The People Who Make Studio 18
Meet Our Founder - Jean-Marc Cafà
Jean-Marc is a seasoned driver in People Excellence and a dynamic Educational Specialist with over 15 years of transformative experience.
Jean-Marc's expertise has driven impactful change in holistic learning, inner development and the arts, forging lasting connections and promoting a growth mindset. He has collaborated with numerous organisations, including the Evolution Group, the CHSMC schools, Spazju Kreattiv, FreeHour, the Barn Theatre, Al-Harah Theatre and Arts Council Malta, and departments of the University of Malta, contributing to his broad perspective on industry needs.
Jean-Marc recently completed an MEd in Teaching and Learning for the Arts in Higher Education at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, with a focus on arts educational leadership. His passion for learning and critical inquiry enable him to connect academia, research, and modern education and workforce dynamics.
Beyond education, Jean-Marc is an accomplished performer, director, and creative visionary. He has also collaborated with organisations like the Guildford School of Acting, ŻiguŻajg International Arts Festival, and APAP Malta, for which he served as Vice President.
In 2013, Jean-Marc founded Studio 18, an organisation dedicated to arts education and creative learning. Aside from designing learning programmes and facilitating courses and workshops, he has also directed a number of acclaimed Studio18 productions, such as Ineż Kienet Perf(etta), iLand, and Il-Giddieb Għomru Twil.
Founder & Senior Leader for Innovation & Learning
James Azzopardi Meli
Senior Leader for Sustainability
Joining Studio 18 upon its conception, James performed in MYO Swings, and played the role of Matt in #babydaddy. Between 2017 and 2021 he sang Baritone in Barbetti, Studio 18's barbershop quartet.
When not on stage, James enjoys the production side of theatre. In 2016, James co-led a devised Shakespeare workshop programme with Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, was an Assistant Leader in Drama sessions at Opening Doors, and the Production Manager for Limbo both at Spazju Kreattiv and for the Sliema Arts Festival. In 2017-2019, James was the Production Manager for various productions. Most recently, he co-produced Il-Giddieb Għomru Twil at Spazju Kreattiv in 2023.
He holds a Distinction in Speech and Drama at ATCL Level. He completed his M.A. in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, holds a NEBOSH IGC, and is a Lead Auditor in ISO9001, ISO14001 and ISO45001. James has for the last 4 years been working as a Business Management advisor with a focus on quality and sustainability.
With a background in fine arts, Denise Perini is a creative individual specialising in project management & marketing.
Having gotten started in Malta’s theatre scene through Studio 18's acting programmes, Denise took a step back from performing & started focusing on working behind the scenes in management.
Some of her production credits include: Larinġa Mekkanika (Teatru Malta), Trikki Trakki (Teatru Malta), ZiġuZajġ International Arts Festival 2020 & 2021, WIRES (Studio 18), Ma Kuraġġ (Teatru Malta) and Lupu/Naġgħa (Du' Theatre). From a marketing perspective, Denise focuses on creating engaging campaigns and branding for people & companies. She has worked with multiple entities including, Studio 18, Eeetwell & Red Electric, as well as individuals who want to elevate their personal brand.
Denise holds a BA (Hons) in Theatre Studies from the University of Malta with a focus on cultural policy, and has also founded the MEIA (Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association) Youth Executive Committee. She is currently the Head of Projects & Operations at FreeHour Malta focusing on youth-centric projects within a company of Gen-Zs.
Our Internal Advisors
Aleandro Spiteri Monsigneur
Acting & Playwriting
Our External Advisors
Ian Azzopardi Meli
Our Visiting Tutors
Chantelle Micallef Grimaud
Magdalena Van Kuilenburg