Fame Theatre Company Staff

Nicole Wheeler

Director, Owner and Founding Student of Fame

Bio coming soon

Our Amazing Team

Marcia Carroll

Production and Office Manager

I am a trained teacher who has worked in the Arts for over 40 years. After many years as an Irish Dancer, I retired from that Art/Sport as part of a Victorian and Australian Champion 4 hand team. I then moved into jazz ballet and ballroom dancing. I completed examinations and teaching certificates in Jazz, New Vogue and Latin. I also played piano and guitar and to placate my parents, undertook courses in computer studies.
While still teaching, I was also an active part of the creative team in a dance school and involved in the production of many performances, displays, competitions and examination displays. I organised debutante balls, and was part of the training team for the productions. And organised Santa’s arrival and elf dance displays in the local area at Christmas time.
When I moved to Brisbane, my two older children joined Fame, and within months, I was choreographing a piece for the senior musical which led to further artistic involvement, student supervision and ultimately over the period of a couple of years, my position as office and production manager.

I have a life-long love of, and commitment to supporting, the Arts, predominantly the performing arts, and to exposing young people to the wonder of live theatre and the richness it can bring to their lives. This love dates back to my first musical, My Fair Lady, which I saw at the age of two in Melbourne, thanks to my mother, who also had a life-long love of live theatre.

Cheryl Paulsen

Wardrobe and Class Supervisor

I started working for Fame as a Den Mum in 2001 when Ferny Grove Training School first opened. A year later I was employed as the costume and canteen co-ordinator. And I am still here loving the job, the kids and the staff. My challenge is to find and/or make costumes to fit them all!

Sophie Stephens

Sophie has been teaching dance and drama at Fame since 2015. After graduating with a Bachelor of Musical Theatre from the Conservatorium of Music Griffith University, Sophie obtained a wealth of knowledge that she wanted to share with students who were passionate about Musical Theatre. Sophie firmly believes that in order to be successful in Theatre, you need to love what you are doing and want to grow and learn as a performer. Being a part of Fame means that Sophie can do what she loves, as well as have fun and help children express who they are through song and dance.

Qualifications:
Bachelor of Music (Musical Theatre)

Dayna Wilson

Dayna is a performer and choreographer from Sydney with 5 years professional experience. She has studied comprehensively with industry leaders such as Marko Panzic, Jacqui Howard, Sarah Boulter, Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Tannos.

Dayna spent her formative years in the NSW central west, immersing herself in all aspects of dance, until being accepted into Brent Street’s Talent Development High School at age 14. After graduating, she was accepted into Ev and Bow full time dance training centre under the direction of acclaimed choreographer Sarah Boulter (SYTYCD, Dance Academy) where she studied all aspects of performing arts and dance choreography. It was here that she also had the opportunity to perform in TVCs, as a back- up dancer for ‘The Voice’ and in short films such as ‘Resolve’ by Sarah Boulter.

In recent years, Dayna has directed her skills toward choreography and teaching, with her group and solo pieces winning in competitions throughout NSW and QLD. She has a passion for dance which is infectious, and hopes that people leave her class with a greater appreciation for the magic of movement. Dayna has already seen a heightened enthusiasm for dance in the kids at Fame since working with them and can’t wait to watch their skills grow in all aspects of performance and movement!

Cheyenne Richards

Cheyenne joined Fame when she was five to improve her confidence as she wasn’t speaking at school. Soon her confidence began to grow and the stage became a second home for her. More than twenty years on from that first class Cheyenne is a current primary school teacher and is still a very much loved member of the Fame family teaching at multiple locations and also directing our school holiday productions. Cheyenne is passionate about the benefits of the performing arts for children and strongly believes that Fame is much more than voice, dance and drama classes. Watching her students improve and develop the love for theatre and security that Fame brings them through her teaching is what truly inspires her.

Qualifications:
Bachelor of Arts – Applied Theatre – double theatre major Graduate Diploma of Education – Primary

Joel Curtis

Joel began his professional performing career as Peter Pan and Mad Hatter at Tokyo Disneyland. Since then his credits have included musical theatre and cabaret, choral singing, instrumental music and music composition. He is also a consummate pianist and repetiteur and has acted as musical director for a wide variety of productions.

Joel’s passion as a teacher lies in knowing that his students are far more capable than they think they are (and even more capable than we silly adults give them credit for!). He enjoys creating a positive, fun but demanding environment that affords students the opportunity to discover what they can do and learn to do it even better.

Education
M Music Studies (Pedagogy) – Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University
B Music (Music Education) – University of Sydney
Dip Performing Arts – ED5 International

Other Training
Musical Theatre – NIDA
Sign Language Levels 1 & 2 – Deaf Society Queensland

Experience
Performance
Peter Pan & Mad Hatter – Tokyo Disneyland
Miles – Elegies For Angels, Punks and Raging Queens
Various international children’s touring productions
Various cabaret and live music shows
Creative
[title of show] – Musical Director/Larry – Understudy Productions
13 The Musical – Musical Director – The National Theatre Company
Connect Four – Harvest Rain Incubator
Flaw Play/Flaw Play Relapsed/Flaw Play Relapsed …Again – Double Agenda
Teaching
Voice Teacher
Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University
ED5 International
Private Studio
School Teaching
MLC School – Primary Music

Julie Thornton

My Name is Julie. I graduated many, many years ago with a Bachelor of Visual and Performing Arts and then a Diploma of Education… in early childhood and primary.
I have the privilege to work with children everyday.
I am so, so luck to have been invited into the ‘Fame’ family in 2014…I can honestly say it’s my happy place.
Working along side the incredibly talented children and devoted tutors and staff makes my job as ‘superior to the children’ a joy.
I did many, many performance in dance, drama and musical theatre when I was growing up and now to see that passion, dedication and love for the Performing Arts radiate and shine from this next generation keeps my feet tapping, my heart singing and my head full of dreams. Love, Love , Love my job.

Stephanie Baxter

Stephanie has been performing on stage since she was 5 years old. She has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, voice and musical theatre and is a graduate from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Music/Drama) and a Bachelor of Education.
Steph has been with Fame Theatre Company for over 10 years. During this time she has been involved in hundreds of shows for the company both onstage as a student, in the classroom as a tutor, and backstage as a technician.
Steph has had the chance to perform alongside the QSO in their collaboration of both Shakespeare’s and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and at Woodford Folk Festival as a part of contemporary theatre piece Meet the Greelies. She has become associated with Underground Productions performing in Urinetown, Bat Boy, Adding Machine: A Musical and MetalHead, as well as taking on various technical roles. Steph was both lighting designer and a performer in Pokémon Live!: The Musical, and earlier this year took part in a staged workshop reading of Matthew Samers’ new musical, Hell and High Water.

Grace Millard

Grace first began her Fame journey at the age of 10. She has since found her passion for musical theatre and is now a Teeny and Young Fame tutor. Grace is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Creative Industries majoring in Drama and Dance, in the hopes of becoming a secondary school teacher. Her favourite thing about Fame is seeing her students grow in confidence and being able to nurture strong team bonds.

Joshua Baker

Josh has been involved with Fame for over 10 years now. 6 years as a student and now 6 years as a tutor to our students. He is currently studying to complete his Bachelor of Primary Education and works with multiple schools running drama workshops for their students. Helping primary students discover a love for theatre and drama through fun activities and skills building classes.

Josh loves being a part of the fame team and loves the opportunity to help build students confidence and help encourage a love of the theatre and performing arts. Watching students grow and develop not only their skills, but develop their personality and come into their own through Fame’s classes is Josh’s passion.

Solange Lipcin

Bachelor Degree in Music (Singing Major)
Diploma in Choreography Composition for Musical Theatre.
Advanced Diploma in Education.
Diploma in Musical Theatre Performer.

Solange Lipcin is an international singer and musical theatre performer, born in Argentina, based in Brisbane, with a professional talent for a variety of styles: Jazz, Latin Jazz, Pop, Tango. After completing her studies at the Conservatory of Music Manuel de Falla in Buenos Aires, Solange travelled worldwide to be in touch with a multi- cultural background, which has encouraged her to try new styles of music and to sing in six different languages. Solange particularly enjoys teaching children because they are creative, spontaneous and their imagination allows them to be playful at all times. This is inspiring, challenging and motivating, and enables her to use her skills to keep them engaged and learn while having fun. She decided to settle in Australia looking for new opportunities to develop her career and to continue encouraging others to enjoy music as much as she does.

Leia Fox

Leia has been involved with the Fame family for a whopping 22 years! Leia began as an 11 year old student, later graduating to a Tutor and full time Director of Training. Leia has enjoyed developing her creative skills by writing, directing and choreographing a number of Fame shows. Leia has a passion for working with children, providing a nurturing environment and encouraging each individual student to trust in their unique ability to shine. Leia also works as a Drama and Dance Teacher in a Special Education setting, which she considers one of her greatest privileges. Leia is the proud mum of two beautiful (cheeky) young children who also love to brighten people’s days through entertainment.

FORMAL QAULIFICATIONS:
Bachelor of Applied Theatre
Graduate Diploma of Education
Advanced Diploma in Performing Arts
Currently undergoing the final stages of my ATCL teaching diploma in Speech and Drama
TRAINING & EXPERIENCE:
I was a student at Fame Theatre before becoming a tutor. I started at Fame when I was 11 years old, and have been a member of the Fame family for 22 years!
Been a tutor at Fame for 15 years, and have taught Teeny Fame right through to Seniors.
Currently teach and choreograph all of Show Team and Added Attraction’s repertoire.
I have had the wonderful opportunity to write and direct a number of Fame shows.
I’ve Worked at Stuartholme Girls School teaching private Speech and Drama lessons.
Trained in Jazz ballet at Julie Little Dance Studios for a number of years.
Have completed all Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced graded Speech and Drama Trinity College exams.
Completed a number of QUT acting workshops
Performed in a number of University shows
Performed in Kidding around shows that travelled out to various schools.
Have been a Drama, Dance and Classroom Teacher at Mackenzie Special School (previously Mt Gravatt East Special School) for 7 years.
I have directed and coordinated the end of year school productions since 2011.
I am currently coordinating and running a collaborative process and theatre experience integrating the Primary and Special school students.
Volunteered at The Royal Children’s Hospital Wonder Factory for a couple of years, where I got to work with and inspire creativity in lots of incredible children’s lives.
Have worked on a cruise liner in the Entertainment Department.

Thomasina Lawrence

Thomasina came out of the womb belting a show tune, so it’s only natural that she has ended up pursuing a career in the Performing Arts! Currently a third year QUT BFA Drama/Dance student, she lives and breathes all things theatre, in particular, musical theatre. Thom’s biggest goal is to move to New York City to pursue a career in performing/teaching. Teaching at Fame is one of Thom’s favourite parts of the week and she loves the inclusivity and friendship that the students find in classes. In her spare time, Thom also enjoys a good coffee and appreciates nice stationery.

Bianca Rapp

After 10 years of being a student at Fame, Bianca has joined the Fame teaching staff in 2017. Currently working at our Manly West location, Bianca loves being a tutor to all the students from Teeny Fame to the Seniors. Seeing the kids so engaged and excited to perform is a real highlight for Bianca, making it easy for her to step up into her teaching role. Bianca wishes to further her studies and pursue musical theatre, always cherishing the friends and skills found at Fame.

Katie Swan

Katie is one half of the new music theatre song-writing duo Forrester & Swan and a Brisbane based performer, writer and teacher.  She graduated with a Ba. Music Theatre from Federation University’s Arts Academy, with highlights including: Urinetown (Little Becky Two-Shoes), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Daphne & u/s Muzzy Van Hosmere, Ruth & vocal swing) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Chairperson: Maggie Turner & u/s Princess Puffer).  In early 2015, she performed her sold out cabaret Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Everything in Ballarat and Melbourne, and went on to work on a new production Riches, Romance and Rebellion under the direction of the wonderful Nancye Hayes.  Katie has recently appeared in The Songs of Laura Nyro (Midsumma Festival), Aunty Donna’s 1999 series, has had her music published by Hal Leonard in the first AMEB Music Theatre book series, and has also been busy touring her own shows Join the Dots and A New Summer throughout Australia, with performances in Ballarat, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.  In November, she will perform alongside Emma Dean in her new show Broken Romantics- A Vicious Song Cycle at the Brisbane Powerhouse as a part of Wonderland Festival.

Katie absolutely loves working with young and emerging performers, and works hard to ensure that all her students are constantly learning new things to ensure their growth as a performer, but also so that they are excited about class.  Whether teaching and correcting vocal technique, or directing students in an acting exercise, or creating new choreography for upcoming performance, Katie is aware of the importance of challenging class content as well as making each class fun and enjoyable.  She is very happy working for Fame and enjoys creating and encouraging passionate and versatile young performers.

Giselle Pickering

Giselle is a teeny fame, young fame and junior tutor with Fame Theatre Company. She began as a student in 2005 and has been a member of the tutoring staff since 2015. As well as her love for teaching and watching theatre, Giselle is currently completing a Bachelor of Science with the University of Queensland where she is also involved with peer teaching sessions. Her favourite part about tutoring is being able to encourage and guide the creativity and talent of her students and watch their confidence, happiness and performance skills blossom throughout the year.

I was a young science ambassador with ANARE for the Antarctica flight, achieved a bronze medal at the 2015 International Geography Olympiad in Russia, 2015 Female All Rounder award at school for academic, cultural and leadership achievements and Grade 12 Long Tan Leadership recipient. I was 2015 school captain.

At uni I’m on a UQ Excellence Scholarship, got the Enid Reeves memorial prize for the highest cumulative GPA for three first year geography courses, went to NZ on a field trip earlier this year studying geomorphology and tectonics and I’m part of the ASPiNS (Advanced study program in science) research program so I’m handling my own research project this year in soil science under supervision.

Cienda McNamara

Cienda McNamara is an award winning actor and director who has worked with many ofAustralia’s renowned and emerging performing arts companies both on stage and off.
She has been seen on stage in Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble’s production of Richard Cienda was a resident artist with Grin and Tonic as a part of its in-schools program. In addition to the touring Cienda performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet. (Del ArtË award).

January 2014 Cienda presented  Hardly The Portrait of A Lady, at Short+Sweet Cabaret Festival in Sydney winning awards for Best Female Performer & Best Script, In April 2014, Cienda appeared in TROUBLE for Drop Bear Theatre at the Tamarama Rock Surfers, Sydney. In early July Cienda performed at the  Tasmanian Cabaret Festival as part  of The Festival of Voices. In  September 2014  Cienda appeared  in A Doll’s House, adapted by Lally Katz, directed by Steven Mitchell-Wright for La Boite Theatre Company and Brisbane Festival. Winning a Matilda Award for her portrayal of Kristine.

In June 2015, Cienda premiered her new cabaret- UnPC as part of the Queensland Cabaret Festival. In December Cienda played The Ice Queen for The Myer/ Brisbane City Council Christmas Pantomime.

In 2016 Cienda previewed her new show Natural Born Spinster and appeared in a tourism campaign for the New Zealand Market. In February 2017 she appeared in The Danger Ensemble’s Macbeth as Malcolm and Hecate.

Her other acting credits include Minefields and Miniskirts, Assassins, Anything Goes, Children of Eden and Antigone.

DIRECTOR 
In 2003, Cienda’s directing career began to flourish, gaining both experience and esteem within the Queensland arts community. Credits include Undies: The Cabaret and The Hum Series: featuring Megan Shorey (Joymas Creative), Private Lives and A Doll’s House (Starlight Theatre), Gimme, Gimme Tales of An Eternal Optimist and The Fool’s Journey at the Judith Wright Centre, This Way Up (Brisbane Powerhouse), Rhythm Junkies ( Red Hot Rhythm) Historia (Shesaid Productions) and Parade (Warehaus Theatre Company) at QPAC’s Cremorne Theatre. Cienda has a particular interest in William Shakespeare and has directed Food of Love: A Shakespearean Cabaret for the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble as well as Shakespeare Bits for Carpe Diem Productions. For Grin and Tonic Troupe she directed a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Cienda also worked as an Assistant Director with Jon Halpin on Betrayal and Heroes for Queensland Theatre Company and for Lindy Hume on Opera Queensland’s production of  Candide

In 2012, Cienda was selected to become a member of the prestigious Lincoln Center Directors Lab in New York City, where she worked with leading members of the Broadway community.

In February of 2013, Cienda directed the workshop of SPARK for Joymas Creative. She  also developed and directed the premiere of Joymas Creative’s the25project in May of 2013. Cienda was the director on World Goes ‘Round for the Queensland Conservatorium and Rhythm Junkies: Revived, the new incarnation of the highly successful Rhythm Junkies from 2012 ( This show went on to receive an award at 2014 Australian Dance Awards). She was also Co-directed The Taming of The Shrew for the Brisbane Shakespeare Festival and 4MBS.

In 2015 she worked on  the Australian premiere of The Waiting Room at Melbourne Theatre Company  under the direction of Naomi Edwards. Cienda  also directed the Australian premiere of Ryan Scott Oliver’s 35mm, A Musical Exhibition and directed Only The Good Die Young which played at the QLD Cabaret Festival and a season at The Butterfly Club, Melbourne . She directed a production of Benjamin Britten’s The Little Sweep for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. And a new production of Little Women for Brisbane Academy of Musical Theatre.

8 LOCATIONS AROUND BRISBANE

With 8 locations around Brisbane, there’s a Fame Class near you

ALBION

Arana Hills

Coorparoo

Eatons Hill

Indooroopilly

Manly West

Mt Gravatt

North Lakes

Fame Theatre Company 

Phone: (07) 3252 4806  Fax: (07) 3256 1500

Regular Office Hours: 9.30 am – 4 pm Monday to Friday  (Message bank available outside of these hours.)

43 Burdett Street, Albion QLD 4010 (PO Box 2360, Fortitude Valley BC QLD 4006)

 

Fame Theatre Company 

Phone: (07) 3252 4806  
Regular Office Hours: 9.30 am – 4 pm Monday to Friday (Message bank available outside of these hours.)
43 Burdett Street, Albion QLD 4010 (PO Box 2360, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006)