Jean-Marc Cafà trained at the Guildford School of Acting, UK. He has consulted, collaborated with and directed for a number of local and international organisations. Jean-Marc has taught drama, voice, jazz and musical theatre for various schools including SOPA, GSA and Stagecoach Theatre Arts UK and Malta. In 2011, he moved to Malta to manage the implementation of ZiguZajg, Malta’s first international arts festival for children and youth. Between 2011 and 2013, Jean served as the Artistic Director for SOPA (School of Performing Arts by Drama Troupe) and oversaw the youth programmes run by St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity (Spazju Kreattiv). He also served as Vice President of the performers' association APAP. Jean-Marc founded Studio 18 in 2013, and has served as Creative Director since. He also works as a dramaturge, and works as a consultant of creative learning to San Anton School, a leading independent school in Malta.
Directing credits include The Brat and That, #babydaddy, Once Upon a City workshops, Limbo, Dear Pete, Inez Kienet Perf(etta) and Gotta Sing Gotta Dance (for Studio 18), Il-Hajja Xej Kool Ta' Teenager Jismu Julian (for Du Theatre, and Teatru Aurora), Loveplay (for Pagoni Theatre), MPO's Dare to Dream, a number of musicals and showcases for SOPA and Stagecoach, and Thoroughly Modern Millie for the SOPA Teen Company (Malta) as well as co-director for Teatru Astra's Evita and assistant director on Her Naked Skin (GSA), Così Fan Tutte (Jackdaws, UK), Orpheus the Mythical (Yvonne Arnuad Theatre and Richard Stilgoe), and Shakespeare scene work for the Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare's Globe.
Jean-Marc has been invited to participate in numerous workshops at organisations such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Het Filiaal, Edinburgh Fringe, Ziguzajg and Al-Harah Theatre.
Performance Credits include Billy in The Goat, Leonard in Wife Begins at Forty, Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Slender in The Merry Wives of Windsor, John in Audacity, various roles in Loveplay, Ken in Red, Sergeant Trotter in The Mousetrap, Jeffrey in Animal Magnetism, Cleante in The Hypochondriac, Billing in An Enemy of the People, Jack in Into the Woods, Kenicke in Grease, Ulysses in Orpheus the Mythical, The Oracle in Persephone, the Beatles Philharmonic Tribute at the Royal Albert Hall and MPO's Movie Spectacular.
Director of Learning
Simone Spiteri was born in 1983 and trained for her Diploma in acting at the Malta Drama Centre between 1996 and 2004. She obtained her B.A. (Hons.) and M.A. in Theatre Studies from the University of Malta. She set up her own theatre company, Dù, in 2004 in which she performs, directs and writes. Her written and directed work has been performed in Denmark, Egypt, Sicily, Spain, Macedonia, USA, UK, and France. Two of her written works Appuntamenti (2009) and Kjaroskur (2011) won first prize in the National Francis Ebejer contest for playwriting. Both Appuntamenti and Lacuna (2006), have been chosen as one of the 120 best plays for the European stage in the European Theatre Convention’s (ETC) bi-annual publication. She has written extensively for ŻiguŻajg International Children’s Festival to sold-out performances with plays such as: Il-Ħajja Xejn Cool ta’ Teenager Jismu Julian (2012), #babydaddy (2014), Fly Flynn (2014) and Ineż kienet Perf(etta) (2016) with several re-runs and tours across Maltese schools. She has also written text work for young people for the Malta Philarmonic Orchestra and worked with several companies on translations of classics into Maltese like Pinter’s The Hothouse and the libretto for Orfeo and Majnun for Valletta Capital of Culture 2018.
In between her company’s productions, she often collaborates with other theatrical
Companies on the main Maltese stages and has worked with MADC;
Mrs. Warren’s Profession (2011), Twelfth Night (2011), The Winter’s Tale (2012), Skylight (2017), Unifaun Theatre; Olly’s Prison (2013) and The Price of One (2014), An Enemy of the People (2018). Her work as a director has included: Red for FM Theatre Productions and Lorca’s Blood Wedding at the Manoel Theatre where she worked as Drama Consultant between 2011 and 2013. An educator for 15 years, she lectures part-time within the Theatre Studies department at the University of Malta and has published four History textbooks with Merlin Publications. In 2014 she was also an International Playwright Observer at New Visions, New Voices at the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C. and a chosen writing resident at La Chartreuse in Avignon, France in 2016.
In 2017 she also published her first fiction work with Il-Vjaġġatauri taż-Żmien, the first book in her Il-Vinkulari series aimed at young readers. The second book of the same series is expected to be published in 2019. Her play scripts will also be published in 2019 with her award-winning Appuntamenti and recently acclaimed Repubblika Immakulata in a double bill publication joining her already published Pinter’s Is-Serra (The Hothouse) and Kjaroskur.
Senior Mentor for Musical Theatre
Rachel completed a Masters Degree in Musical Theatre at the Guildford School of Acting (UK). She recently also gained Estill Voice Technique Level 1 & 2 certificates under tuition of Charlotte Shorthouse. She also graduated with a Psychology (Hons.) Degree from the University of Malta and also holds an ICS Diploma in Child Psychology.
Rachel formed part of the platinum-disc classical-crossover quartet All Angels (2009-2014). As part of All Angels, Rachel performed at venues such as the Wembley Stadium (Champions League Final 2011), as guest artists for the Young Voices UK Tour at the 02 Arena, Manchester Arena, Royal Albert Hall and other arenas around the UK. They also performed at the House of Commons, on Channel 4, on BBC’s The One Show, for HRH Earl of Wessex at Spencer House, and held their own concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and other popular venues such as the Leicester Square Theatre. They have also performed at international venues including the Royce Hall in Los Angeles and the Auditorio de Dupitacion in Spain and performed alongside leading artistes such as Alexandra Burke, Katherine Jenkins, Dionne Bromfield, Dame Shirley Bassey, Ruth Lorenzo, and Lesley Garrett. Rachel has often performed for the Royal British Legion and the Salvation Army at The Guildhall and Cadogan Hall. All Angels released their Starlight EP at Covent Garden’s Apple Store.
UK musical theatre credits include the lead in Persephone (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), the lead in Make Believe (Henley Fringe Festival), guest soloist in Beyond the Barricade UK Tour, forming part of the cast of Me and My Girl at the London Palladium and the Beatles Philharmonic Tribute at the Royal Albert Hall.
Rachel has appeared in several Maltese musical productions, most recently playing May Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar, Maria in The Sound of Music and Regina in Rock of Ages. Solo credits include Rockestra 2016, Teatru Unplugged 16, HSBC Summer Concert with the MPO, Voices 2002/6/12, the MPO’s Movie Spectacular, lead soloist in Masquerade’s musical revues Simply Webber and Comedy Tonight, Snow White (The Curse of Snow White pantomime), Princess Bianca (Sleeping Beauty pantomime), Animae Gospel Choir Concerts. Rachel played Cathy in The Last Five Years, Catherine (1565 The Musical in Concert), Cinderella (Into the Woods), Debbie (The Real Thing), Befana (La Befana), Crystal (Little Shop of Horrors), Fatimoma (Tin Pan Ali) and her stage debut at 12 as Annie (Annie).
Movement & Educationo
Christina started ballet at the age of 5 under the guidance of Mary Jane Bellia at ‘The Ballet School’. When she was 18 years, she was accepted to undertake BA (Hons) in Ballet Education at the Royal Academy of Dance in London specializing in Classical performance. Christina also achieved the teacher's Licentiate (LRAD), making her eligible to teach all levels of Ballet. Upon graduating Christina embarked her first job in Italy teaching Ballet and Jazz at La Scuola di Danza ‘La Sylphide’ in Rome. In the summer of 2008, together with Maria Cassar, she directed a dance show Medium of Perception which was the beginning of RedTape Dance Company. On her return to work in Malta, Christina freelanced as a teacher teaching both ISTD AND RAD ballet and Jazz. As a dancer, in 2010, Christina performed the main of La Sylphide at the Manoel Theatre under the Direction of Johane Casabene and performed with Dance Council Malta.
Apart from choreographing and dancing with RedTape Dance Company, Christina also performed with Contact Dance Company directed by Francesca Tranter and Moveo Dance Company under the direction of Dorian Mallia. Christina has also danced in the Malta Arts Festival under the direction of Mavin Khoo - in a new reading of Swan Lake, and MPO's Dare to Dear.
In 2013 Christina founded Danza C which aims to promote dance through teaching and performances. Together with her husband Daniel Cauchi, Christina co-founded The Box – A Creative Arts Space which serves as a multi-functional rehearsal space providing fully equipped studio space for individual artists and or groups. In 2014 Christina graduated successfully from the UOM, achieving an Ma Performing Studies (dance). Currently Christina is performing regularly with Moveo Dance Company whilst striving towards future projects and prospects for Danza C and The Box.
A committed dance artist, principal teacher of ‘Danza C’ and artistic director at ‘The Box – A creative arts space’. Specializes in teaching dance, choreography and performance with a vast range of knowledge in the respective field. Has a variety of teaching experience in private, public, and community sector and specializes in performance of Classical Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Currently focusing on dance education and choreography with a specific insight into interdisciplinary performance and creating performances for children.
Director of Barbetti, Music Consultant
Dr Joe Gatt began performing at a very young age, and has taught music and singing for over 10 years. He holds an ALCM in piano and distinctions at Advanced Levels in both musical theatre and singing.
Performance Credits include: Minigig, The Wolf in ZiguZajg 2012's Opera Little Red Riding Hood, U/S Oliver in Oliver! (The MADC), U/S Ali Baba in Tin Pan Ali (Masquerade Theatre Company), Peter in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, King in The Old Befana, Rapunzel's Prince in Into the Woods and Chino in West Side Story (Drama Troupe).
Teaching and Musical Director Credits include: Singing classes and individual tuition at SOPA (2005 to 2012), direction of the SOPA Choir and a number of SOPA musicals and showcases, direction of the Joseph Calleja Children's Choir (2008 to 2012), direction of Studio 18's musical performances for MYO Swings, Notte Bianca in 2014, the workshop for Once Upon a City, Gotta Sing Gotta Dance, and most recently, Muso Merlot.
Joe is also Musical Director for Barbetti - Studio 18’s very own barbershop quartet.
Ian Azzopardi Meli
Mentor for Well Being
Following three years working in the areas of Autism Spectrum Disorder and general Mental Health after obtaining his Bachelor Degree with Honours in Psychology, Ian furthered his studies and attained his Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Malta. His major interest is psycho-educational consultation, which typically involves delivering targeted services to children and adolescents through parents, school staff members, and other professionals working with children and adolescents as the direct change agents. He has worked in various educational and clinical settings and currently works within multi-disciplinary teams at the Child Development Assessment Unit and the Children and Young People Services, with a focus on psychological and behavioural assessment, and consultation.
Ian is also part of the Team for the Assessment of Attention and Social Communication, in which he provides services focusing on psycho-educational assessment and school interventions. He is currently collaborating in a research study with the Department of Physiology and Biochemistry at the University of Malta, aimed at investigating the involvement of frontal cortical EEG patterns in inattention at hyperactivity, with the aim to improve Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder diagnosis and intervention.
James Azzopardi Meli
Production & Finance
James Azzopardi Meli has been involved in the performing arts since 2004. De la Salle College nourished his love for the stage; sitting for individual acting exams under the tuition of Lucienne Camilleri and performing in a number of musicals produced by DLS productions. He then trained in Musical Theatre at SOPA until 2013, performing in showcases, Les Miserables - cast as Marius - and Thoroughly Modern Millie - as Jimmy.
Joining Studio 18 upon its conception, James has since then assisted in the direction of The Brat and that in Malta in 2013 and in the UK in 2014, took part in MYO Swings, Notte Bianca and #babydaddy – both the premiere in 2014 and the school tour in 2015 – in which he played the protagonist Matt. He has also starred in music videos for Dana McKeon, Gianluca Bezzina, and Red Electrick, as well as taking part in an advert for Simonds Farsons Cisk.
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. More recently, James was Production Manager for Gotta Sing Gotta Dance, Dear Pete, and Scratch it-Pitch it-Work it at Teatru Salesjan, and Muso Merlot at The Italian Job.
He currently holds a Distinction in Speech and Drama at ATCL Level. James has also attended workshops and masterclasses with local and international artists, specialising in various areas, including physical theatre, audition technique and devised work. He completed his M.A. in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.
Paul has worked extensively in the UK and overseas as a director, actor, and educator, specialising primarily in training emerging actors. An Associate Artist of the National Youth Theatre, Paul has also directed and facilitated work at Southwark Playhouse, Almeida Theatre, Old Vic Theatre and Hoxton Hall. Alongside his educational work and theatre portfolio in the UK Paul is a founder member of Hanyong Theatre with whom he toured Korea, Japan and Australia.
Directing credits include: Machinal, Attempts on Her Life, Pornography, The Wonderful World of Dissocia (Buckinghamshire New University/Courtyard Theatre) 179 Hackney Road (BRIT School/Bussey Building), Digital Ghosts/Children of the Revolution, Feather's in the Snow (as Associate Director), Every Human Creature, The Arsonists, Peer Gynt (Southwark Playhouse), White City/Black Country, Talking to Shorty, Before the Law (National Youth Theatre of GB), Caucasian Chalk Circle, Our Day Out, 1984, Animal Farm (Stafford Gatehouse Theatre).