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Our Tutors

Marco Calleja M.A. Advanced Theatre Practice (University of London), B.Sc. (Hons.) PGCE, ATCL

 Principal – Hoi Polloi Academy, Curriculum Development, Young Performers, Acting

Marco CallejaMARCO CALLEJA has been involved in the local theatre scene for a number of years as an actor, director, singer and dancer. He took part in various plays, ballets, pantomimes and musicals including; VOICES XTRAORDINAIRE; the musicals 1565, JEKYLL AND HYDE and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF; the plays CEDA L-IMBATT, TWELFTH NIGHT, ROMEO AND JULIET and CITTADIN VASSALLI; the ballets CINDERELLA and LA SYLPHIDE; and various pantomimes including JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (Masquerade), PINOCCHIO and ROBIN HOOD (FM Theatre Productions) and co-directed THE WIZARD OF OZ for the MADC, staged at the MFCC in 2012. Marco was also the Artistic Director for the MADC between 2011 and 2012. He was also involved in various television productions both in front of the camera and behind. Film credits include; IT-TMIEN NOTA, SANTA MONIKA, KLINIKA and recently playing the role of Bazzati on DEHEB IL-KARTA to be aired this October on TVM. He was also the executive producer for IL-KLIKKA Season 3.

In 2004 Marco set up his own theatre company – Hoi Polloi Theatre Productions- for which he directed and produced SINDI RELLA, TARZAN & GEJNI, THIS THING CALLED LOVE and the musical JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOUR DREAMCOAT staged at the MCC in 2011. When not on stage, Marco is busy either teaching academics in primary school, Biology to older students or drama at the HOI POLLOI ACADEMY which he set up in 2013.

Marco is also a science graduate having obtained a B.Sc (Hons.) from the University of Malta in 2008. Following his first degree, Marco read for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in 2009. Whilst pursuing his academic education, Marco also worked on his vocational training after hours, having been awarded his Intermediate Certificate in both Cecchetti Ballet and Modern Theatre Dance from the ISTD in 2011, his Grade 8 in Musical Theatre (Trinity College, London) and his Associate of Trinity College London Diploma (ATCL) in Speech and Drama in 2015.

Marco is currently finishing off a full-time Masters in Arts Degree in Advanced Theatre Practice in London at the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London). He describes this experience as a way for him to bring together the sciences and the arts, the academic and vocational in a whole new venture – allowing him to become a better theatre-maker and educator.


Alison Bird

Musical Theatre

alisonbirdAlison holds the Licentiate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and also has a first class diploma from London College of Dance – the teacher training college of the ISTD.

Alison started her training in her hometown of Southampton, UK studying classical ballet, modern (jazz), national, tap and classical Greek dancing. In 1985 Alison successfully auditioned for the London College of Dance. Here she trained for 3 years in all forms of dance. Alison graduated from London College with a first class diploma in teacher training and related dance studies and was awarded the Jubilee Shield for the most promising teacher.

In 1988 Alison came to Malta where she taught at the Tanya Bayona Princess Poutiatine Academy of Ballet for 5 years. Here she taught Cecchetti ballet, ISTD modern, tap and national. In 1993 Alison joined the faculty of the College of Jazz Dance as head of ballet. Alison built up the ballet faculty from its beginning which helped establish the College of Jazz Dance as the school it is now. Alison’s students have always had great success in Cecchetti ballet exams from primary to Advanced 2 and also with teacher qualifying exams up to Licentiate level. In 2009 Alison joined the faculty of the Johane Casabene Dance Conservatoire teaching ballet, jazz and tap. She also taught drama with the Helen O Grady Drama Academy.

As well as teaching Alison has often performed during her years in Malta. She was in the Tanya Bayona Company from its inception performing locally and overseas.   She had a leading role in Les Sylphides and was in Requiem for the Massacred and Galaxies. Alison has also performed with YADA in Moulin Rouge, Madonna and numerous school performances.

Alison has choreographed many ballet, jazz and tap numbers for the Tanya Bayona Company and the College of Jazz Dance and has also choreographed for YADA performances including, Firedance, Era, Footloose, Dance Spectacular and most recently 25 A Dance Filigree. Alison has also been a teacher and judge on two series of Sfida on Net TV and a judge on Show Me You Can Dance on One TV.

She is awaiting the result of her Masters in Dance Studies from the University of Malta having recently presented her dissertation.


Analise Cassar

Young Performers

headshot - AnaliseAnalise Cassar, a graduated lawyer by degree, is currently working as a freelance actress, singer and voice over artist. She started her theatrical experience at the age of 8 at Masquerade Malta, during which she started studying vocal technique with Gillian Zammit. Analise has acquired her Grade 8 Musical Theatre exam by PAA (Performance Arts Award) as well as her ATCL Musical Theatre Diploma in Performance by Trinity College London, and was awarded distinction in both.

From a very young age she has successfully carried out Singing, Acting, Ballet, Piano and Music Theory examinations at high levels. She has participated in various productions of different theatre genres, some credits include ‘Ragged Child’, ‘Tin Pan Ali’, ‘1565 The Musical’, MADC’s Pantos ‘Hercules’ and ‘Peter Panto’, FM’s Panto ‘Pinocchio’, MADC Panto ‘Treasure Island’ (Lady Carolina), ‘Lion Kink StudentFest’ (Rafiki), ‘Legally Blonde’ (The Judge), ‘Dido and Aeneas’ Opera (Arabella), Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2016 (Backing Vocalist), and one of her most memorable, playing the part of ‘Hodel’ in the musical ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. She has been recently cast in the upcoming: ‘Girls Like That’ (Scarlett) and ‘Puss in Boots Panto (Fairy). She also formed part of the Teatru Manoel Youth Opera (TMYO), for two years, as well as Studio 18’s Musical Theatre Course (MUSO). Analise has attended various workshops, locally aswell as in the UK such as the Arts Educational School London, Musical Theatre Summer Course 2014. She has continued her vocal training and sings with two bands, both contemporary and varied styles of song, whilst also having built on her classical repertoire with her former mentor Ms.Antoinette Miggiani and now also on her musical theatre repertoire with her current tutor Ms.Denise Mulholland.




Nadia Vella

Choral Singing, Individual Singing

nadiavellaNadia Vella trained at Hertfordshire Theatre School, UK where she completed a 3 year course in Acting and Musical Theatre and obtained an LTCL in Vocal Teaching (Trinity) with a Distinction. She made her theatrical debut playing ‘Annie’ in Masquerade’s production of ‘Annie,’ at the Manoel Theatre . This was followed by ‘Royal Child’ in ‘King and I,’ ‘Morgiana’ in ‘Tin Pan Ali,’ ‘Annie’ in ‘The Ragged Child,’ ‘Clara’ in the opera ‘Werther,’ ‘Rubette’ in ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ ‘Kit-kat girl’ in ‘Cabaret’ ‘Soloist’ in ‘Beyond the Barricade’ and ‘Agnes’ in ‘Agnes of God,’ all at the Manoel Theatre and ‘Soloist’ in Handel’s ‘Messiah’ at St. James Cavallier.

Roles in the UK included ‘Angel’ in ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,’ (Jack Gunn, Queen Mother Theatre) ‘Maria’ in Lorca’s ‘Yerma,’ (Kirk Foster, Market Theatre) ‘Countess de la Roche Piquet’ in ‘Don Juan on Trial,’ (Simon Bell, Market Theatre) ‘Maggie’ in ‘Matchgirls’ (Pete Gallagher, QMT) ‘Helene’ in ‘Sweet Charity,’ (Kirk Foster, QMT) ‘Catherine’ in ‘Memory of Water,’ (Mark Stobbart, QMT) ‘Milena’ in ‘Once we were mothers,’ (Iain Jones, John Gardiner Studio) ‘Soloist’ in ‘World War 2 Revue’ (Kirk Foster, Market Theatre)in ‘Noel Coward Revue.’ (Jo Croydon Foster, Market Theatre.) She has performed at the Broadway Theatre(UK) as a soloist in ‘Something Wonderful’ directed by Richard Ward Roden (Md, Les Miserables), ‘Zerlina’ in the original cast of ‘The Lovers’ Inn’ ‘Elphaba’ in ‘Encore’ and performed in Hamburg’s ‘Weinachtcircus.’ She played ‘Ruth’ in TAC Theatre’s ‘Is it Me’ followed by ‘Lupita’ in ‘Innocent Flesh’ and later joined the TIE South Western UK tour of ‘Working Space Theatre’s’ production of ‘Oliver.’

She sang the part of ‘Eponine’ in the 2013 premiere of the ‘Les Miserables’ screening at the Eden Century cinemas and was a guest artist in Masquerade’s ‘Comedy Tonight’ at the Manoel Theatre. In 2014, she was lead singer in ‘A night on Broadway’ at the Teatru Rjal, ’50 years of Maltese Music’ at Smart City under the direction of Mro. Paul Abela as well as ‘A night at the theatre’ at the MFCC with The PBS Orchestra and in December, was lead actress in local band ‘Red Electrick’s video of ‘Young Again.’ In 2015, Nadia played the part of ‘Cecile’ in 1565 in concert held at the MCC produced by Masquerade and was lead singer in ‘ The Angel of Christmas Eve’ at The Metanoia Theatre in Luqa. She was a soloist in Masquerade’s Simply Queen and ‘Freddie for a Day’. Nadia recently played ‘Sherrie’ in Malta’s first long running musical ‘Rock of ages.’




Coryse Borg


coryseborgCoryse graduated from the Manoel Theatre Academy of Dramatic Arts. Past roles include: Maria in West Side Story, Katarina in The Taming of the Shrew and Queen Vindicta in Snow White.

Parts in films include: Gladiator, Revelation and Helen of Troy. Directed theatre productions: Audacity and Glorious (MADC). Co-directed: Death of a Doornail (MADC) and It-Tifel, is-Sahhara u L-Principessa (Opening Doors).

Coryse participated in theatre courses and performances overseas, as well as in street theatre with KneeHigh Theatre Company. Drama teacher for various primary/senior schools and drama schools, as well as music teacher for babies and toddlers. Proud mama to son Andrea.








Tezara Camilleri

Young Performers, Acting

headshot - Tezara CamilleriTezara read for a BA in English and Theatre Studies at the University of Malta and spent a semester at the University of Kent, Canterbury. She also holds a PGCE in Drama.

She started her training at Masquerade for several years where she sat for her Individual Acting Skills Trinity Guildhall examinations. She took individual vocal lessons under the tuition of Andriana Yordanova who trained her classically and also prepared her for the Trinity Guildhall Individual Singing examinations. She later started training with Ivan De Gabriele at The Voice Academy where she focused mainly on Musical Theatre, Pop and Rock genres. Her theatre credits include Seussical – The Musical (Masquerade), Elphaba in Wicked (University of Kent), Rizzo in Oh My Grease (University of Malta), Carmen Diaz in Glame (University of Malta), Velma Kelly and Evita in Destination Musicals (DLS Productions), forming part of the four Les Gals in MADC’s Christmas Panto Princess and the Pea, Carmen in Carmen – The Rock Musical (DLS Productions), forming part of the 10 cast members in Mara – A Celebration of Women Through Time (The New Victorians). She was invited perform with the band Purple Haze at The Farson’s Great Beer festival in 2012 and she took part in the 2014 edition of Rockestra. She also took part in the 3rd edition of the Maltese competition “L-Isfida” where she placed fourth.

She sings at wedding masses and receptions and other events accompanied by a guitarist/pianist. Gigs in the acoustic style are also among her specialty. She does radio/TV adverts and voice overs in both Maltese and English and has appeared on TV/magazine/billboard adverts locally. She has done some photo modelling and promotional work. She is best known for the character she played on the popular Maltese TV series Il-Klikka Julia Camilleri which produced three seasons and a film. She also co-hosted the third season of the TV Programme One Night Stand with Owen Bonnici.

Apart for her passion for the stage, Tezara loves to travel and to take on physical challenges. She has participated in 2 Malta Marathons and has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and has in the intention of climbing another mountain in the near future.