FACULTY

Dr Christiaan (Chris) Willems

Director of Higher Education

As APAC’s Director of Higher Education, Dr. Christiaan (Chris) Willems brings to the organisation an extensive and uniquely diverse career in: music, theatre, television, tertiary education and professional communication.

A Fellow of the international Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Chris’s international conference presentations speak to his position as a leader in Higher Education, whilst his consistently innovative, transdisciplinary creative approach is evidenced by ABC-featured music recordings; extensive theatre performance and touring; professional publications, and award-winning international television.

Integrating creative industries leadership and practice-led research, Chris identifies and reconciles areas where often incompatible fields of professional practice intersect, interact, inform and enhance each other – producing innovative, productive solutions.

His multi-disciplinary Doctoral research and qualifications have informed the development of APAC’s Bachelor of Screen & Stage (BSS) Degree, which reconciles academic rigour with professional relevance.

Sean Dennehy

Head of Discipline – Acting

“Give yourselves the permission to be excellent”
A passionate acting teacher Sean teaches from the film set to the classroom, from the stage to the studio straight to the students of APAC. An independent actor, director and producer he has travelled his way round the world and through the industry. His credits include:

Appearing in TV Rake, Home and Away , All Saints films Don’t Tell, Sanctum 3D, his latest film JIVA is showing at Cannes Film Festival in 2020. Theatre As You Like It ,Mercy Thieves , Rigoletto, and Hamlet.

QLD Executive Producer of the Short+Sweet Theatre + Cabaret Festival, Sean provides a professional pathway into the industry. Director and producer for OperaWorks LA, Taiwan International Arts Festival, Regional Theatres such as the Brolga and independently in Australia and U.S.A.

Course coordinator – for the past 3 years he has been helping artists realise their passion by turning their talent into a career.

Mirko Grillini

Lecturer – Screen

Born and raised in Italy, Mirko graduated in performing arts early 2000s. With a background as a Chef Presenter, he devotes his life to performance on both screen and stage as actor, accomplishing to date over 200 screen productions and hundreds of live performances. Roles include Narnia, The Leftovers, Home and Away, Wanted, Neighbours, Joe Exotic and a array of international & Domestic Feature Films. Mirko has won several awards as an actor and as a director/writer and run classes in QLD, NSW and VIC as mentorship for artists who wanted to deepen their understanding of truthful performance and business growth in the industry.

His goal is to allow each student to unleash the artist inside, make it boundaryless and curious and find the freedom to learn, reflect and create while maintaining a vision and be abreast of the constant evolution of the Film/Tv industry. Understanding the business allows the artist to be like water and filter through the gaps constricting creativity and successful outcomes.

Julia Lewis

Head of Discipline – Screen Production

Julia has over twenty years of experience working in Sydney, London and Brisbane in Broadcast TV on documentaries and sports programs as a producer, director and editor. Julia has worked on a wide range of training, corporate productions and television commercials.

Julia is currently developing a documentary on Australian skateboarders and mentoring some of APAC’s graduates in producing their own programs and features. During her career Julia has worked at Australian Associated Press, Channel 7 and has had her own production company Lewis Media since 2006.

Julia brings extensive marketing, producing and editing experience, formal qualifications BA in Film and Media (Hon), a Diploma of Business (Entrepreneurship) and has just completed a Grad. Cert. E-learning, excellent communication skills and production expertise. She has been a Judge for PROMAX INDIA 2019 & 2020, ATOM Awards 2019 & 2020 and a presenter at the ATOM Queensland Conference 2020.

Kerrith Atkinson

Lecturer – Theatre

Kerith graduated from the QUT Academy of the Arts Acting strand. For the Queensland Theatre Company she has performed in the PlayClub reading of Sunset Strip, The Lost Property Rules, Pygmalion, An Oak Tree, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Caucasian Chalk Circle, A Christmas Carol, Vincent in Brixton and The Works as well as being chosen for the Emerging Artist ensemble. Other theatre credits include Romeo & Juliet, and Operator (La Boite Theatre Company), Splendour and A Slight Ache/The Lover (Now Look Here), two seasons of Motherland (Ellen Belloo), Njunjul the Sun (Kooemba Jdarra), Colder (La Boite indie), Bronte (Three Sisters Productions), Dear Charlotte and Black Christmas (Theatre Activ8), The Tempest, Prometheus Unbound and three seasons of Amadeus (4MBS). For various independent theatre companies in Brisbane and Sydney: Three Sisters, The Heartbreak Kid, LovePuke, Dark Heart, and Like There’s No Tomorrow. Nominations include Matilda Awards for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Emerging Artist. Her film and television credits include three seasons of Mako: Island of Secrets, Joe Exotic, Reef Break, Harrow, Reef Doctors, Terra Nova, All Saints, Farscape and the feature films Australia Day, Girl Clock, Talking Back at Thunder and A Guide To Dating At The End Of The World as well as commercials, short films and film clips. As Assistant Director, Kerith has worked on Constellations (QT) and Poison (EG Productions) and as Director on Alice In Wonderland (Rapidfire International), Crazy Brave (QUT) and short works for various theatre festivals. Kerith is also a voice over artist and has been a proud Equity member since 1998.

Mischa Reinthal

Lecturer – Sound Design

Fourth generation professional performing artist, Mischa Reinthal is a multi-modal creator, fluent in composing, performing and producing music in many styles and genres (vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, viola). Mischa’s artistry also includes elaborate costume design, film production, animation and writing.

Mischa worked as the frontman and composer for the band Hungry For Lydia and the pirate themed musical theatre group Skeleton Quay. Both groups featured an emphasis on technicality and production value in the studio, and a bombastic theatrical style of performance in live shows. As a producer and recording engineer, Mischa has developed his skills in studios over the last 15 years. His background is in producing and recording contemporary music, but he has also studied sound design for film through the Griffith Film School masters program, and composed scores for several independent short films and theatre productions.

As an actor Mischa has performed leading roles in theatre productions including Marat/Sade, Adding Machine, Serpent’s Book of Lamentations, and in award winning short films Rain Painting and Blue Colour.

As a professional designer Mischa has produced costumes for Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble, Dark Horse Theatre Group, UQ Drama, Griffith Film School, and TV Totem Pole. His specialisation is in historical costume design, particularly 18th century fashion, mask making, and military uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars.

Joe Nucifora

Lecturer – Screen

Joe’s extensive Film and TV career – as a photographer, cinematographer, editor, producer, and teacher – commenced in the late 70’s in special events, as well state-wide TV commercials, documentaries, corporate, marketing, entertainment and instructional videos. In the late 90’s Joe established his own successful professional photography business, specialising in portraiture, fashion, commercial and advertising – as well as video editing and film production.

Over the span of his career he has also worked alongside Brisbane based cinematographers producing work for a wide range of advertising agencies, as well as significant large-scale Queensland government projects.

Joe brings extensive technical and creative skills and experience to APAC, as well as formal qualifications in a GradCert in Tertiary & Adult Education, excellent communication skills and complete professionalism. All of direct benefit to the students he teaches and the professional colleagues with whom he works on a day-to-day basis.

Sherri Smith

Lecturer – Acting

Sherri has had an extensive movement background and has furthered her training in acting and fight combat disciplines. This has allowed her to work in many areas through the performance industry including stage, screen, and live interactive theatre productions. Her credits include solo-actor performances of the stage play adaptation of ‘Animal Farm’ performed at the Powerhouse, Sonia in Uncle Vanya (The Curators Theatre); Lady Capulet in Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ in the Shakespeare Festival, and MJ in ‘Mania’ as part of the Brisbane Arts Festival. In addition to her stage roles, she her work has also included: TVC’s, voice-over work, and roles in International, National and Local film projects like Project Eden (Mad Anth’m Pictures), Practise Patience (Sparrowland Productions) and Phoenix Rising (Vertical Realm Productions). Whilst lecturing at APAC, she still continues to work professionally in the industry.

Julia Nilon

Head of Discipline – Song & Dance

Julia Nilon is an Australian contemporary singing pedagogue and performer. Throughout her career Julia has performed as a soloist and ensemble member in venues such as The Brisbane Jazz Club, QPAC, The Powerhouse Museum, Taikoo Li Sanlitun Beijing and the Queensland Conservatorium in a variety of contemporary singing styles such as jazz, musical theatre, pop and RnB.

As an educator Julia has worked with vocal clients in both Australia and Beijing from beginners to professional performers across various contemporary singing styles. Graduating from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Performance (Voice) and a Master of Music Studies (Vocal Pedagogy, Academic Excellence) in 2016, Julia is currently working towards her Doctorate at QCGU and continues to develop her professional skills in both pedagogy and performance. Julia has had the pleasure of learning from teachers and musicians of the highest calibre including Assoc. Prof. Irene Bartlett, Mary Saunders-Barton (Penn State), Elly Hoyt, Kristin Berardi and David Spicer. In addition to her education and performance pursuits, Julia directs a YouTube channel sharing her insights as a singing educator as well as her love and passion for music with her growing audience.

Brendan Hodder

Production Manager/Lecturer – Dance

Brendan grew up in Brisbane, Australia and began dancing at an early age. After graduating high school he was accepted at Queensland University of Technology into the Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance program. During his dance training at QUT Brendan was privileged to work with such artists as Paul Boyd and Rosetta Cook of the Queensland Ballet, Csaba Buday of Lee Warren & Dancers and Gavin Webber of Dance North Australia. In addition to his collaborations at QUT Brendan also worked as a freelance dancer performing for popular Brisbane based choreographers such as the renowned and international award-winning Australian contemporary dance choreographer Claire Marshall.

After leaving Australia in 2006, Brendan began performing for some of the largest cruise lines and entertainment studios in the world such as Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and Universal Studios. Dancing world-tour contracts for Carnival and Princess Cruise Lines, Brendan toured the world many times over and visited many places – The USA, Canada, China, Japan, United Kingdom, South America, Europe and the Caribbean Islands. In 2011 Brendan decided to hone in on his love for Latin dance influences and embarked on a performance career with some of the largest luxury resort names in Mexico and South America, where he remained for two years performing as a dancer and choreographer for several Latin dance companies.

Brendan returned to cruise ships to take his final professional performance contracts with Princess Cruise Line, where he performed as a soloist in the 2016/2017 world tour seasons of Princess Cruise’s newest critically acclaimed shows “Magic To Do” by Steven Schwartz (Producer of “Wicked”) and “Encore” by Danny Teeson (Creative Director Disney Channel). As a Cast Manager, in addition to performing Brendan oversaw all elements of the production shows throughout the seasons from rehearsal to show installs on tour.

Brendan has recently returned home to Australia to focus on his career in professional dance training. As APAC’s Production Manager, Brendan’s focusses are on strengthening and enriching the performance opportunities for all APAC performance students by establishing collaborative partnerships and creative incentives with the professional industry – closing the gap between pre-professional training and the professional performance industry.

Heidi Gledhill

Theatre Director

Heidi Gledhill is an awarding-winning theatre director. Most recently, as Co-Artistic Director of The Hive Collective, Heidi produced a season of three plays and directed The Bull, The Moon & The Coronet of Stars by Van Badham in 2021 at the new Metro Arts in Brisbane. Heidi directed The Eisteddfod by Lally Katz as part of the Metro Arts’ Local season.

Heidi studied theatre at Macquarie University in Sydney and was granted a scholarship to study at La Sapienza, Rome University, in Italy, working alongside Nobel laureate Dario Fo. Heidi translated many of Dario Fo’s texts into English whilst teaching and translating in the performing arts department at La Sapienza, Rome University. Heidi was also a guest lecturer at Universitá 3 in Rome.

In Brisbane, Heidi founded the independent theatre company Room to Play, touring with Ionesco’s The Bald Prima Donna, directing Dario Fo’ One Was Nude and One Wore Tails and Brian Friels Afterplay, which had sell-out seasons in Brisbane as well as touring to Sydney Fringe Festival. In 2017 Heidi directed Tom Holloway’s Red Sky Morning and co-directed Dario Fo’s Mistero Buffo, supported by Queensland Theatre independent initiative and presented at Billie Brown Theatre.

Recently she directed Tillie Olsen’s, I Stand Here Ironing and the staged reading of The Hanging by Angela Betzien, hosted by Hotlines at Playlab. Heidi co-created and directed I AM KING. I AM QUEEN, touring to New Zealand. This show won the Anywhere Sydney Fringe award and Brisbane Powerhouse Award. Heidi is currently developing a show to be creatively developed at a residency in Finland.

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