Meet The Team
TAKE CENTRESTAGE & TRAIN WITH THE BEST!
A TEAM YOU CAN TRUST
Training and experience is everything! Our coaches are industry experts. All coaches have both vocational training and professional industry experience. All senior coaches have been trained at the best vocational schools in the UK and New York. Our coaches are passionate about students reaching their full potential and growing in confidence, courage and creativity.
Kaijah Bell, Co-Founder & Director
- Trained at Royal Central School of Speech & Drama
- Over twenty years industry experience
As a professional drama coach entrusted with the education of young minds it is integral to me that my students grow academically, personally, and ethically. I establish a mutual respect and honest rapport with my students, in which communication and trust is of the highest priority. I act as a mentor to students, working on building their confidence and self-esteem, encouraging them to be courageous and take risks in a safe environment. I create bespoke lessons tailored to get the most out of each individual.
With over twenty years’ industry experience I can’t remember life without drama. My training and performance experience began age eight with Gloria Berry at Bright Sparks Stage School. Before I began my full time vocational training I attended a series of summer courses at RADA and I concluded my training at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and trained to be an actress. During my acting career I mainly worked in theatre including Hammersmith Lyric, Soho Theatre, The Albany Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Rose Theatre but to name a few. I have worked in Radio, TV and Film, including two feature films. I have been acting and coaching for many years and I am passionate about the performing arts. My enthusiasm and energy for it is evident in my classes. I believe that drama can only benefit children and everyone should encourage creative, imaginative and explorative thinking.
IMOGEN TAYLOR, CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
Having been introduced to the theatre from a young age, I was always aware of its power to inspire, innovate, and most importantly, to educate. Through CentreStage Studios HK I want to provide a foundation for young people in Hong Kong to enrich their imaginations, build self-confidence and experience the magic of performance. The theatre acts as one of the greatest platforms for children to grow and to cultivate the skills they need to take them forward into whatever paths they choose. At the heart of CentreStage’s training is the belief that every child has the potential to be a creative leader.
I began my vocational training at age eleven in classical ballet and contemporary dance at The Royal Ballet School White Lodge, Elmhurst School for Dance and the Arts Educational School, Tring Park where I gained my National Trinity Diploma in Professional Dance. During this time I trained in the LAMDA syllabus and won the Advanced Communication Award in 2009. I completed my LAMDA Communication LSDE & Performance LTCP certificates in 2010. Following my performance career with The Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and Matthew Bourne's New Adventures, I taught in the UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong.
From studying Anthropology and English Literature at Durham University and the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute in London alongside my MA in Performance and Creative Research in from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, I have been inspired to take a cultural role in the Hong Kong arts community and to continue to provide an immersive and creative environment that encourages collaboration and innovation.
FREDDY AU YeUNG, SENIOR SPOKEN VOICE AND SINGING COACH
SINGING, PUBLIC SPEAKING, MUSICAL THEATRE & DRAMA COACH
- Trained at the Berklee College of Music
- Over ten years industry experience
I am a singer, actor and musician. I was born in Canada and raised in Hong Kong. I received scholarship and graduated from the world renowned Berklee College of Music, Boston, majoring in Vocal Performance with a Minor in Drama. I was nominated as a proud representative for the Musical Theatre Initiative, Maltby Award, with the musical Godspell - held at the Kennedy Centre American College Theatre Festival. Recently, I was nominated by Hong Kong music producer and composer Chiu Tsang Hei to record the theme song for The Twentieth Anniversary of Hong Kong's return. I have extensive experience in Chinese pop music, opening for various large-scale acts. I had the opportunity to grace the stage and perform with pop star Wang Lee Hom at the prestigious Boston Symphony Hall. I possess a strong passion for teaching and have taught in Boston and Hong Kong. I have been appointed as the Singing Coach for the Summer Musical Schools produced by Excel, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts for the past four consecutive years. I am continually in pursuit of my dream as an influential performer and educator and I strive for excellence in everything I do. I am always inspired to become a more dedicated, creative and an adventurous individual.
Leah Fitzgerald, CENTRESTAGE STUDIOS HK senior Dance & Musical Theatre Coach
DANCE, MUSICAL THEATRE & DRAMA COACH
- Trained at Laine Theatre Arts
- Over fifteen years industry experience
I started dancing at the age of three at a local dance school, where I found an immediate passion and love for all aspects of dance. I have trained for over fifteen years in Jazz, Modern, Ballet, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. In 2008, I competed nationally in the All England Dance Finals and went on to win first place in the contemporary duet section. This great achievement encouraged me to continue my dance training professionally. After successfully auditioning and gaining a place at the prestigious Laine Theatre Arts, I trained full-time for three years. At Laine's I trained in all aspects of Dance and Musical Theatre. I graduated in 2012 with a National Trinity Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre, and teaching qualifications with the ISTD in Modern Theatre Dance. After graduating, I made my professional dance debut as a featured dancer in the multi-million pound show ‘Incanto’, Singapore. I have taught in the UK and have a lot of experience as a Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre Instructor. I have worked professionally as a choreographer on many shows and workshops.
I trained in Musical Theatre at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts (HKAPA) (1996-2000). I then continued my training in France and New York under the direction of many prestigious industry professionals. In 2014, I was accepted into Guildford School of Acting (GSA), University of Surrey, on full scholarship provided by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund, studying Creative Practices & Direction, majoring in Musical Theatre creation (MA). I have worked with leading directors and choreographers across all areas of the industry, such as BBC, Sky Arts (UK), award-winning directors Katarzyna Deszcz (Poland), Stephen Dexter (UK), choreographer Phyllida Crowley Smith (UK) and Kim Cattrall (Hollywood). Prior to this, I performed with the Shiki Theatre Company (2005) and then went on to perform in the touring production of the Broadway musical “Crazy For You”, choreographed by Susan Stroman. I was invited to perform as a guest artist in the Miss Chinese International Pageant, Hong Kong Dance and Drama Award. Most recently I was nominated for the Best Leading Actress for The 24th Hong Kong Drama Award & The 6th Hong Kong Theatre Libre. My recent success has been working as a dance instructor for Andy Lau Fans club, performing and assisting in "Jacky Cheung ½ Century Concert Tour” (HK Super Stars). I was the movement instructor for the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts production “The Wilderness” and also choreographed an original musical “ The Government Inspector” by Chung Ying Theatre Company. In addition to my performance experience, I am also trained in the ISTD syllabus, achieving the ISTD Advanced Level Tap with Honours. I currently hold the position of movement and musical theatre instructor at The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. I am delighted to be a part of CentreStage Studios HK.
King WONG, CENTRESTAGE STUDIOS HK SENIOR Physical Theatre & Public Speaking COACH
PUPPETRY & STAGE COMBAT EXPERT
- Trained at East 15 Acting School
- Over five years industry experience
I graduated from East 15 Acting School holding a Physical Theatre Degree (BA Hons). My training included Circus, Stage Combat and Puppetry. I have worked across the world as a puppeteer for many years. Professional performances include Windmillgrass Theatre Company's Super MAMA Supermarket, Make Friends with Puppets' Wola Jungle and Sidekick Project's Chinese Puppetry in Hong Kong. Alongside specialising in Western puppetry, I have expertise in traditional Chinese puppets and have been fortunate to have learned many of my skills from Master Puppeteer, Wong Fai.
I am qualified to coach unarmed fighting and sword fighting and I have a lot of experience in choreographing fight scenes. I have been coaching professional stage and screen fighting for many companies such as the Nonsensemaker Theatre Company, Youth Art Foundation, Youth Outreach, and the International Academy of Film and Television.
Melanie de Lacy Staunton, CentreStage Studios HK Acting Coach
- Trained at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film institute
- Over ten years industry experience
Growing up in Hong Kong I was so lucky to be involved in drama and the arts as a child; a member of the Hong Kong Players and constantly performing with the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation at the APA a passion for acting and creating powerful performances was ignited! After completing my Law degree, I moved to New York to attend the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film institute where I studied method acting. For me it was a really eye opening experience and as an actor my focus became learning how to blend character acting with the method technique. After graduating in 2009 I stayed on in New York and performed in the plays: DAY LIGHTS THE BONE, MOONEY MERCURY, URBAN CANDLES, AMERICAN GRIND and KAHLISHNA WEDS MADHUMATI, and completed two feature films TRUST ME and OUT OF THE SILENCE. I then moved to London upon being signed by one of the world’s best agencies United Agents. Inspired by my experiences as an actor in New York I wrote the comedy series "I’LL NEVER BE FAMOUS" which I am now going to produce in Hong Kong. Acting has been such a source of discipline, strength and inspiration in everything that I do and has benefited so many different aspects of my life I honestly can’t imagine who I would be without it.
AMANDA BRENNAN, PRINCIPLE LECTURER THE ROYAL CENTRAL SCHOOL OF SPEECH & DRAMA
CENTRESTAGE STUDIOS HK ACTING COACH CONSULTANT
Amanda has worked as a teacher and coach for over twenty five years. She has taught Acting and consulted at many of the leading drama schools in the UK including, Webber Douglas where she was the Director of Studies (2002 – 2005), Arts Educational, Guilford School of Acing, E15, ALRA, Mountview, and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (2005 to present. Principal Lecturer in Acting / Course leader for the MA in Screen Acting). She has led BA and Masters programmes in Acting for stage and screen and Actor training and coaching and developed one of the first specialist Screen Acting programmes in the UK for Royal Central.
After her initial training at Dartington College of Arts Amanda was a performer, director and writer. She has directed many productions and toured nationally with various shows in community settings including Young People’s Theatre Venues, Prisons, Conferences, schools and colleges. As a director her productions have included an adaptation of The Overcoat by Gogol (Hen and Chickens); The Bald Prima Dona by Eugene Ionesco (Gate Theatre); Picnic on a Battlefield by Fernando Arrabal (Gate Theatre) and Blood Wedding by Federico Garcia Lorca. Schools tour for the Gate Theatre, Over the Edge (Writer) Rosemary Branch Theatre.
Her work in film and television began with coaching individual actors in preparation for auditions and roles on a variety of films most recently: Noor directed by Ashvin Kapour (2016); Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Directed by Tim Burton (2016); The Night Of directed by Steven Zaillion HBO 2015; 10,000 Saints directed by Rob Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman (2014); X + Y directed by Morgan Matthews (2014); Enders Game directed by Gavin Hood (2013); Hugo directed by Martin Scorsese (2010/11); Jerusalem directed by Ian Rickson (2011) and Shakespeare Must Die directed by Ing K (2010).
CENTRESTAGE STUDIOS HK PUBLIC SPEAKING & FILM MAKING CONSULTANT
Femi Oyeniran is a London-based actor/filmmaker who has starred in hit feature films including Kidulthood; Adulthood; Anuvahood; The Intent. Having starred in Demons Never Die, Femi embarked on writing his first feature film - It’s A Lot, which he co-wrote, co-directed and co-produced. It was released theatrically in 2013. Femi is next to be seen acting alongside Kelly Brook in romantic-comedy Taking Stock.
On completing his law degree at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 2008, Femi decided to focus on acting and filmmaking. His directorial debut was a semi-autobiographical short film called Fresh off the Boat and most recent Red Room. He also produces an online chat show concept called Cut the Chat. He has also shot a feature length documentary about fatherhood, which features Trevor McDonald, David Lammy and Spike Lee. In 2014, he produced a 10 x30 minute series for Sky Living called “Venus vs Mars”, which was transmitted in April 2015.
As a producer, he is currently at the financing stage of Penny Woolcock’s next feature film The Day the Dog Died, a sports drama You Know What You Are and a feel-good drama Guerilla Poets. He also has several projects in development for TV and film including a comedy scribed with BAFTA award-winner Adam Deacon.
Femi also has a keen interest in politics. He has previously appeared on The Daily Politics; The Today Programme; BBC Breakfast; Sky News and BBC News 24 to discuss youth culture in London. He was also a commissioner on the Speaker of the House of Common’s Digital Democracy commission; making recommendations on how parliamentary democracy in the United Kingdom can embrace the opportunities afforded by the digital world. He recently delivered a TEDxHouseofParliament talk about youth offenders he worked with to create films called “Prison Democracy”. He also appears regularly as a newspaper reviewer on Sunrise on Sky News. He was also selected as a “Ones to Watch” delegate at the Edinburgh International TV Festival as well as being one of the 2015 cohort of Broadcast magazine’s “Broadcast Hot shot”.
CENTRESTAGE STUDIOS HK EDUCATION & CONFIDENCE CONSULTANT
Felicity has been a tutor for two years working internationally as an EFL and Modern Languages teach in Spain, Malaysia, Greece, Switzerland and the UK; she also runs workshops in confidence building for children. Felicity is a Programme Manager as a part of the Tutorfair Foundation team providing free tuition in State Schools across London.
Felicity teaches French from beginners though to post-graduate level and Spanish from beginners to A Level, as well as English 11+/common entrance in all areas: verbal and non-verbal reasoning, comprehension and creative writing. She works to expand the emotional intelligence of a student and confidence building in individuals; helping students understand what is unique to them whilst making sure they don't go into interviews sounding like they've been prepped. She believes in unlocking a student's potential, helping them to access the subject and adapting at class to their needs.