Artistic Director

Cameron Mattox

B.Ed Theatre/Drama. B.Ed Media/

GradDip Drama in Education

Cameron has been working in theatre and drama in education for over 40 years.


In this time he has taught at all levels of education, been involved in curriculum research and design and has acted in and directed numerous plays and commercial work. Cameron has worked in Australia and the USA teaching and directing for professional theatre companies and Universities. He recently returned from Brooklyn College (USA) where he was invited to teach as a guest tutor.

Since he arrived in 1990 Cameron has developed a unique course of study for Hagley Theatre Company where he is currently Artistic Director. He steers the contemporary nature of our public performances and is responsible for introducing the popular Scene+ and Gi60 seasons to Christchurch audiences.


Cameron is the Company's Head of Acting and tutors Stage Direction while he also directs major seasons. In addition to his work with the Company Cameron is Head of Department (Performing Arts) for Hagley College.



Voice, Viewpoints, Physical Theatre

Rachael Schönberger

BHSc/ NZRN/ PGDip Sports Medicine/ Dip Contemporary Music/ GradDip Teaching and Learning

Rachael is a contemporary singer and songwriter who has been performing in Christchurch since the early 2000's and has been involved in all levels of music education. With a Health Science and Nursing background, Rachael has a long working experience with a wide range of clients in both voice therapy and voice development with particular expertise in working with performers and other professional voice users. She guides our students through Voice development and Slam Poetry project work.

Through the years, Rachael has trained and competed in various sports ranging through mountain biking, surfing and triathlon, to Ceroc Dancing, a free-form Street Latin dance style, Seido Karate, and now trains weekly with ZenZenZo, a Physical Theatre Company based in Christchurch.

She has been teaching at Hagley College since 2015 where she is a Voice and Drama Teacher, and with Hagley Theatre Company where she is the Tutor for Voice, Physical Theatre, and Viewpoints.

Previously Rachael ran her own business consulting in Sports Nutrition and Exercise Proscription, and has written and taught a specialist course for the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic


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Brendon Bennetts

BA English, Grad. Dip . Education

Brendon joined our staff in 2015 and teaches script-writing to both year levels.


He has written several plays himself including Antartic Adventure and The Adventures of Captain Cook (for The Court Theatre) and Shakespeare: As You Write It (for New Zealand Playhouse). Stag Weekend, Brendon's full length play co-written with Dan Bain was performed at the Court Theatre in 2014.


Brendon is responsible for guiding our students towards completing a number of projects, notably the Gi60 International One Minute Play Festival that Hagley Theatre Company participates in.

Brendon is also an experienced improvisor and has been performing with the Court Jesters (Scared Scriptless) for almost 20 years.




Naressa Gamble

BPSA, Contemporary Dance/GradDip Teaching in Secondary/

Contemporary Yoga TT 200-hr

Naressa is a contemporary dancer, choreographer, dance and yoga teacher, who has been working within the New Zealand dance industry for the past 18 years.  She graduated from UNITEC in 2004 with a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts, majoring in Contemporary Dance. Naressa gained her Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) in 2010. Naressa has been the Head of Dance Studies at Hagley since 2015,  directing the Hagley Dance Company up until 2020, and is the current Director of the Hagley Dance Project.

In 2019, Naressa completed a 200hr Contemporary yoga teacher training certification in Auckland and has been teaching ever since.  Naressa’s yoga journey started in Florida, USA in 2000, she trained in Ashtanga and Iyenga styles with Felicity Molloy (Limbs Dance Company) and other tutors while at UNITEC.  While on her travels in Canada she trained with the I Am Yoga studio in Sicamous, CA.  Naressa is continually training and upskilling her Yoga knowledge, participating in various workshops, retreats and classes. In 2020 she completed a 13 hour intensive with Donna Farhi on, ‘Yoga for Lower Back ​Health: Keys to Sacroiliac Stability and Ease of Movement’. 

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Film & Television

Richard Bell


Richard has owned film production companies in London, Los Angeles and New Zealand. 
He has produced hundreds of music videos and commercials, all over the world, as well as short films, features and many live productions.
Richard emigrated to New Zealand 20 years ago and now runs his production company Shuriken, here in Christchurch, through which he has directed award-winning music videos and short films as well as numerous TV commercials.
Richard works with our students on acting for screen and also teaches film and acting at the New Zealand Broadcasting School (Ara Institute of Canterbury).


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Fleur De Thier

Fleur has been working professionally in the dance industry for the last 29 years. She trained for three years full time at Auckland Performing Arts School (now Unitec) graduating in 1991.  Fleur worked as a freelance dancer in Auckland before returning to base herself in Christchurch in 1993.

Fleur is an established New Zealand choreographer and has had works featured nationally in Arts Festivals throughout the last decade.  Fleur is known for her diversity and connections with many different companies Including  Jolt Dance Theatre, Rebound, Southern Lights Dance Company ,Unitec ,Footnote and Hagley Dance Company. 

Fleur has most recently been exploring collaborations with visual artists presenting works with sculptor Robyn Webster  and Puppet Maker Simon van den Sluijs.



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I am really grateful for my training at Hagley Theatre Company. It provided me with an incredible base to begin further training and acting with the industry.

Brynley Stent


HTC alumni (2009)


Hagley Theatre Company is a self-contained, independent training and performance programme attached to Hagley College in Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. In 2018, the Company celebrated 30 years of providing expert, hands-on tuition and contemporary performance experiences to young people from all over the country. To apply for our 2023 intake, please submit our application form.