Ariana is ecstatic to join the cast of Legally Blonde in her Musical Theatre Dunedin stage debut as Elle Woods. Her passions have never strayed from performing arts and she is currently pursuing it at University of Otago studying for Bachelor of Performing Arts. Previously, Ariana has appeared in shows such as Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, The Highlights, The 128th Capping Show and most recently, East Otago Musical Theatre’s season of Chicago (Mona/Roxie Hart Understudy). This year she will be making her Choreographer debut as well as playing Doc in the 129th Capping Show - Back to the Flat.
Legally Blonde is George's second show with Musical Theatre Dunedin. Having grown up in Palmerston performing in various productions for East Otago Music Theatre, George then studied for a year in Dunedin before moving up to Christchurch to complete a Bachelor of Performing Arts Degree at the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA). George has recently moved back to his hometown of Dunedin after five years away and is excited to get back into performing again.
A proud Wellingtonian, Jack is elated to be joining this company for his second Musical Theatre Dunedin show. He’s studied classical singing with Mark Bobb and musical theatre with Arlie McCormick. Jack is currently working towards his Bachelor of Commerce at University of Otago. Jack’s previous credits include Musical Theatre Dunedin's Jersey Boys (Norman Waxman/ensemble), Taieri Musical's Chicago (Ensemble/Billy Flynn understudy), 127th Capping Show, Addams Family (Gomez), Into the Woods (The Baker) and Jack is currently a member of the Otago Capping Sextet. Jack would like to thank his whānau for their support and guidance over the years.
Jane is thrilled to be back on stage with Musical Theatre Dunedin and playing the iconic role of Paulette. She is no stranger to local audiences, having performed in numerous productions over the last 20 or so years with her most recent credits including Chicago (Liz/Understudy Mama Morton), That Bloody Woman (Vicar/Gang), Mary Poppins (Katie Nanna) and Mamma Mia! Jane dedicates her performance to her ‘home team’ Darrel and Madeline and thanks them, as well as her extended family, friends and the village of babysitters for their never-ending love and support. Jane is a proud ambassador for The Voice Lab studios nz.
Peter is now mostly cast as middle-aged professionals and dads, which is a tragic example of art imitating life and probably indicates a depressing lack of range. Recent stage credits include Jersey Boys (Bob Crewe), That Bloody Woman (Walter/Kate’s Uncle/Gang), Brecht’s A Respectable Wedding (Husband), Blood Brothers (Mr Lyons), Finding Murdoch (Geoff) and The Devil and Mr Mulcahy (Paul Marshall). Other favourites from a thirty-year career in musical theatre in the United Kingdom and New Zealand include The Sound of Music (Captain von Trapp), The Producers (Leo Bloom), Chicago (Billy Flynn), The Full Monty (Harold) and Guys and Dolls (Nathan Detroit).
Madi is excited (and a little nervous) to be stepping into the role of Vivienne in Legally Blonde. This will be Madi’s first production with Musical Theatre Dunedin, but she has previously performed with Opera Otago, in A Christmas Carol (2016) and The Pirates of Penzance (2017). Madi has also performed for four years as part of the Otago Capping Show, singing in an all-female acapella group. She has been singing since age eight, studying under Gladys Hope and later, Judy Bellingham. She also wishes to thank Jill, Michael and Finn for their ongoing support.
Kelly is an actor, vocalist, writer and voice coach who studied at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, California. Ōtepoti locals will recognize her from Avenue Q (Kate/Lucy), Mary Poppins (Winifred Banks), Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Diva) and Wicked (Glinda/Galinda). Her two most recent solo shows were the award-nominated Thief and Rags to Witches, in which she publicly retired from musical theatre – oops! Kelly runs The Voice Lab nz which has a studio in Ōtepoti comprised of nine vocal coaches and a specialized voice care team who look after New Zealand’s vocal athletes.
Legally Blonde is Zara’s fifth major production with Musical Theatre Dunedin, previously performing in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (2018), Wicked (2019) The Highlights (2020), and most recently Jersey Boys (2023). Zara has been dancing all her life, competing locally and nationally in multiple different dance styles. Other memorable theatre performances include My Fair Lady, Les Misérables (Young Cosette), Chicago (Roxie Understudy/Dance Captain) and numerous MTD theatre restaurants. During the day, Zara is a primary school teacher in Dunedin. Zara is excited to be involved in such an entertaining show and being cast in the role of Margot.
Bethany is a singer/songwriter and musical theatre enthusiast based in Dunedin. Originally from Auckland, she came to study at the University of Otago where she completed a Bachelor of Arts and Science (Theatre and Psychology). She holds a Trinity College ATCL diploma in Musical Theatre and gained acknowledgements from the University for music and theatre. Bethany’s performance credits include West Side Story (Francisca), Bring It On: The Musical (Kylar), Heathers (Veronica), and That Bloody Woman (Gang Member). Currently she is working as a Voice Teacher for The Voice Lab nz and producing her upcoming debut EP.
Zoe is a third-year Neuroscience student at the University of Otago and has been in love with the stage since she was little, be it dance shows, choir concerts, high school productions, or Shakespeare. Zoe has been dancing since she was three years old and has received training in jazz, ballet, contemporary, ballroom, commercial and musical theatre. She has competed in troupe competitions at both national and international levels. Zoe has previously been in Spamalot, and Into the Woods. She is thrilled to be joining Musical Theatre Dunedin for the first time in Legally Blonde this August.
Legally Blonde is Olivia’s third show with Musical Theatre Dunedin, after performing in the ensemble of Les Misérables (2021) and The Highlights (2020). She has also performed numerous times alongside the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and with Sol3Mio (2017). She is currently doing her PGDip in Secondary Teaching after completing a Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice. Olivia gained her Level 1 TOSCA Certification and Levels I and II certification in Somatic Voicework The LoVetri Method. Since, Olivia has Vocal Directed Kavanagh College’s Seussical (2021), Assistant Vocal Directed Taieri Musical’s Moana Jr (2021), and has her own business giving vocal lessons.
Jess has grown up learning many art forms including tap with Denise Henderson, and ballet and jazz with Bennett School. She’s trained in classical, country, musical theatre and contemporary singing from a range of incredible vocal teachers, most recently Bridget Telfer-Milne. Jess currently works for the University of Otago. She is so grateful for the opportunity the creative team has given her as the understudy for Elle and she cannot wait to show off this incredible cast and crew for this production of Legally Blonde. She hopes you love this show as much as she does.
Howdy partner! I'm James, the understudy for Emmett and Ensemble member. You may recognize me from my frequent appearances at local Karaoke nights! For the first time since the COVID years I'm getting back on stage where I belong. Performance is my passion and runs in my family – I couldn’t escape it if I tried and… I tried. Can't wait to become Legally Blonde for all of y'all.
Finn is thrilled to be joining the cast of Legally Blonde as the Warner Understudy. This show holds a special place in his heart, as Finn is currently studying law at the University of Otago. No stranger to the arts in Ōtepoti Dunedin, Finn has previously performed in Heathers (2021), The Highlights (2020), Blood Brothers (2019), Wicked! (2019) and Ovation! (2018). Most recently, Finn has sung at the Otago Capping Show as the leading member of the Otago Capping Sextet, the six piece male a-cappella group famed for their risqué and topical parodies.
Sophie was born and raised in Nelson and is no stranger to the stage. A few of her past acting credits include Les Misérables (Cosette), Ghost (Molly), The Phantom of the Opera (Christine) and Little Shop of Horrors (Ronette). Sophie has also had the opportunity to work with and learn from leading vocal and acting professionals at Singing School New Zealand and the Christchurch International Musical Theatre Singing School (CIMTSS). She is currently in her second year at the University of Otago studying a Bachelor of Performing Arts. This will be Sophie's first show with Musical Theatre Dunedin and she cannot wait to bring this show to life with such an incredible cast.
After 35 years in education in New Zealand, Australia and Britain, Brent finally switched full-time to his chosen career of acting in 2021. He is currently studying Bachelor of Arts (Honours). In Theatre at the University of Otago School of Performing Arts. He has previously worked in repertory in Otago, Southland and Western Australia and has written, directed, and produced numerous school productions. This year he was nominated for an Outstanding Performance award for his various roles across the Dunedin Fringe Festival. His first play Red Mist Descending premiered at Allen Hall Theatre in April.
Making her Musical Theatre Dunedin debut, Lauren is a final year dentistry student who has a passion for the stage. She has been vocally trained in classical, musical theatre and contemporary styles for 10 years – musical theatre has always been her favourite! Her previous involvement in theatre includes Beauty and The Beast (Mrs Potts), Godspell (Sonja), The Wizard of Oz (Glinda), Les Misérables (Eponine), I Never Saw Another Butterfly (Nina), Legally Blonde (Serena), Seussical and Wicked. Having moved over from Melbourne in 2019, Lauren is extremely excited to hit the New Zealand stage in this production of Legally Blonde.
Libby is 22 years old with a passion for dancing and musical theatre. After starting ballet to help with her gymnastics technique, she quickly fell in love and never looked back, continuing on to train in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and musical theatre with Shona Bennett and Emma Donaldson. She also takes voice lessons with Ben Johnson at the voice lab, and in her spare time enjoys crochet and coaching aerobics. Libby’s show credits include OVATION (Taieri), WICKED! (MTD) and the highlights (MTD). Libby is very excited to add Legally Blonde to her list and hopes you enjoy the show!
This is Carys’ first show with MTD. Carys has been dancing and singing since she was young and recently has been honing their theatre skills with the university group MUSOC in Christchurch. Having returned to Dunedin after completing her study in Speech-Language Pathology, they’re tickled pink to be part of the Legally Blonde cast!
Elli is beyond thrilled to be joining the cast of Legally Blonde - their first show with Musical Theatre Dunedin. Previously, Elli was seen in Taieri Musical Society’s season of Moana Jr (Chief Tui) in 2021. Growing up watching classic Disney films and golden age musicals ignited their passion for the creative arts which set them on the path of performance. Elli is currently a Year 13 student at John McGlashan College where they study drama with Kimberly Fridd. Outside of school, Elli takes vocal lessons with Ben Johnson at The Voice Lab nz. In 2024, Elli plans to move to Wellington to pursue animation at Massey University.
Ben is over the moon to be a part of Legally Blonde as this show was on his bucket list. This will be Ben’s fourth show with Musical Theatre Dunedin after appearing in Jersey Boys (Joe Pesci), Les Misérables, and Wicked. Other credits include Taieri Musical’s Chicago and Arcade Theatre Co’s Now. Here. This. (Jeff). Currently Ben is also vocal directing Frozen Jr for Taieri Musical which will take to the stage at the end of September. By day, you can find him teaching singing at the Voice Lab nz where he works with clients across many genres of music.
Jennifer has been dancing since age 4, studying in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, burlesque, as well as singing/drama. She recently performed as Roxie in Taieri Musical’s Chicago, with other performance highlights including Cats (Victoria the white cat), Grease: The Arena Spectacular (Frenchy), Globe Theatre’s Cinders (Cinderella), and Blood Brothers (Linda). Jen can often be found behind-the-scenes as Costume Designer for productions including Grease, Blood Brothers, That Bloody Woman, and Chicago which saw her winning Best Wardrobe for 2022’s Otago Southland Theatre Awards. Jen loves being mum to 9 year old Alice and 6 year old Evelyn, whilst also working in her fashion design business Pansy Couture, specialising in bespoke bridal gowns.
Cody is excited to be making Legally Blonde, his first show with Musical Theatre Dunedin, one to remember. As he's moved around the country he has enjoyed staging or starring in productions such as The Last Five Years (Jamie), The Wedding Singer (George), Shortland Street: The Musical, and Bachelor Party (Cody). Other theatre credits include Cabaret (Emcee), Chicago (Ensemble), The Night Visitors (Cecil) and Jesus Christ Superstar. Cody has recently completed his Bachelor of Science (Neuroscience) and is looking forward to the post-grad slog.
Nicole is a graduate of the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Arts (Theatre, Dance and Tourism). Performing has been a life-long passion for Nicole, first sparking her interest when she began musical theatre and tap dancing at age six with Denise Henderson. She has since been heavily involved in the Dunedin theatre and dance scene, running her own dance studio, performing with dollhouse theatre company and working as a children’s entertainer with Rainbow Rosalind Parties. Nicole is incredibly excited to be joining the cast of Legally Blonde which will be her second show with Musical Theatre Dunedin, following The Highlights in 2020. She would like to thank Anna, Kelly and Beth from The Voice Lab nz for her vocal coaching over the years, and her family and friends for their constant support.
Meko is a recent graduate of University of Otago with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Theatre Studies). Originally from Hong Kong, Meko has been singing and performing from a young age. Since her arrival in 2016, she has been actively involved in the arts, performing, designing, and directing in various school productions, Otago Gang Shows, Lunchtime Theatres and other projects. She is also a creative in local theatre company SBZ Productions. Meko was previously in Musical Theatre Dunedin's 2021 theatre restaurant It's Showtime, but this is her first show with MTD. She's excited to be stepping back on stage after a couple years of directing and being behind the scenes.
Clare is excited to join the Legally Blonde team after recently moving back to Dunedin. She is a primary school teacher and vocal teacher. Initially studying musical theatre at university, she has enjoyed focusing more on classical and jazz but is enjoying getting back into musicals. She has recently been a part of the Wellington Youth Choir, Arcade’s production of Now.Here.This, Heathers (Mrs Flemming), Musical Theatre Dunedin theatre restaurants and travelling with Dunedin Opera in Opera a la Mozart – Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Mama Bear).
Sam is a 17-year-old at Trinity Catholic College with a passion for stage performance. He’s had 11 years of vocal training and 10 years of various dance training. Sam has been involved in many productions over the years, including Tairei Musical's Chicago and various school shows, and is now extremely excited to be a part of Musical Theatre Dunedin's Legally Blonde.
Baylee is excited to be returning to the stage in Legally Blonde. This will be her third production with Musical Theatre Dunedin, previously appearing in two theatre restaurants. She has also performed with Tauranga Musical Theatre in Heathers (Heather McNamara). By day Baylee works as a library collections assistant and by night she teaches pole dance, a discipline she has competed and performed in extensively. Baylee is excited to bring this incredibly fun show - a personal favourite, to life with the rest of the fabulous cast, crew, and creative team.
Makensie is from Invercargill but is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Performing Arts at University of Otago in Dunedin. Makensie is heavily involved with the student lead Otago Dance Association where she is currently in the role of Vice President. Makensie has done many shows for Invercargill Musical Theatre, a highlight being Wicked (Shen Shen). Makensie is delighted to be involved in another Musical Theatre Dunedin show especially after the amazing season of Jersey Boys earlier this year.