About Us

Arts a Go Go! is an award winning company run by Upper Hutt residents, husband and wife Rachel Main and Stuart Grant.

Rachel and Stu are both qualified and experienced teachers who both have a passion for working with children and developing creativity through the arts.

 

 

Rachel is a registered teacher and was a school teacher and performer before starting Arts a Go Go! in 2008. She has a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Teaching, plus a Certificate in Education Leadership. Rachel also has an Advanced Diploma in Modern Dance. Rachel has been very involved in musical theatre over the years and has performed on stage in a number of both lead and ensemble roles. She trained in drama teaching in Auckland as part of her teacher training and was Teacher in Charge of the Arts at an intermediate school before having her family. She has directed many shows and dance productions for children, and directed and trained children in singing and dance. As a performer, she has been part of a professional singing, dancing, storytelling entertainment group for young children.

In 2013, Rachel was selected as one of four finalists in the "Leadership Category" of the "Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Awards". Criteria included: outstanding leadership, building and leading teams, being passionate about their role and the people they work with, having determination and the will to succeed, having belief in achieving extraordinary things, a willingness to learn, a desire for constant improvement, the initiative to pursue an idea, to trust and empower teammates, work hard and have fun, and have leadership integrity.

   
   

Stu was director of Capital E, an internationally recognised performance and creative technology facility for children in Wellington, where he worked passionately for 17 years. He was also the founder and director of the Capital E National Arts Festival, bringing two weeks of professional national and international theatre and performances to thousands of children and school groups every two years. Prior to that, he was head of Drama, Art and Music at a Hamilton middle school.

His own acting experience includes many years in professional improvisation theatre and various plays. Stu has created and directed a number of productions for children.

He has an honours degree in arts and the media and has been invited to speak internationally on children and creativity. In 2015 Stu travelled to Edinburgh at the request of the British Council to peer review the Edinburgh Children's Festival and was also invited to attend the International Children's festival in Okinawa, Japan, to forge relationships with Japan for New Zealand professional theatre. Stu is currently manager of Innovation Initiatives at Wellington City Council.

Rachel and Stuart have three children, fourteen-year-old boy and girl twins and a nine-year-old girl

   
   

Dance Teacher and Tawa Classes Coordinator: Lisa Kelly

Arts a Go Go! is once again extremely fortunate to be able to use the skills of dance teacher Lisa Kelly. Lisa has been dancing most of her life and feels so lucky to have a job that is her greatest passion. She trained in NZAMD Jazz gaining an Advanced Certificate whilst growing up and went on to full-time training at the Wellington Performing Arts Centre gaining a Diploma in Commercial Dance.

Lisa has performed in many shows & corporate events in Wellington. Lisa spent 4 years dancing and teaching in London where she was based at the famous "Pineapple Dance Studios" & undertook further training in Musical Theatre as well as teaching dance classes in London primary schools. Lisa performed with theatre companies in shows and cabarets and was also lucky enough to perform in a music video which was a career highlight.

In 2015, Lisa was in the Wellington cast of "Evita" and in 2016 took a year off to live in Canada where she also taught dance.

Lisa loves teaching children and passing on all she has learnt over the years in a safe, fun, and encouraging environment.

   
   
Charlotte for website

Irish Dancing Teacher: Charlotte Wright

"This young lady is a star. She's gorgeous inside in out and deserves to go to the top of the world in this business. We're so blessed to have her in our show when we're down here."

Michael Flatley New Zealand Champion and World Ranked Charlotte has been dancing for over 15 years and has been competing nationally and internationally for 12 years. It has been our privilege to have Charlotte teaching Irish Dancing at Arts a Go Go! for five years. In 2011, she attended the World Irish Dancing Championships, held in Dublin, Ireland and in 2013 The North American Championships where she was placed 7th. In 2014, Charlotte was once again awarded the New Zealand National Champion in her age category and was also placed 15th in the World Championships in London. Earlier in 2014, Charlotte was awarded a scholarship at "The Maguire O'Shea Academy" in London, England's most prestigious Irish Dancing School and spent 3 months training at the school.

She is passionate about dancing and enjoys teaching, competing and performing. In 2015, Charlotte spent some time away in London dancing professionally with the world famous "Lord of the Dance", fulfilling her dream of dancing on the West End!

It was a thrill for all of us to see Charlotte dance in Wellington in "Lord of the Dance - Dangerous Games".

   
   

Bop Murdoch

Drama Teacher : Bop Murdoch

Bop Murdoch graduated from Victoria University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Theatre and English. She went straight on to co-found her own theatre collective, Pat-A-Cake Productions and has been devising original theatre to open community-wide conversations since then. Bop loves to bring theatre right into the paths of the public, which has led her to make shows in outdoor spaces, on moving buses, in cafes, and in 2015, to tour a Pat-A-Cake show in both the North and South Islands.

Bop is addicted to the thrill we call collaboration and loves facilitating action to liberate the creative side in everyone! She's had the privilege of teaching self-confidence classes to children and adults and has recently taught Performing Shakespeare to Year 9 students at Wellington College.

Bop is passionate about the transformative power of play!

   
   
Anna website 

Dance Teacher: Anna Bate

Anna has a Masters in Dance Studies, with first class honours from The University of Auckland, a Post Graduate Diploma in Dance Studies, with distinction from The University of Auckland and a Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts, with a major in contemporary dance from UNITEC, Auckland. She is a freelance contemporary performer, teacher (including tertiary) and choreographer both in New Zealand and internationally.

She has just completed choreographing a work for Footnote Dance NZ. Anna highly values the creative, flexible and critical thinking skills that can be attained through a physical arts practice.

   
   
 

Music Teacher and Business Support: Joanne Roelofs

In charge of the pre-school music programme is Joanne Roelofs. Joanne has a Bachelor of Music (composition) and Diploma of Early Childhood Music Teaching from The Institute of Registered Music Teachers.

She holds Trinity College of London Grade 8 Piano and is the choral director of Upper Hutt's "Hutt Valley Singers" and "Major Minors Children's Choir". Joanne also plays the trombone and has been a member of Wellington Youth Symphonic Band, Victoria University Orchestra, Victoria University Big Band, Evening Post Wellington Brass Band (now Pelorus Trust Brass Band) and Titan Hutt City Brass Band.

Joanne provides the piano accompaniment for our extension competition singers.

She and her husband Marty have a four-year-old son.

   
   

Drama Teacher: Hannah McKenzie Doornebosch

Dr Hannah McKenzie Doonebosch started performing on stage in California when she was four years old and has been performing every since. Hannah is a playwright and scriptwriter with a background in acting, directing, and design.

She has performed in Australia, Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland and her writing work has represented New Zealand overseas. Hannah has been involved in amateur and professional productions across the country and spent many years with Canterbury Children's Theatre.

Hannah has a BA in theatre and film, an MA in creative writing, and a PhD in creative writing with a focus on scriptwriting. Hannah's plays have won the David Carson-Parker Embassy Prize in Scriptwriting, the Dominion Post Scholarship, been read as part of the Writers on Mondays festival, shortlisted for Write Out Loud Wellington and the Adam Play Awards for best New Zealand play, and have won Write Out Loud Wellington and best New Zealand play by a woman playwright. Hannah is a script supervisor and assessor and a script and performance tutor.

She also has a passion for working with young people. In addition, Hannah is a costume designer and regularly creates costumes for clients across New Zealand.

   
   

Amalia Calder

Drama and Singing Teacher: Amalia Calder

Amalia Calder is a freelance actor and graduate of UCOL Theatre School. She is also a Mum, early childhood teacher, playwright, dancer, director, casting director and runs her own Production Company; Minnie Moo Productions.

A professional in the arts industry for 19 years, she has extensive experience working with children and young people, both on and off stage. Amalia also loves to sing and dance, she teaches Salsa and dances many different styles of Latin as well as swing! On top of all that she managed and performed in her own Children's entertainment duo; Dan & Dani from 2007-2015.

She is very much looking forward to meeting you all helping in your creative journeys.

   
   
 Clare website2

Drama Teacher: Clare Jaurigue

Clare has studied the arts since she was a teenager. She started out with lessons in ballet and contemporary dance, as well as drama, and then moved on to further study. She has completed a BA (Hons) in Performing Arts and Film, a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts and an AS in Drama. All three of these accomplishments taught her how to act, sing, dance, choreograph/write, as well as perform all of the backstage roles of both theatre and film. Clare has written and co-written for theatre and film both in the Uk and in New Zealand.

She has toured parts of England with theatrical productions. She has worked within the Wellington film industry, gaining roles in several productions, both large and small. Clare is a qualified primary school teacher and has been a school teacher for four years.

Clare has followed her love of performance into her private life too. She met her husband while learning to salsa and she is also a professional painter. Clare and her husband have a four-year-old son.