DHPC Dream Team
R&B, POP VOCAL COACH
Mentored by Ricky Martin and Kylie Minogue, R&B and soul singer Thando Sikwila graced our screens on the hit television show The Voice Australia. After reaching the top 24, Thando received critical acclaim, with will.i.am declaring “you’ve got buckets of soul!”
Thando made her theatre debut in the role of Effie White for the Australian premiere of Dreamgirls – to rave reviews. Always striving for brilliance, she followed this up with an acclaimed portrayal of Shug Avery in the sold-out season of The Colour Purple.
In 2016 Thando released her much-anticipated debut EP, titled ‘Digital Love Letters’. Music from this EP has had radio play on both Triple J and Double J. Thando opened for Maxwell at the Palais for his BLACKsummers’night tour alongside DJ MzRizk, and has completed a sold-out national tour with her original’s band. She is a technical vocal genius with impeccable stage presence, and is the perfect match for any artist striving for technical brilliance who wants to break into the industry.
R&B, POP VOCAL COACH
Josh Williams likens his upbringing to that of The Jackson 5. Coming from a musical family, Josh followed his sisters into music and dance, and in 2006 won silver medals with his dance crew Dziah at the World Hip-Hop Dance Championships in L.A. Josh launched his career as a solo artist in 2008, and his debut album ‘Young Love’ went to No.5 on the NZ Album Charts.
From 2013–16 Josh toured Australia in Disney’s The Lion King, understudying Simba. He also released his album ‘Virgo’, which included collaborations with well-known NZ artists Brooke Duff, K One and Dane Rumble. Josh made it through to Guy Sebastian’s top 12 on The X Factor – Australia, and has performed as the Opening Act for Ray J, Jason Derulo, Backstreet Boys, Pitbull, Flo Rida and Chris Brown!
Now teaching pop vocals and songwriting at DHPC, Josh is passionate about sharing his experience with upcoming talent and guiding them to success .
HEAD OF ACTING
Anna Burgess is an impressive, versatile actor with a career spanning 20 years. Beginning as a presenter on Channel Nine’s Postcards, Anna studied acting at the prestigious Strasberg Studio in New York before landing roles in theatre, television and feature films.
Anna’s stage credits include Broadway-hit Bad Jews at the Alex Theatre to rave reviews, Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage, and winning the lead role in the new Australian play Goodbye Miss Monroe, where she played multiple characters including Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth and Gwen Verdon! On screen, Anna starred opposite Delta Goodrem as Rona Newton-John in Channel 7’s Olivia Newton-John, as well as in Neighbours, Last Man Standing and Thank God You’re Here, among others. Anna was nominated for Best Actress at the Buffalo Film Festival, New York, for her work in The Caretaker.
From Macbeth to The Producers and comedy to heartbreak, Anna has the skills to do it all. She is the Head of Acting at DHPC and takes private lessons for aspiring actors as well as for those currently in the industry wishing to brush up their skills, or prepare for auditions and roles.
MUSICAL THEATRE VOCAL COACH
A graduate of the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, Zack Curran is a brilliant Melbourne-based actor, singer and voice over artist. In recent years he understudied and performed the roles of Motel and Perchik in the Australian tour of Fiddler on the Roof, which starred Anthony Warlow and Sigrid Thornton; and played the role of twin brother Mickey Johnstone for Harvest Rain Theatre Company’s Blood Brothers at QPAC. Other theatrical credits include Hello, Dolly!, Anyone Can Whistle, Hello Again and the National and NZ tour of My Fair Lady for Opera Australia, where he was the understudy to Freddy Eynsford Hill.
Zack was a finalist at the Inaugural Rob Guest Endowment Concert at Her Majesty’s Theatre here in Melbourne. In New York City, Zack performed It’s Only Life – accompanied by John Bucchino at the iconic jazz venue Bird Land, and in The Good Fight by Nick Enright and David King, as invited by the New York Music Theatre Festival.
Laura has been acting for the stage and screen since 2007. She has been nominated for two AACTA awards: for her work in feature film Animal Kingdom, and for her role in telemovie Underground: The Julian Assange Story. In 2013, Laura won Best Actor at the TROPFEST film festival for We’ve All Been There, and starred in The Woolgatherer at LaMama Theatre, directed by iconic actor Kerry Armstrong. Her role in the short film The Kingdom of Doug also earned her a Best Actor nomination at St Kilda Film Festival. In between film projects Laura has guest-starred in 7Networks’ Winners and Losers, and ABC’s Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Get Krackn.
Laura is a graduate of 16th Street Actors Studio and VCA, and has studied with master teachers in both Melbourne and Los Angeles. More recently, Laura starred in the highly anticipated Stan Originals’ series Wolf Creek S2, and ABC iView comedy series The Housemate. In early 2018, Laura wrote, produced and starred in her own short film titled Happy Memories.
Peter Blackburn is a world-class theatre director, dramaturge and teacher. With an aptitude for script analysis and its translation to the stage and screen, Peter has an innate ability to connect with actors and engage their curiosity and playfulness.
For two decades Peter has worked in theatre, actor training and secondary education. He has taught poetry and Shakespeare to young people involved in gangs and with the police; worked as a dramaturge, teacher and Programs Coordinator for 16th Street Actors Studio; and obtained his Master of Directing for Performance at VCA.
Peter won the LA Scene Awards for Best Comedy and Best Director (Comedy) in the ‘Intimate Theatre’ categories for the staging of Brendan Cowell’s Ruben Guthrie, and has worked as assistant director to world renowned acting coach Larry Moss. He has also worked in Los Angeles with the Australian Theatre Company, and directed the Australian premiere of Stupid F#cking Bird (an adaption of Checkhov’s The Seagull). Peter believes self-discipline is an act of self-love and urges his students to strive for their best with every chance they get.