Meet the Staff
CAROLE O'SHEA - School Principal
Carole established Centre Stage School of Performing Arts in 1999, with 50 students attending Saturday classes. Within the first year the school had over 200 students. Centre Stage has established itself as one of the most vibrant and respected part-time performing arts schools in London.
Carole first became involved in performing arts in the late 1970's. The next 25 years were spent building experience in established drama schools before opening her own school in Potters Bar in 1995. Carole began working as a theatrical agent in 1982 and opened CS Management in 2001. Although now retired from the agency Carole remains affiliated with CS Management, which is now ably run by her colleague Linda.
Carole was awarded a two year scholarship to study music to the London College of Music as a teenager and was an enthusiastic but average Irish Dancer. She would now much prefer to sit back and applaud the wonderful young people in her care.
NICK HOOTON - Artistic Director & Head of Drama
Nick joined Centre Stage when it opened in 1999 and in 2009 took over the position of Artistic Director of Centre Stage and Upstaged Theatre Company.
Nick trained as an actor at Hertfordshire Theatre School and graduated with a Diploma in Acting and Musical Theatre, a BADC (Stage Combat) Honours, a L.A.M.D.A. Gold Award and is also now a L.A.M.D.A Examination tutor.
Nick has worked professionally since he was young, playing many leading roles in both television and film and has appeared in numerous commercials. He has a vast amount of theatre credits for many companies and has been a resident actor with the Market Theatre Company since 2004.
In addition to teaching drama at Centre Stage, Nick also regularly directs ‘in-house’ and external productions for the school and UpStaged Theatre Company, some of which transfer to the Edinburgh and Camden Fringe Festivals annually.
As Artistic Director, it is Nick’s goal to develop our student’s understanding of the arts, expand their performance ability and increase their self-confidence through practice and application. Nick is always looking for new and creative ways to achieve the highest possible standards in theatrical performance.
LUCY SARDINHA - Head of Singing
Lucy joined Centre Stage at the age of 13 as a student and stayed as an active member right up to the age of 19. After graduating, Lucy stayed on at Centre Stage as an assistant tutor for many years, before taking over the full-time singing teacher position in 2019.
She is trained as a singer and vocal coach in SLS (Speech Level Singing) technique, a practice shared by the likes of Barbara Streisand, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, with a primary focus on safe, balanced and natural use of the voice.
Lucy is a full time professional musician and songwriter, with a career that boasts major festival slots up and down the Country, music releases topping the iTunes chart, music distributed in HMV stores and national and international radio play. This experience and knowledge of the music industry means Lucy is able to bring a vast array of musical styles to the singing classes at Centre Stage, and provide an inclusive and supportive environment for all types of performer - both in class work and with each term’s Cabaret Evening.
She is also a fully-qualified LAMDA Musical Theatre vocal coach and can proudly say she has never had a student receive anything less than a distinction in their exam results.
ELIZ NOYAN - Head of Dance & Dance Troupe Tutor
Eliz joined Centre Stage as a student at the age of 4 in 2000. Throughout her 14 years at Centre Stage she took part in numerous productions and shows, including High School Musical, Honk, The Roses of Eyam and was the Dance Captain in the 2015 musical, The Wiz.
From an early age, Eliz pursued her passion for dance, training in varying genres including ballet, tap and contemporary. Alongside her dance training, she felt that Centre Stage gave her the confidence to grow as a person and a performer, unlocking other skills which she would carry with her through her future.
Eliz graduated from University of Roehampton with a BA (Hons) in Dance, where she explored new styles and techniques as well as learning the theoretical analysis of choreography and dance history. She then progressed to The Royal Academy of Dance to study and gain her Post Graduate Certificate in Education and is currently a secondary school dance teacher aiming to develop a dynamic dance department.
In 2015, Eliz ended her time as a student of Centre Stage, winning their most prestigious award ‘The Oscar’ and was then asked to return as an assistant dance teacher. She was overjoyed to be able to work and guide students with the same knowledge and passion she received throughout her years at the school.
She then became the Young Centre Stagers Dance Teacher, which was also carried throughout schools as a weekly after school club. She teaches the Dance Troupe, offering the students technique and choreography classes that focus on a range of different styles and genres from lyrical to spoken word to Stomp percussion dance to contemporary. Eliz is now also teaching dance for the Upper and Lower school groups and is excited to see the student’s enthusiasm and creativity grow.
Eliz prides herself on creating an inclusive atmosphere where students are motivated to learn and challenge themselves, all whilst having fun.
GIANNI TOZZI - Drama Tutor
Gianni is a past student of Centre Stage, beginning with us at the age of 8. Throughout his nine years at Centre Stage his credits include playing the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Corny Collins in Hairspray and the Pope in The Pope and the Witch to name but a few. He was also part of Upstaged Theatre Company taking The Penelopiad to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Gianni believes that Centre Stage gave him the confidence to pursue a career in Acting. This resulted in him receiving a scholarship to Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts on the acting course. Gianni graduated Mountview with a First Class Honours Degree in Acting and was the recipient of the honourable 'Gyearbuor Asante Prize'.
During his career as an actor in stage productions and TV his passion for working with young people developed when being involved in various outreach projects that engaged young people with Drama. Gianni is currently the Director of Performing Arts at Ashmole Academy.
Alongside this he is delighted to bring this acting experience to where it all began at Centre Stage. He hopes to show how much fun acting can be, but above all allow each pupil to shine, lose any inhibitions and gain confidence through performance.
SARAH LUKE - Dance Troupe Leader & Show Choreographer
Sarah has been a member of the teaching staff at Centre Stage since September 1999, teaching dance and is the leader the CS Dance Troupe.
Sarah trained as a dance teacher at Harrison School of Dance and Drama, where she gained all her teaching qualifications in tap, ballet, modern, disco and national dance, along with her L.A.M.D.A. Gold Medal in Acting.
Her first stage appearance was at the age of 3, leading on to numerous stage performances, both amateur and professional, playing both ensemble and lead roles in several productions. Sarah also appeared in several television commercials both in the UK and Abroad. Since leaving college she has danced professionally as well as teaching all aspects of dance.
Sarah has choreographed many Centre Stage shows including Centre Stage the Musical and our full-scale, external musicals The Wizard of Oz, Fame!, Honk!, Hairspray, Les Misérables, Bugsy Malone, 13 The Musical, The Wiz, Seussical and most recently Shrek the Musical.
OLISA ODELE - Drama Tutor
Olisa spent 10 wonderful years as a student at Centre Stage appearing in as many plays, musicals and Cabaret Evenings as he could fit in! During his time he made many friends for life and developed the technical foundations for his career as an actor and creative.
He joined CS Management aged 9 and has been acting professionally on stage and screen ever since.
Olisa then went onto study at the Brit School, Identity School of Acting and the Guildford School of Acting. Since graduating Olisa has worked on TV shows such as award winning Chewing Gum (e4 and Netflix), Scarborough (BBC 1), The Boys (Channel 4) and Sick Of It (Sky 1).
He has a passion for developing young talent across all disciplines, helping them find their voice and grow in confidence.
JACK McGINN - Guest Drama Tutor
Jack joined Centre Stage at the tender age of 6 and was soon after scouted to join the affiliate agency - CS Management. He enjoyed many years performing both at Centre Stage and professionally, before attending Manchester University at the age of 18, where he received a degree in Politics and Economics.
Soon after graduating, Jack made the decision to launch himself back into the world of acting and went on to train at Drama Centre London, receiving a Masters Degree in Acting for Screen.
His screen credits include; Eastenders, Black Mirror, Call the Midwife, Holby City, Waffle The Wonder Dog, The Royals and Sky Arts’ Urban Myths.
Jack regularly returns to Centre Stage as a guest tutor for the Drama Department, with a focus on acting for camera and drama school audition prep.
LIDIA BRAGOLI - Dance Assistant
Lidia first joined Centre Stage at the age of 4 and carries with her a wealth of experience over the past 14 years. Having progressed through all the groups, taking part in Lower School Pantomimes, Festival of Plays, Showcases, Cabaret Evenings and full scale Musical Productions, she is in the perfect position to assist and coach students through their own journey.
Lidia has a wide range of training in dance disciplines (Grade 8 Ballet, Advanced Tap and Intimidate Modern) and music (Grade 7 Piano and a Diploma in Vocal Performance).
She also trained in Musical Theatre for two years at the BRIT School whilst also attending Centre Stage classes on Saturdays and musical rehearsals on Sundays.
Lidia is delighted to join the dance team and looks forward to helping the students to grow, the same way Centre Stage helped her.
SAM BRENNER - Drama Assistant
Sam started with Centre Stage back in 2009, and immediately fell in love with the warm, inclusive atmosphere and high quality of teaching he received in St Monica’s Hall.
As he progressed through classes, his confidence and abilities grew, and he discovered a genuine passion for acting. He was able to showcase his acting talents in roles such as the pantomime dame Nurse Nelly in Snow White, General Ghengis Khan Schmitz in Seussical, and in Upstaged Theatre Company’s Chatroom as part of the Camden Fringe Festival, to name a few.
He was honoured to receive the prestigious ‘Oscar’ Award in 2019, before commencing his final year as a student, hoping to be an inspiring and gracious role model to the younger children at classes. He was also blessed to win the Jiorgia Barrigan Friendship Award in his final year - rewarding a quality that Centre Stage has taught and fostered through his 11 years with the ‘CS Family’.
Sam aims to go on to study acting at Drama School, but is delighted to have the opportunity first to help Centre Stage students grow in confidence and capability in the Drama classes, just as he did.
MATTEO BRAGOLI - Singing Tutor & Assistant Musical Director
As an ex-student and 2011 Oscar winner, Matteo has been fortunate to experience a wealth of knowledge from every opportunity that Centre Stage has offered. Having joined Centre Stage as a student at the age of seven, his most memorable performances include Haversham Hall and Les Misérables as Jean Valjean but he equally revelled in the opportunity to later teach and lead, running the Singing Department until 2019.
Matteo is also a majoy part of our full-scale musical team, rehearsing & co-musical directing many of the external Centre Stage productions including Our House, 13 The Musical, Seussical the Musical and most recently Shrek the Muscial.
Matteo has a wide range of experiences in the music industry including working as a session pianist and performer (O2 & Wembley), backing vocalist (Alt-J), voice over artist (Mike the Knight) and composing music for TV (Sky & BBC). He received a Bachelor of Music (Honours) from City University and was awarded a vocal scholarship for Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Not only a proficient singer and pianist, he also plays the violin and saxophone to Grade 8 standard as well as head and deputy organists at various local churches. He is currently Head of Music at Alexandra Park School, Muswell Hill continuing to grow a vibrant music department.
As well as a keen composer and producer, he also finds pleasure in photography and has a passion for cars; collecting and restoring classics as well as running his own car detailing business ‘Bragoli Cars’ specialising in paint correction & restoration.
Energy and enthusiasm are the most important things Matteo looks for in his students and with that, he can share his own skills and experience to help build well-rounded performers.
SIMON PAYNE - Musical Director & Technical Advisor
Simon first worked with Centre Stage as musical director for the school's production of Fame! in April 2008. In addition to teaching singing at Centre Stage, Simon has also musically directed a further nine whole school productions including Honk!, Hairspray, Les Miserables, Bugsy Malone, Our House, 13 The Musical, The Wiz, Seussical the Musical and most recently Shrek the Musical.
Simon has been involved with performing arts in the local community from a very young age working first as a technician, then lighting designer, and more recently as a musical director.
As well as his day job as Head of PSHE and Citizenship in a Secondary School in West London, Simon enjoys relaxing by working with many amateur dramatics groups in North and West London.
SELDA NOYAN - Junior Assistant & Administration
Selda has been a part of Centre Stage as a parent for over 18 years. Helping with shows and classes since the start, she has now become a permanent member of the Centre Stage family, as the Junior Teaching Assistant. During the week, Selda works as an invigilator in several North London secondary schools.
Her efficiency and administration skills provide valuable help with the running of the school. Working with the Juniors, she assists with their lessons in dance, drama and singing. She focuses on the student’s well-being, creating an inclusive atmosphere and encouraging the participation of all students.
Selda looks forward to watching the children grow into young CS adults.
LINDA SARDINHA - Assistant to The Principal, First Aider & Agent for CS Management
As Assistant to the Principal and Agent for CS Management, Linda works closely with Carole O’Shea to ensure the smooth running of the school.
With a career spanning fifteen years in the music industry and sixteen years as an executive PA, Linda brings a wealth of experience to Centre Stage.
In addition to her invaluable administrative skills, Linda is also a licenced chaperone and a resourceful seamstress. Whether looking after our student’s welfare or creating new costumes for the schools numerous productions, Linda is a valued member of the Centre Stage team.