellow of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London.

One of the 12 actors that created Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Trent has performed for Melbourne Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, Red Stitch, Railway St Theatre, 45 Downstairs and


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La Mama theatre, amongst others.

As an educator he has worked previously for W.A.A.P.A, The V.C.A. MTC Education, Bell Shakespeare, St Martins Youth Theatre, Monash and La Trobe universities and The National Theatre Drama School. He is also a teaching artist internationally for ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association).

Trent has directed for MTC Education, W.A.A.P.A, The V.C.A, Spiegeltent Melbourne and The National theatre. Other independent credits include Brilliant Traces for Red Stitch and the inaugural productions for both The Chapel Loft Theatre (Burn This) and Human Sacrifice Theatre (True West).

Danielle Carter

Danielle Carter

At 16 Danielle won a regular role on the 80’s series, Richmond Hill.

After Richmond Hill wrapped she toured for a year in the national tour of Dags and then went onto study and graduate from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1993.

Since graduating from NIDA she was worked extensively in film, television and theatre in Australia. She has been a series regular on Mal.com, Something in the Air and Medivac. She has worked for various theatre companies from Sydney Theatre Company to the Malt house Theatre, from the Ensemble to La Mama and has toured regionally and nationally with new Australian works.

Her international productions include Knowing, The Lost World, BeastMaster, Tales of the South Seas, Flipper, Salem’s Lot and Fearless.

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Les Cartwright

Les has been passionate about voice and performance since early childhood, seizing every opportunity to perform for family and friends, and as a teenager, forming troupes of young actors to tour variety concerts. After training as a Voice and Speech specialist teacher, he was awarded the Dorothy Dwyer Memorial Scholarship by the University of Melbourne, and pursued advanced studies in luminary teachers Greta Colson, Cicely Berry, Patsy Rodenburg and Rowena Balos.

In 1992 he was invited to the first International Conference of Theatre Voice Teachers at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK; and in 2010 he presented a seminar-workshop for the British Voice Association on Extending the Actor’s Range.

In Addition to teqaching at the National Theatre Drama School, Les ahs taught voice for the MTC and Malthouse, as well as VCA, NIDA, Artd Academy Ballarat and 16th Street Studio.

He has worked as Voice/Dialect coach on many theatre productions, including The Boy from OZ (Todd McKenny tour), Reg Cribb’s Last Train to Freo, Stephen Sewell’s Nil, Cat and Buried, and Marguerite Duras’ Agatha.

Memorable music theatre gigs range from: Working, the studs Terkel/Stephen Schwartz musical with 14 different American dialects; Façade, the Edith Sitwell/William Walton confection of verse set to music and spoken to an orchestrated score; and The Soldier’s Tale a morality tale/opera by Igor Stravinsky.

For TV he is voice consultant to Fremantle Media Group and works regularly with the actors in Neighbours.

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Vincent Crowley

Vincent trained as an actor but has spent much of his career working in Dance Theatre and Physical Theatre. He has worked in Australia, the US and Europe with companies and artists such as Meryl Tankard’s Australian Dance Theatre, TanzTheater Basel, Salzburger Festwochen, Schauspiel Koeln, Steierischer Herbst, Spike Jones and Force Majeur.  He is a founding member of both Splinter Group and Torque Show and has co-created a number of theatre works with these companies including “Intimacy”, “Madame” and the Green Room Award winning “Lawn”.  “Intimacy” was invited to London’s Southbank Centre in 2014 as part of the Unlimited Festival and “Madame” recently premiered as part of The State Theatre Company of South Australia’s 2015 season to rave reviews.

His broad range of physical training and performance experience ranges from classical ballet through contemporary dance, contact improvisation, personal training and the Feldenkrais Method.  He has taught movement to actors and dancers in both professional companies and tertiary institutions in Germany and Australia.  He has been teaching at the National Theatre Drama School Advanced Diploma since 2012.

Margaret Mills

A graduate of VCA School of Drama Margaret has performed in over thirty productions with MTC, The Malthouse, La Mama, Belvoir St, STC, Black Sequin Productions, Whistling in the Theatre and Ranters Theatre with such writers and directors as Andrew Bovell, Jenny Kemp, Neil Armfield, Roger Hodgman, Marguerite Duras, Daniel Keene, Raimondo and Adriano Cortese, Melissa Reeves, and Noelle Janaczewska. Credits include The Doll’s House, Angels in America, A Cheery Soul, History of Water, Still Angela, The Black Sequin Dress, Speaking in Tongues (from which Lantana was adapted). She has co-written several produced plays. Her film work includes The Golden Braid (Paul Cox), Bachelor Girl (Rivka Hartman) and the international award winning short film The Other Days of Ruby Rae.

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Andrew Gray

Andrew Gray was Artistic Director of Melbourne Playback 2006 – 2013, rejoining the company in 2003 after returning from living in New York for 5 years. Andrew currently facilitates both corporate and community performances for the company, as well as acting and leading workshops.

Andrew has recently directed Three Dog Night at the Adelaide Festival Centre and 45 Downstairs, The Winterling for Red Stitch Actors Theatre and Blackrock for the VCA Foundation program. Andrew completed his Post-Graduate in Directing at VCA in 2007, having originally trained at the VCA as an actor. In 2008, he was nominated for a Green Room Award for Best Male Actor in an Independent Theatre Production, All My Sleep and Waking at La Mama.

Andrew’s teaching credits include the VCA, MTC Education Program, National Theatre Drama School, Victoria University Performing Arts Program, Deakin University Dance Program as well as public and corporate workshops for Melbourne Playback Theatre Company

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Rob Meldrum

Rob has worked in theatre for 40 years, as an actor , director and teacher. As an actor he was a member of the APG collective at the Pram Factory, Carlton, and went on to work as a freelance actor with all the major theatre companies, including Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Playbox, the South Australia Theatre Company and Bell Shakespeare, where he was an ensemble member for three years. His work has encompassed everything from Moliere’s The Misanthrope for STC to Ibsen’s Miss Julie for MTC with lots of Shakespeare in between. He has been thrice nominated for a Green Room Award and was part of the cast that won Best Ensemble in 1998 for Andrew Bovell’s Speaking in Tongues. Rob’s teaching practice has developed from his training as a voice teacher with Rowena Balos, and subsequent laboratory work with Rex Cramphorn, Jenny Kemp, Renato Cuocolo, Robert Draffin and Lindy Davies, as well as 8 years as a lecturer in acting in the Drama School at The Victorian College of the Arts. He has also directed at both a collegiate and professional level, as well as devising his own work. Aside from this he narrates audio books for Bolinda.

 Lisle Jones

Lisles early career in Australia included joining Stratford’s Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company on their first Australian Tour. After an extended period of work with Gertrude Johnston at the National Theatre he went to Britain in 1958 were he worked extensively as a professional actor and headed the drama department of London’s Arts Educational Schools for a number of years. He was then invited to return to Australia to join recently formed WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts) first as Head of Acting, then as Head of Theatre Department. He retired in 1995 and returned to Melbourne (his home town) to live in St Kilda. There, in 2012, he reestablished his connection with The National Theatre and its greatly expanded drama school as an honorary lecturer.