Our Team

Experience shows that young people respond well to staff members who have had – and still maintain – success in their professional fields. They can actually do what they are teaching you to do! That’s why the MGA motto has always been ‘Training for the profession, from the profession’.

World-class tutors drawn from across the UK, Europe and the US with exceptional careers and incredible teaching skills work alongside our experienced managerial and administrative staff to deliver our courses, preparing the next generation of professional performer.

We also have an enviable list of consultants and guest lecturers who are on hand to offer advice and support for projects and performances, maintaining strong links to the professional world of performing arts.

Giles Auckland-Lewis – Chairman and Chief Executive

Giles is possibly one of Europes most experienced and successful leaders and innovators in performing arts education and training. Graduates from his programmes have gone on to take leading roles on Broadway and in the West End, perform in Oscar winning films, and Netflix and other streaming service films. They have also gone on to direct productions in the West End and in capitals across the world.

Prior to joining MGA he was the Principal of the Institute of the Arts Barcelona, (www.iabarcelona.com ) which he founded. The IAB has 350 full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students and delivers BA and MA degrees in Acting, Dance, Musical theatre and Singing. In 2017 the IAB took on their first PhD student.

Prior to founding the IAB Giles was for eight years Director of Higher Education at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (www.lipa.ac.uk) . LIPA is one of the UK´s leading and largest specialist performing higher education institutions.

From 1992 to 2001 Giles was a lecturer then a Head of School at Cumbria College of Art and Design and oversaw the development of higher education programmes which eventully led to the creation of the University of Cumbria (www.cumbria.ac.uk).

In his career to date Giles has led the development of over 80 degree programmes ranging from the fine and applied arts, through archeology and history to performing arts and popular music.

Giles has a BA Hons in History of Art, a Postgraduate Certificate in Management and an MA in Critical Theory and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1996.

Staff by department

Click on the staff member listed under the faculties below to find out more about them.

Senior Staff

Marcella Macdonald


Marcella trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama on the BA Music course and at the Royal Academy of Music, London on the post-graduate musical theatre course where she received the Ian Fleming Musical Theatre Award and the Musicians Benevolent Fund Award.

Theatre Works: A Little Night Music (Jack Lyons Theatre), Evita (Zouk Amphitheatre, Beirut), Richard Rogers Centenary Celebrations (with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall), Les Dialogues Des Carmelites (Edinburgh Festival Theatre), Manon (New Athenaeum). Marcella has also worked as a backing singer for Elton John, performing at Birmingham NEC, The Royal Albert Hall, The Royal Opera House and Wembley, and appearing on BBC 1. Other works include session singing and New Music Theatre Writers workshop.

Marcella’s teaching experience includes; Musical Supervisor for Montage Theatre Arts, London. Vocal Coaching for Forth Children’s Theatre and Musical Director for Edinburgh council’s Musical Theatre Summer School.

Laura Proudfoot


Laura Proudfoot is the Vice Principal at the MGA Academy of Performing Arts. Before being appointed at MGA in August 2018, Laura was a Co-Founder and Co-Director of Morningside Advanced Training, providing the delivery of HND Professional Dance Performance qualifications to dancers in full-time vocational training. Prior to embarking on her own business, Laura worked in the Dance department at Edinburgh’s Telford College, where she progressed from Lecturer to Head of Department within her 15 years of employment.

Throughout her professional career, she has been actively involved in the development of dance education within the Scottish Secondary school Curriculum, and has worked with the Dance Development Team at the Scottish Qualifications Authority as an assessor and advisor for the Higher Dance Qualification.

Laura was awarded a First-Class BA (Hons) Dance Degree through Northumbria University, and continues to be an active teaching member of the Royal Academy of Dance, and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

Rebecca Wallace

Academic Coordinator

For over a decade Rebecca Wallace performed internationally with various musical theatre shows such as ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘Broadway!’, Qdos Pantomimes and on Costa and Cunard Cruise Lines. She was Dance Captain and Company Manager for several international dance tours including ‘Spirit of the Dance’ and ‘Dancing Queen’. And although her performance career predominantly kept her in theatre she also had the opportunity to perform in music videos and television programmes. 
She continues to choreograph internationally having created the dance element of musical theatre and cabaret shows in Dubai, UAE and across Europe. 
After retiring from performing full time Rebecca now delivers classes in 9 styles of dance to an extensive range of abilities in both mainstream and private sectors including inclusive classes for adults to holistically support their physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing. 
Having completed her MSc Dance Science and Education with an additional teaching diploma at Edinburgh University her experience includes educational leadership, curriculum design, research, pedagogy and initial teacher training. 

Lisa Cottrell

Head of Dance

MA Dance Practices
BA (Hons) Literary & Cultural Studies

Lisa is a highly experienced theatre practitioner with advanced skills in dance techniques and diverse theatre knowledge.

As a choreographer and director she has worked extensively in theatre, the cruising industry and the corporate commercial sector.

Previous teaching includes, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Guildford School of Acting Conservatoire.

Lisa’s passion for dance and all genres of the performing arts, is coupled with her commitment to excellence in the delivery of dance training to MGA’s future professionals.

Molly Innes

Head of Acting

Molly trained at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD) and has been an actor for over twenty years. During this time she has received a commendation at the Ian Charleson/National Theatre Awards (for Electra), was nominated for a Stage Award for Acting Excellence (for her role in Moving Objects) and was nominated for a Best Actress CATS award (One day all this will come to nothing). Her theatre work includes stints at The National Theatre of Scotland, The Traverse, The Royal Lyceum, Dundee Rep, Perth Rep, The Citizen’s and the Royal Court as well as many touring companies.

Film and television credits include: Rebus, Taggart, Holby City, A Mug’s Game, Psychos, Takin’ over the Asylum, Rab C. Nesbitt, Lovesick, River City, The Bill, Ratcatcher, Strathblair, The Ferguson Theory, Stella Does Tricks, Afterlife and Karmic Mothers. She has also performed in numerous radio plays for BBC Radio 4.

Molly was one of the Traverse Fifty writers. She received a New Playwright award from The Playwright’s Studio, Scotland in 2014. She has had rehearsed readings of her short plays Legacy and Roads of Grace. Her translation into Scots of Michel Tremblay’s Thérèse and Pierrette and the Wee Hanging Angel was presented by Stellar Quines as part of their Rehearsal Room. Her play Mother Ease was performed at the Traverse during the Edinburgh Festival.

Molly was Associate Director on 13 Sunken Years, a co-production between Stellar Quines and Lung Ha Theatre Companies. She directed the first rehearsed reading of her translation of Thérèse and Pierrette and the Wee Hanging Angel at the Traverse and has directed Five Kinds of Silence for Beyond Broadway Productions.

Molly is also a fully qualified secondary school teacher.

Kris Harding

Head of Musical Theatre

Kris graduated with a First Class BA Honours in Musical Theatre from Mountview Academy of Performing Arts, London.

After graduating he went on to perform in London’s West End and on both National and International Tours. Roles included Rusty in Starlight Express, Narrator in Blood Brothers and Jamie in The Last Five Years.

Most recently Kris performed on BBC 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night live from the London Palladium with the Royal Symphonic Orchestra.

It has been my great privilege and pleasure to be a tutor here at the MGA Academy of Performing Arts for the last four years and I cannot wait to continue working with our students.

Dance Lecturers

Laura Adam

Senior Dance Lecturer


Principal Teacher and Creative Director of LAPA. Laura trained at the WHSoD until the age of 16 where she secured a three-year Professional Dance Training Course at Edinburgh Theatre School of Dance & Drama.

After completing her training Laura went on many worldwide contracts aboard P&O and Costa Cruises, La Nouvelle Eve in Paris, Solverde Casinos Portugal, Casino Madeira, La Perla Casino Slovenia, Germany, Milan, Morocco, Italy to name few. She has performed in three pantomimes in The Pavillion Theatre Glasgow alongside The Krankies and the cast of Still Game, and also Panto at Motherwell Civic Centre.

Laura is involved in judging competitions and festivals as well as choreographing for students to dance in conventions such as Move It London and Can You Dance? Glasgow and Liverpool.

John Burlington

Dance Lecturer

Bio coming soon!

Bethany-Jayne Dalton

Dance Lecturer

Bethany-Jayne Dalton trained at The Manchester College before continuing her studies at The Hammond, Chester where she graduated with a Level 6 Trinity Diploma in Professional Dance as Head Student in 2015.

She has performed in all aspects of the industry both in the UK and internationally. Some professional credits include Dance Captain/Thelma in Gypsy!, Adidas’ Create The Answer 2018 World Cup commercial, Snow White and The Seven Dwarves (Leeds) and several contracts with Norwegian Cruise Lines as Dancer/Singer. Bethany-Jayne completed her Level 7 PGCE in 2021 and has a wealth of teaching experience, she has taught and choreographed for a number of schools and colleges across the UK alongside regularly adjudicating for a number of dance competitions.

Bethany-Jayne is thrilled to be joining MGA faculty in 2022 and is passionate about delivering industry-focused dance education to the future generation of performers.

Alan Greig

Dance Lecturer

Born in Scotland in 1962, Alan Greig trained in London at the Laban Centre and Central School of Ballet. He spent a year in New York City as a scholarship student of seminal choreographer Alwin Nikolais. He has since taught, choreographed, and performed extensively in the UK. In 1990 he formed X Factor Dance Company which toured nationally and internationally until 2009. Alan has staged international performances in Germany (1996 and 2007) New York City (2009) and in Shanghai, China (2009-2017). 

Choreographic commissions include: Over Soul Tanz Theatre (Ningbo) Tron Theatre (Ulysses), Jin Xing Dance Company (Shanghai), University of Lincoln, Goucher College (USA), University of Malta, Y-Dance, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, University College Bretton Hall, New Moves, Scottish Dance Theatre, Glasgow Clyde College.
Professional teachings include: University of Huaqiao (Xiamen), The British Council (Shanghai) Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, Dance Ihayami, Dance Base (Edinburgh) – Alan was curator for Spring 08 bringing in Lloyd Newson and was the mentor 2012/13 for the D.E.B.S, Dance House (Glasgow) Citymoves (Aberdeen) Scottish Dance Theatre (Creative Learning) Scottish Ballet Education, V-Tol, Jonathan Burrows Group, London Youth Project, Scottish Youth Dance Festival and Dundee Rep Dance.  Alan is well known in the youth and community sector having created over 60 diverse works throughout the UK.  In 2003 he was invited to Hong Kong to collaborate with award winning theatre company, Theatre du Pif, in their production ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’.
Alan has performed with David Hughes Dance, Smallpetiteklein and Janice Parker. He graduated in 2009 from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts with a master’s degree (Distinction) in Dance Theatre Practices.

Luis Drake

Dance Lecturer

Trained in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, and Tap (American and Irish) at Annette’s School of Dance (Quarteira, Portugal), Luis was qualified for and competed in the Dance World Cup 2011 (Paris, France), and had his choreography qualified for the two following Dance World Cups (Villach, Austria and Brighton, England).

Following that, he did the first two years of his BA in Dance at Escola Superior de Dança (Lisbon, Portugal), and the final year at Codarts University of the Arts (Rotterdam, Netherlands), where he had the opportunity to learn from internationally renowned teachers and choreographers, completing his BA in 2015.

Luis has since been based in Rotterdam and taught for over a year at the Technical University of Delft, toured the Netherlands and Belgium twice in Contemporary Dance company productions Ne Me Quitte Pas and Le Temps Perdu, by Belgian choreographer Isabelle Beernaert, worked for Princess Cruises, guest performed at events such as the Nederlands Acrobatiek Festival and most recently appeared in Pelléas et Mélisande by the Dutch National Opera.

Prior to his Dance experience, Luis held a regional title in kenpo karate (2001), regional and national titles in partner acrobatics (2003), and was vice-regional champion of high jump and javelin throw (2008) in the Algarve, Portugal. In high school, he studied advanced sciences, with the intent of pursuing astrophysics, up until he started dancing at the age of 16.

In early 2020, Luis began teaching at Edinburgh Festival Ballet School and The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, and is happy to be returning to Edinburgh as a full-time teacher at MGA.

Ashley Jack

Dance Lecturer

Edinburgh-based hip hop dancer and choreographer www.ashleyjackdance.com

Trained at Edinburgh’s Telford college (now PASS), where she completed an HND in Professional Stage Dance, as well as by hip hop and house dance pioneers in New York, Paris and Holland, Ashley has nearly a decade of experience in both performing and teaching.

Ashley is a popular teacher in the community, teaching many classes each week to adults and children under her brand, House of Jack, as well as in studios, dance colleges and schools around Edinburgh.
She also organises regular workshops by international and local dancers. She has a love of hip hop culture, imparting its history and foundations to her students. Ashley has a passion for outreach and is very active in projects working with youth and community groups, and is keen to engage and involve young people.

Ashley has a strong interest in Hip Hop theatre, founding company Jackin’ the Box in 2010 and youth company the MiniJackers in 2014. In her theatre works, she often explores the dark or difficult elements of the human psyche, including sociopathy, social anxiety, OCD, insomnia, and effects of modern technology on young people, producing thought-provoking and gripping pieces. She also produces upbeat pieces for events, showcases and club nights. She was recently shortlisted for the 2017 Creative Edinburgh Independent Award, for her creative choreography and valuable work with young people.

Ashley was the only female to be picked as one of five choreographers to take part in Breakin’ Convention’s inaugural ‘Back to the Lab’ project in 2012, travelling to London to be mentored by Jasmin Vardimon and Jonzi D to choreograph a piece shown at renowned venue Sadler’s Wells.

Performance credits include numerous hip hop theatre performances, including at: Breakin’ Rules, Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, company, 2018; The Unknown plus guests, Galashiels, duet, 2017; Breakin’ Rules, Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, duet, 2017; NordDance, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, duet, 2015; Jam’n’Juice at Just Jam, Dance City, Newcastle, solo, 2014; Breakin’ Convention, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, solo, 2014; Breakin’ Convention, Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 2012; Breakin’ Rules, Dundee Rep Theatre, 2011 and 2012; Jam’n’Juice at Just Jam, Dance City, Newcastle, 2011; several pieces at Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival; on-stage appearances with artists Kelly Rowland, David Guetta, U2 and more; a wide variety of club nights and events, including the MOBO awards.

Her youth companies also regularly perform at prominent events, including Breakin’ Convention (2017), Breakin’ Rules (2018, 2017, 2015), the Audacious Women Festival (2017), the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival (2016), and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2018, 2015).

Adam McMillan

Dance Lecturer

Adam is a Glasgow based dancer who specialises in hip hop as well as having knowledge and experience within many other styles. His journey began when he was featured on the live semi finals of Sky 1’s Got To Dance back in 2011, originally as a soloist but soon pairing with another competitor. This experience motivated and propelled him into learning as much about dance as he could.

Studying in Glasgow at Reid Kerr for three years and achieving HND in dance and stage, he also trained with the pioneers of Hip Hop Dance, Elite Force Crew, both in Glasgow and New York, spending three months attending classes at Broadway Dance Centre. He then moved to London to continue further his studies and enrolled at London Studio Centre. 

Due to a road traffic accident Adam was then left with no choice but to return home and recover. Upon his recovery, he auditioned for Work at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and successfully left home to work away for another year in Dubai.

During his studies Adam has performed professionally in theatre, commercial, and corporate events. Some of which include, Commonwealth Ceremonies (2012 to 2014), BBC & Blue Peter (2012), Sky 1 Broadband (2012),  Miss Scotland Awards Ceremony Soloist (2011),  Pavilion Theatre Glasgow (2011/2012 – 2012/2013), Ferrari World Abu Dhabi (2015/2016), Dubai Arts Festival (2015), Burtons Men’s Summer Fashion Release (2015).

As well as performing on a variety of platforms he has taught all over the uk and aims to add to his list by teaching worldwide. Some places include, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Dundee, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, London, Budapest, Abu Dhabi, Dubai.

On top of performing and teaching Adam is also a member of Goblynz who are Scottish hip hop and street dance champions. He also participates in battles and events up and down the country and continues to explore the methods, techniques, and understandings of dancing as a form of self-expression. 

Very keen to be onboard with The MGA Academy of Performing Arts, he seeks to inspire and motivate all students to discover their inner artist and creative. 

Pam Distefano

Dance Lecturer

Bio coming soon!

Lorna Brown

Dance Lecturer

Bio coming soon!

Molly Kinnon

Dance Lecturer

Bio coming soon!

Gwen Stevenson

Dance Lecturer

Bio coming soon!

All or Nothing

Aerial Training

All or Nothing are Scotland’s leading aerial dance company. Based in Edinburgh they have been blending breathtaking aerial acrobatics with dance, theatre and contemporary circus since 2006.

The company’s creative work has seen them take on everything from large-scale outdoor spectacle to small scale theatre. They have hung from boats, abseiled down buildings and flown through trees at the Enchanted Forest. In 2015 they will be touring their new work for theatre, Three’s A Crowd.

All or Nothing create greater opportunities to experience aerial dance and theatre, running classes, workshops and training programmes, spanning both the professional and community sectors across Scotland.
The training at MGA is delivered by an experienced team of aerialists and performers including Andrew Green, Jennifer Paterson, Sharisse Tindell and Marie Williamson.

Acting Lecturers

Martyn Dempsey

Senior Acting Lecturer

Martyn Dempsey is an Actor, Writer, Theatre Maker and Lecturer based in Edinburgh.

Training: East 15 Acting School, National Youth Theatre, Scottish Youth Theatre

As an actor Martyn has worked with companies across the UK including Les Enfants Terribles, Hull Truck, Derby Theatre, Gala Theatre, Chipping Norton Theatre, Greyscale, Gameshow, Supporting Wall, SCAMP Theatre, Mischief La Bas, Hopscotch Theatre, Tall Stories, Nabokov, Mansfield Palace Theatre, Magpie Puppet Company, Infinite Jest, Old Saw, Finborough Theatre, Scottish Opera, Young Vic and many more. Over the years Martyn has been involved in devising a range of productions which have toured both nationally and internationally to critical acclaim, as well playing in the West End. Martyn has regularly specialised in actor-musician work, new writing, devised performance, clowning, and children’s theatre.

As a writer Martyn’s work has been performed at venues including Theatre 503, Greenwich Theatre, Tron Theatre, Cambridge Junction and his play The Girl with the Imagination was shortlisted for the Verity Bargate Award. Over the last year as a writer/composer Martyn has been involved with Mercury Musical Developments BEAM Follow Up group in Scotland.

As a lecturer, outreach practitioner, and facilitator Martyn has worked regularly delivering workshops and specialist courses for a wide range of organisations including MGA Academy, Royal Conservatoire Scotland, Old Vic New Voices, Almeida Theatre, Impact Arts, National Youth Theatre, Shakespeare Schools Festival, Scottish Youth Theatre, and East 15 Acting School. Martyn is also currently in his final year of study for the MEd in Learning and Teaching in the Performing Arts at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where his research specialisms have been mental wellbeing in the performing arts, devised theatre practices, and music composition within devised performance.

Samantha Robinson

Acting Lecturer

Samantha Robinson is a an Actress, Director, Writer and Teacher who trained at Rose Bruford College where she won the Laurence Olivier bursary award.

Her acting credits for theatre include: Two by Jim Cartwright at the New Vic, Rita, Sue and Bob Too (Out Of Joint and Royal Court Theatre London), Screwed (Theatre 503), Educating Rita (Mercury Colchester), The Grand Gesture (Northern Broadsides), Proper Clever and Dead Heavy Fantastic (Liverpool Everyman/Playhouse), The Tempest (Royal Exchange), Three Sisters On Hope Street (Hampstead Theatre), Order and Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down (The Lantern), The House Of Bernada Alba (Nuffield Theatre), The Laramie Project (Sound Theatre, Leicester Square), The Lemon Princess (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Untouchable (The Bush Theatre) and Song of the Western Men (Chichester Festival Theatre).

Television credits include: Little Boy Blue (ITV), Cilla (ITV), Five Days (BBC), The Girls Who Came to Stay (Granada), Shameless (Channel Four), Island at War (Granada), Final Demand (BBC), Holby City, Doctors and Casualty.

Film includes: Sixty Six (Working Title), and Jamaica Me Crazy (VBM Productions LTD); also FunTimes, a short film she wrote, and From Lewisham to Llandudno, a film she wrote and directed through lockdown of 2020.

Samantha’s recent directing credits include: Blink (The Lion and Unicorn), The Toad In The Hole (Barons Court), Motherhood Or Madness (Katzpace), Me, Mum and The Patriarchy (Tour/Tristan Bates), Darknet (The Union Theatre), and Attempts On Her Life (Drayton Arms Theatre). During Lockdown she created and directed the play Crazy For Loving You with ten students from LSDA in London for their socially-distanced graduation project. This can also be seen on YouTube.

Samantha is the Creative Director of theatre company Tiny Wife Productions.

Mark Hill

Voice Lecturer

Mark gained a BA (Hons) in Drama, Theatre and Television Studies from The University of Winchester before going on to Guildford School of Acting to study Musical Theatre. His first job after graduating was the UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

After years working as an actor and singer around the UK, as well as for Cunard and Princess Cruise Lines, Mark decided to return to Guildford School of Acting to complete an MA in the Practice of Voice and Singing. He has since taught at various drama schools including Guildford School of Acting, The Urdang Academy, London College of Music and Laine Theatre Arts. He is delighted to join the team at MGA.

Tom Duncan

tom duncan edinburgh

Acting Tutor

Tom is the owner of photography and video production company Twin City Pictures, working as a director and cinematographer across Scotland producing media for theatre shows and marketing. Twin City Pictures is also one of the leading providers of actor services: headshots, showreels, selftapes and private coaching.

Tom trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting. Since graduating he has worked consistently for over a decade in theatre, film, television and commercials.

Theatre credits include: Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Hamlet, Much Ado about Nothing, Comedy of Errors, Winter’s Tale, Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Henry IV, The Tempest, Merchant of Venice, Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, This Fearful Country, Queen Margaret (for Bard in the Botanics); Coma (Arches); Romeo and Juliet (Erasmus Theatre Company); Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, Cinderella (The Byre Theatre); Jack and the Beanstalk, Beauty and the Beast (MA Productions); Aladdin (PACE); Mother Goose (MacRobert); Last of the Dragons (Manhattan Children’s Theatre).

Film and Television credits include: Sunset Song (Terence Davies); Scrotal Recall (Elliot Hegarty); Meet Me on the Southbank (Adam Rolston); Joyeux Noel (Christian Carion); The Celebrity (Simon Whyte). Commercial work for Sony, Real Radio and Channel 4.

Music Lecturers

James McCullagh

Originally from Northern Ireland, James read music at St Hugh’s College, Oxford. Not only a lecturer at MGA James is also Musical Director for a number of MGA productions.

James was musical supervisor for the UK number one tour of Legally Blonde for UK Productions and his recent credits as a musical director include a production of Pippin at the Guildford School of Acting, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats for Royal Caribbean International, Rufus Norris’s acclaimed production of Cabaret starring Will Young, and the long running tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for Bill Kenwright Ltd.

James has a wealth of Musical director credits including the UK premiere of John Bucchino’s Its Only Life (Against the Tide Theatre Company/Brighton Fringe), Disneys Beauty and the Beast (UK Productions), Rockin Horses, headlined by Michael Ball (Playhouse Theatre, London – MD and arranger) and Fings Aint Wot They Used tBe, Treasure Island (Westcliff Palace Theatre).

James Pantomime credits include Peter Pan, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, Aladdin and Cinderella (Bradford Alhambra) for Crossroads Pantomimes, Peter Pan (Sunderland Empire) and Snow White (Blackpool Grand) for UK Productions, Aladdin and Snow White (Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl), Snow White and Sleeping Beauty (Oakengates Theatre, Telford) and Cinderella (Playhouse, Weston-super-Mare) for Paul Holman Associates. He also spent two seasons as musical director of Scandinavia’s largest circus, Cirkus Arena, including royal command performances for the Danish royal family, television broadcasts and a top ten album.

James has also extensive work on cruise ships around the world.

Since joining MGA James has been Musical Director for productions including Thoroughly Modern Millie and Sweet Charity.

Kira Emslie

Music Lecturer

Bio coming soon!

Gerard Bentall

Senior Singing Lecturer

Gerard taught at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and also worked as Vocal Consultant for Paul Spyker Management. Over the years he has employed his services as a Vocal Coach for several Leading West End Artists including, Kerry Ellis, Louise Dearman, Matthew Rawle, Rufus Hound, Samantha Bond and Dean Collinson.

He has effectively instructed and mentored through the rehabilitation of voice problems.

Linda Stewart

Music Lecturer

Linda is a freelance Musical Director, Pianist, Vocal Coach and Arranger based in Edinburgh. She also
teaches voice and piano for Edinburgh City Council schools, and on a freelance basis in Edinburgh.

Credits include: Music Director / Vocal Coach for Imagine Theatre; Deputy Keys on Wicked (National Tour); Music Director / Conductor Mamma Mia! (Royal Caribbean International); Music Director / Vocal Coach Howden Theatre; Ginger Monologues (Edinburgh Fringe); MGA Sumer School ‘Mary Poppins’; Carnegie, A Star-Spangled Scotchman (Edinburgh Fringe World Premier); The Producers (Churchill Theatre); Box Office Diva (Byre Theatre); Bard on Broadway (Oran Mor); Avenue Q (Assembly at the Fringe); RTÉ Tops of the Town (Gaiety Theatre, Dublin)

Linda trained at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Edinburgh University, and Trinity College of Music,
London, and is currently completing training with Estill Voice International.

Junior School

Lilly-Jane Young

Principal of Junior School

Bio coming soon!

Academy Staff


Carole Gibson

Administration and Systems Manager

Lilly-Jane Young

Recruitment and Admissions Co-ordinator

Greg Clark

Head of Marketing & Communications

Shirley Hornig

Junior School Student Registrar

Ray Wilson

Facilities Manager

Megan Davidson

Executive Assistant and Events Coordinator

Emily Polson

Administration Assistant

Zoe Addison

Administration Assistant

Industry Staff

Tabitha Watson

Network Artist Management

Tabitha is the Managing Director of Network Artist Management.

Tabitha trained in Musical Theatre with a view always to move into Artist Management. Following a two year career as a professional performer, she returned to Edinburgh to work as an Agent’s Assistant with Network Artist Management’s (then, MGA Management) Founders, Andrew Gowland and Murray Grant.

Tabitha then spent some time working as an intern for SEA Personal Management in London before returning to Edinburgh to continue her journey with MGA Management representing artists from across the UK and beyond. Tabitha was promoted to become a full-time Agent in 2013 and in 2017, Tabitha was then promoted to Agency Director.

In October 2020, MGA Management became Network Artist Management and shortly after in February 2021, Tabitha took the reins and now stands as the Managing Director and Head Agent of the company.

Tabitha is qualified in Business Administration, Digital Marketing and Business Management and Leadership. She also lectures weekly in Professional Development for Performers here at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts as well as hosts Professional Development workshops annually for various schools throughout the UK. She works extremely closely with our third-year students at the time of showcase to ensure our students graduate with professional representation and support in the early stages of their career.

Tabitha passionately spends each day managing her clients and directing the continual growth of Network Artist Management.

Published 9/2/24   9:15AM

Contemporary Elite Intensive - The MGA Academy x WHITE AND GIVAN

In celebration of the launch of our BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance Course in September 2024, our Artists in Residence and Programme Leaders ‘WHITE AND GIVAN’ are hosting a Contemporary Elite Intensive on Saturday 2nd March 2024 for the UK’s most promising young talent in Contemporary Dance (age 16+). Attendance is… » Read more

Published 13/1/24   9:10AM

MGA Academy to Host Open Day

The MGA Academy of Performing Arts to welcome prospective students on campus for open day event this February. Following on from the success of our open day in November, We will be opening our doors on Thursday 29th February once again. These events are a fantastic opportunity to engage with… » Read more

Published 11/12/23   9:57AM

Christmas Wish aims to raise vital funds for charity

ONE of Scotland’s leading performing arts schools has announced it will be hosting its annual magical Christmas show to raise vital funds for a prominent mental health charity. Taking place for one night only on December 13th at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, MGA Academy has promised that the extravaganza will have… » Read more

Coming soon

Get in touch

Phone: 0330 058 0656

General enquiries/student information: info@themgaacademy.com

Office address:  Silver Rock Studios,  Almondvale Business Park,   Almondvale Way,   Livingston,   West Lothian,   United Kingdom,  EH54 6GA
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