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Daniel (he/him) is an Australian based producer, director, actor and librettist from the Hunter region of NSW. Starting his career as an actor, Daniel turned his passion towards the development of young people and founded the international award winning youth based acting academy, Hunter Drama. Through Hunter Drama’s participation at the Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, USA, Daniel worked with New York based iTheatrics and Music Theatre International Australasia to establish OzTheatrics, who produce the annual Junior Theatre Festival Australia, which is the largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere celebrating the achievements of young people in musical theatre.
As producer/director, Daniel’s credits include Puffs, Things I Know to be True, The Book of Everything, Rock of Ages, Shrek The Musical JR., Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR., The BFG, Roald Dahl’s The Twits, Spring Awakening, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland JR., Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR., The Music Man, The Addams Family and Rent. As an actor, Daniel is a Multi-City of Newcastle Drama Award winner with credits including Endgame (Popular Theatre Company), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Popular Theatre Company), The Pillowman (Stooged Theatre), Charley’s Aunt (Popular Theatre Company) and Mamma Mia!
He is a Freddie G Fellowship recipient and has been awarded the keys to the city in North Carolina for his contributions to the development of young people in the arts. As writer, his original works include Dot and the Kangaroo, a musical adaptation of the 1899 Australian classic novel, with composer Daniel J. Mertzlufft and lyricist Kate Leonard. Daniel is a graduate from the University of Newcastle and is currently the Artistic Director of The Very Popular Theatre Company. @danielstod
With a Bachelor of Music Education, Dan is currently the Head Teacher of Creative & Performing Arts at Lambton High School and has received an award in the National Excellence In Teaching Award Scheme.
He has performed the roles of Jack in “Into The Woods”, Tobias Ragg in “Sweeney Todd”, Dickon in “The Secret Garden”, Billy Crocker in “Anything Goes”, Bobby Strong in “Urinetown”, Cain in “Children Of Eden”, Tony and Action “West Side Story”, “Abelard and Heloise”, “Songs For A New World” and has also appeared on three separate occasions as Jamie in "The Last Five Years" and Mark Cohen in “Rent”.
Dan has served as Musical Director for “The Witches Of Eastwick”, “Disney’s High School Musical”, “Grease”, “Annie”, “Wuthering Heights”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “You Oughta Know: The Songs of Alanis Morrisette”. He has also had the awesome privilege to play in the orchestra for Original Australian productions of “Beauty And The Beast”, "The Phantom Of The Opera", "Wicked", “The Lion King” and "Side By Side By Sondheim" with Ruthie Henshall in Sydney. In 2013 he was the Music Producer and Assistant to John Foreman for the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony. As an arranger he regularly works with the “Schools Spectacular” and has also written arrangements for the Hunter Singers, Silvie Paladino, Erin James, Tyran Parke, Avagail Herman, Lucy Durack, Marina Prior, Debra Byrne and the casts of “Wicked” and “Love Never Dies”. He is most well known around the Hunter as the Musical Director and Conductor of “Star Struck” at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, a role he has held since 2008.
Rachel graduated with a Bachelor of Education and is currently the Assistant Principal at the Hunter School of the Performing Arts. She currently leads a team of talented choreographers in her role as Dance Director for the NSW Department of Education’s STARSTRUCK and is a valued member of the SCHOOLS SPECTACULAR choreography team. As a respected professional in both education and theatre circles, Rachel has enriched the development of gifted and talented dancers across NSW through her work as an instructor and tutor at Creative Arts Camp and State Dance Camp, and as a director for Junior Theatre Celebration Australia. Rachel has directed and choreographed segments for the Opening Ceremonies of The Tasman Games, World Skills Australia, and the Australian Youth Olympics. As choreographer, Rachel’s theatrical credits include ROCK OF AGES, SEUSSICAL, URINETOWN, DISNEY’S HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR, THE WIZARD OF OZ, DISNEY’S THE LION KING JR and DISNEY’s THE LITTLE MERMAID JR. Rachel won a City of Newcastle Drama Award for her choreography on MAMMA MIA! with The Very Popular Theatre Company.
Jacob is Newcastle's favourite lighting designer. He does all the big stuff like MAMMA MIA!, ROCK OF AGES (Hunter Drama), PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Metropolitan Players), STRICTLY BALLROOM (St Philip’s Christian College), HAIRSPRAY (Metropolitan Players), MARY POPPINS (Metropolitan Players), WICKED (Metropolitan Players), SHREK THE MUSICAL JR. (Hunter Drama), DISNEY’S ALADDIN JR, (Hunter Drama), RENT (Hunter Drama) and DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Metropolitan Players). He is a versatile designer, also having designed for small scale plays at the Civic Playhouse, most recently for The Very Popular Theatre Company’s ENDGAME. Jacob is a multi-CONDA award winning lighting designer. He has many other areas of expertise in the technical arena and has also spent time filling the role of Technical Manager at the Civic Theatre. He is currently working on his biggest project yet...becoming a new Dad!