Staff

Aideen McAuliffe - Artistic Director

Aideen, originally from Tallow in Co. Waterford, is the founder and Director of Centre Stage School. After completing a degree in Media and Comunications, Aideen studied Drama and Musical Theatre at Maryland University, Washington, USA. She then returned to NUI Galway where she completed a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies.

Aideen holds a teaching diploma from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and is a qualified Primary School Teacher.  Aideen has directed and produced all of the schools productions to date and is forever compelled by the capabilities of the students and staff of Centre Stage School.

 

 

Mags, a nurse by trade, has been working at Centre Stage since 2007. She is a well seasoned performer and singer, starting her career at an early age in her native Killarney. Mags keeps both students and staff at Centre Stage in order, and will always answer the phone or open the office door with her trademark smile!

 

 

Originally from Wexford, David began his dance training in Cork at Colaiste Stiofan Naofa. Following two years dance training in Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, and Modern he went on to receive a full scholorship with Cambridge Performing Arts at Bodywork in England. He studied full time for three years in Musical Theatre and Dance. Graduating in 2005 David then went to work extensively in Ireland, UK and beyond in many productions as both a singer and dancer, including pantomimes, cruise ships and TV work. In 2011 he was backing vocalist for Jedward at the Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf with Ireland's entry song Lipstick. Alongside his performing career he also works as a Choreographer and made his debut in 2009 with his first professional production Westside Story with Director Bryan Flynn at the Cork Opera House, which received critical acclaim. Following the success of his first show he was asked to choreograph the Christmas pantomime at The Cork Opera House and continued to work with Bryan Flynn on many productions including Grease and Alice in Wonderland.  David has always had a great love for Centre Stage, working with the students on shows such as Miss Saigon, Chicago and Blood Brothers. He is excited to be back and is looking forward to the year ahead. 

 

Danny Buckley, from Mallow, has been associated with Centre Stage since the very early days. He attributes his love of drama and all things stage to his decade and a half of involvement with the school. An actor, director and drama teacher, with a Lamda Gold medal in acting, Danny formalised his qualifications receiving his Acting and Speech & Drama diplomas from the Victoria College of Music and Dramatic Art in London. Recently receiving his Licentiate qualification, LVCM.  The pinnacle of his acting achievements was being part of the RTÉ All Ireland winning cast of Conversations on a Homecoming with Palace Players in 2015.  In 2018, Danny directed the All Ireland One Act winner The Quiet Land by Malachy McKenna.  Passionate about drama and Centre Stage, Danny believes we can all learn from each other.

Laura's creative and energetic love for drama and working with children gives her the exciting drive to work with Centre Stage and the Theatre Tot and Musical Theatre Programme. Laura studied Speech and Drama for four years in the Cork College of Commerce, where she achieved four different Diplomas including her highest to date, her Fellowship Diploma certified by the Victoria College of London. Laura taught Drama & exercise classes for children from 4 years upwards in Passage West. In these classes she has been bringing stories to life for the children. She has also worked with Cope Foundation in bringing their "Growing Imaginations" projects to life. Laura is very excited to be involved with Centre Stage School.

Lesley-Anne Radcliffe is a qualified dance teacher with the internationally renowned Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D), the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (I.S.T.D) and Acrobatic Arts. She trained at Laine Theatre Arts in London, Joan Denise Moriarty in Cork and Hammond School in Chester. Not only is she qualified in Ballet, Modern, Tap, National and Acro dance, giving students the option to take internationally recognised exams, but she was also a professional dancer with Thomson Gold International, P&O Cruises and Carnival Cruises. Performances in Ireland also include dancing with Cork Ballet Company, Cork City Ballet, Cork city pantomimes as well as shows working with choreographer Donna Daly Blyth.  She has regularly been a guest performer with SYB Eastbourne. More recently Lesley-Anne became a qualified teacher of Acro dance through the highly acclaimed organisation Acrobatic Arts, who offer a professional curriculum for acrobatic dance reaching from Canada, UK, Europe and Australia.  Lesley-Anne has been with Centre Stage since 2014 during which time students have excelled in Ballet, Tap and Modern, all of which are of tremendous value to many performers who continue their studies to a professional level abroad.

Katie Holly is from Charleville and studied Drama, Theatre Studies and Music in UCC before completing an MA in Irish Literature.  She has written, directed and produced her own work for Cork Midsummer Festival 2016, 2017 and 2018, has toured her productions nationally. Her 2019 production 'Crossword' starred Drama teacher Danny Buckley, was commissioned by Cork County Council and toured the libraries of Co. Cork for Bealtaine Festival in May 2019, before being recorded and broadcast as part of Cork County Culture Night in September 2020.  She wrote and directed the Transition Year All Ireland Drama Final winner 2017 with St. Mary's Secondary School, Charleville and worked with Graffitti Theatre Company on their Young Playwright programme in 2018 and 2019, mentoring playwrights aged 14 to 19.  She loves working in administration, sometimes helps out with scripts for the talented drama students at Centre Stage School and is looking forward to the year ahead!

 

 

Louise Luddy is a qualified Music and Maths teacher from Mallow. As a past pupil of Centre Stage School, her love of music and drama was fostered from a young age. She later graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2013, followed by a Bachelor of Music from UCC in 2014, and went on to acquire a Professional Masters in Education in 2016. During her time in UCC, she was a member and regular accompanist of the UCC Choral Society and the UCC Singers. A founding member of the UCC Musical Society, Louise was Assistant Musical Director and Choral Mistress for several productions such as Songs for a New World, Avenue Q and Seussical the Musical during her tenure.  During lockdown 2020 Louise broadcasted fabulous songs and recordings online, and thrilled us with her musical talent and collaborations - she is delighted to be returning to the Centre Stage team this year, and excited to get started with the year ahead!

Nicole McDonagh is a vocalist and vocal coach from Ballincollig. Nicole’s interest in music and musical theatre was fostered at a very young age, beginning piano lessons at age six and attending musical theatre classes throughout her school life.

In 2013 Nicole graduated from the CIT Cork School of Music with an honours degree in vocal performance under the direction of Mary Mulcahy and Mary Hegarty.

Nicole was one of the founding committee members of the CIT Musical Society, and performed as Jack's Mother in her final year in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods.

After completing her degree, Nicole trained with Musical Theatre Ireland under the direction of Johnathan Tweedie and Ross Campbell, a singing professor from the Royal Academy of Music, London. This is where Nicole's passion for vocal technique grew as she married her classical technique with Estill voice training. This is the technique she now passes on to her students with a strong emphasis on breathing, support and vocal health.

Since finishing her studies Nicole has been involved in many productions across Cork both as a performer and musical director.

Outside of her musical endeavours Nicole has a Masters in Public Relations and New Media, and works as a public relations, marketing and events executive.

Kerry Nyhan is a Mallow native who completed a BA in Popular Music (majoring in Voice) in Cork School of Music.
Kerry’s interest in music stems from a young age.  She was an enthusiastic student of Centre Stage, taking part in such musicals as Seussical The Musical, Les Miserables and Fame
Kerry is also incredibly passionate about pop music and supported The Saturdays at 19 with her band Roulette.
She is so excited to fuse her pop and musical theatre background together to bring some new fun new classes to Centre Stage this term!

Currently back home from London after his studies, Keith is a Singer/Performer & Vocal Coach. Having studied Popular Music Performance (Vocals) at BIMM London as well as teaching, Keith is excited to share all his knowledge & passion with the up and coming generation. 

Keith is certainly no stranger to the Cork performing scene, having performed principal roles in numerous Pantos at the Everyman Palace Theatre, in Annie at Cork Opera House, and is lead vocalist for 'Cork Pops Orchestra' under the direction of Evelyn Grant (RTÉ Lyric FM) & 'UCC Rocks’. Having won RTÉ’s 'The Voice Of Ireland’, Keith has a wealth of TV experience & is currently recording new music to be released early next year. 

After winning the show, Keith was fortunate to work in different Primary Schools and musical settings around the Munster Region - holding Vocal Workshops, Stage Directing & Musical Directing. His classes are all about enhancing each students talent, while teaching them techniques and tips they need to succeed in their singing. He wants to build each students confidence and help them find their unique voice and develop on that. He also focuses on teaching them how to sing in a healthy, fun, open, relaxed but controlled way, giving them the tools necessary to push them beyond their boundaries. Nurturing your talent and growing your voice is an on going adventure.  Keith is very excited to be returning to the Centre Stage team this year and looks forward to the new year ahead. 

 

Originally from the Boston area in the United States, Lily has been living in Mallow for the last 10 years.  She has been a Music, Dance, and Drama educator (both in Ireland and in America) for the last 16 years, teaching in schools, camps and with Community Outreach programs.  With a degree in Sociology, she is especially interested in the community aspect of performing arts, and enjoys bringing people together through these art forms as well as realising the importance they have on the individual.  She has taught music and drama, conducted school choirs in Irish National schools in the greater Mallow area, and has been the program director for a multigenerational music and dance summer camp program for the last 5 years. Lily has been dancing and singing with performance groups since childhood, and has performed in numerous productions.  She is currently a member of Mallow's Community Choir as well as the founder of Various Voices, a small vocal ensemble.  Lily has watched from the side-lines as her two daughters have enjoyed classes at Centre Stage over the last few years and is now delighted to be part of the team, bringing her love of the performing arts to Centre Stage School's youngest students in the Theatre Tots program!

Office Manager Trish Ryan from Cork City, has been living in Mallow for the past 13 years.  A graduate of University College Cork in Relationship Studies, Trish has a primarily financial background.  Having attended many Centre Stage School shows (to see her two childrens' talents on display) over the past 10 years, and with a background in 'Tops of the Towns' as a young performer herself, she is delighted to be joining the team, and will be happy to assist you in the office!

From Mallow originally, Danny is a Certified Athletic Therapist.  He leads our Dance Companies in extra classes designed to enhance their strength and flexibility, in Release Clinic on St. Joseph's Road, Mallow.  He also teaches Adult fitness classes, and runs a physiotherapy clinic in the same building.  Danny is always available to support and advise the Dance squads at Centre Stage to prevent injury and encourage physical fitness and strength.  

Caoimhe McCarthy began taking violin lessons in Mallow at the age of 7 before starting lessons at the Cork School of Music. She is currently undertaking a Bachelor’s Degree in Music in CIT Cork School of Music, where she studies with Gregory Ellis of the Vanbrugh String Quartet.

She loves teaching and has a special interest in Music Education. She has played with orchestras such as SinfoNua, Cork Chamber Orchestra, Irish Youth Baroque Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Ireland, CSM Symphony Orchestra, and most recently took part in the Haydn Symphony Series in Cork.

Caoimhe is delighted to return to Centre Stage School in 2020!

Aoibhínn has recently graduated from London Studio Centre with First Class Honours in her Theatre Dance Degree. She trained under Aileen Coffey before moving to London to study.

Before graduating she signed with her agent Nina Lee Management. While training she completed dance teaching qualifications under the IDTA and BBo dance and will continue to complete more qualifications in the coming year. She is currently training as a Personal Trainer and will be fully qualified at the beginning of September. She has a passion for dance and has been teaching since the age of 16. She is looking forward to meeting the students and sharing her love of the arts with the next generation!

Roisin is a singer, performer and Vocal Coach from Cork City. From a young age, Roisin found her love of music; she began performing in bands in the vibrant Cork music scene, and hasn't stopped performing since, in venues such as the Cork Opera House and Cork City hall (alongside Riverdance). Roisin went on to study Vocals in CIT Cork School of Music, gaining a BA in Popular Music and she is currently studying for her Masters degree under Dr. Trish Rooney.  Roisin went on to become the Vice-Principal of The Academy of Popular Music, she continues to work as a vocal coach in Cork City and very much looks forward to meeting the students at Centre Stage!

Originally from Mallow, Aideen Walsh is a past pupil of Centre Stage School, having tried every class she possibly could in her 10 years here.  She was awarded Gold Medals in both Musical Theatre and Drama, as well as performing in many annual shows.  Aideen received a degree in Early Childhood Care and Education from Mary Immaculate College in 2016 and went on to qualify as a Primary School Teacher, and she now teaches in a local Primary School in the Mallow area.  Aideen is very excited to be back working in a place she called home for so many years!

Tricia has always had an interest in gymnastics since the age of 12.  She competed in gymnastics at club and regional level, and with the national team, including the World and European Championships 95/96/97.  Tricia coached as assistant and head coach at club, regional and national squad level, as well as acting as official at judge at many competitions.  She has also mentored junior coaches and judges

Tricia absolutely love gymnastics and loves teaching, and she is interested in supporting each student to discover and appreciate all that they bring to the class.

Shane graduated from MTU, Cork School of Music with a B.A. in Theatre and Drama Studies in 2019, going on to gain his associated Drama teaching Diploma from London College of Music in 2021.  He is also a LAMDA Gold Medalist.  In theatre he has worked with the Triskel Development Centre, the Kinsale Arts Festival, Cork Arts Theatre, Everyman Palace Theatre, Central Arts Theatre, as well as the Award winning producion of 'How it is: Part 1' with the renowned Gare St. Lazarre Theatre Company.  He has also worked in audio, television and film (including award winning 'The Evening Redness of the South' and 'The Young Offenders').  

Shane is thrilled to be joining the Centre Stage team and is very excited to work with the wonderfully talented students that come through the doors!

Rory is a guitar tutor from Cork who has many years of experience playing and teaching guitar. He has performed live around the world; from festival stages to touring with other artists to corporate events, to everything in between. He has also taught in one-to-one and class environments to all ages and abilities.

He attained his BA Hons degree in Modern Music while attending BIMM in the UK, and subsequently completed his MA masters in performance at CSM in Cork. He has a wide interest in music; production, live performance, recording, and is constantly fascinated with how students interpret and assimilate music. 

Hailing from Mallow, Amy studied at Mary Immaculate college in which she completed a B.A. in Early Childhood Education in 2021, and she has a passion for all things drama and musical theatre.   She began her journey at Centre Stage as a child, completing many LAMDA exams in singing.  Amy has great memories performing in fantastic CSS productions throughout the years.  Having had such love for performing and our school as a student, Amy is super excited to return to CSS as a teacher, to meet all of the students and to work with everybody at Centre Stage School!

Grace Wood is a recent graduate of the Cork School of Music, achieving a first in her BA in Popular music specialising in Voice. She is well versed in genres such as Pop, Rock, Soul and Funk. Grace also has a love of Musical Theatre, having played characters like “Sandy” in Grease at the Cork Opera House, and “Tracy” in Hairspray at the Firkin Crane. Grace has years of Piano, Guitar and Vocals teaching experience, and has completed her piano grades with the Royal Irish Academy of Music.  Grace is very much looking forward to starting at Centre Stage School in September! 

Eimear has always had a passion for playing piano; having trained in classical piano since 2003, she achieved Honours in Grade VIII examination with the Royal Irish Academy of Music at the age of 15.  An enthusiastic teacher (qualified post-primary teacher of Music, Business Studies and Gaeilge, teaching in the Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles) Eimear has trained in the musical knowledge and teaching strategies to cater effectively for each individual student.  Eimear is really looking forward to meeting the students at Centre Stage!

Originally from Waterford, Sarah completed a BA (Hons) in Theatre and Drama Studies (BATDS) at MTU Cork School of Music.  Sarah studied singing under the tuition of Lynsey Penkert, completed Grade 4 in Music Theatre Performance from the University of West London, and studied Classical singing and Musical Theatre singing under acclaimed soprano Majella Cullagh.  Sarah discovered her passion for drama teaching while working at the David Hennessy Stage School, Waterford from 2015 – 2018.  As well as a  passion for teaching, Sarah also loves to perform.  Recent credits include performing in Grimm Tales by Carol Ann Duffy, Annie Allen’s World Tour, ‘Wendlain Spring Awakening, ‘Anna Maria in Godspell and ‘Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

 

Grace started as a student in CSS at the age of 5, joining Musical Theatre, Singing and Dancing as the years went on, and attended classes right up until Leaving Cert.  She completed her Gold medal in LAMDA singing exams.
Grace performed in several CSS productions - Peter Pan and Shrek in the Everyman Theatre, and Les Miserables, Newsies, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Come From Away in the Cork Opera House. 
Grace says she feels very lucky to be back in the CSS team as a teacher, and can't wait to create so many new memories!

Originally from Galway, Claire has been teaching, musical directing, and performing for over a decade. She began learning music from a young age and has since picked up a number of instruments including piano, guitar, saxophone, and cello. Relocating to Cork in 2017, she went on to pursue a degree in keyboards at the Cork School of Music, and to take part in the city’s musical culture. Outside of her teaching, Claire also works as a musical director, freelance producer, and session musician around the city and county. She has a keen interest in community based music, and personal growth through the arts, and is excited to continue working with the up-and-coming artists she is lucky to be teaching at Centre Stage!

Becky has always been interested in creative pursuits, and her passion for creativity started at a very early age.  She loves to paint, draw, make jewellery and up-cycle furniture, and she took several courses in art, craft, design and illustration in college.  Aside from personal and professional commission projects, Becky has a passion for teaching. She worked as a Montessori teacher for two years in Vietnam. Although she primarily taught English, she also taught classes in art, craft, music, drama and mindfulness, as well as evening classes for varying age groups. Becky is very excited to meet all her Art students!

Testimonials

Lucy has been attending Centre Stage since the age of 4.  I can’t thank the teachers and staff enough for all they instill in our kids; the talent, confidence & camaraderie inside those doors are so important, and it's a privilege for any child to be part of, and something which they’ll carry with them through life. 

Lisa Punch

My daughter Aoibhe Lilly has attended Centre Stage for the past 5 years. The overall experience has been phenomenal. She has always enjoyed the high standard of classes on offer. Centre Stage offers a caring, nurturing environment, where love of arts is encouraged, in a place where children can dance, act, sing, laugh and have fun, making lifelong friends and memories. In Aoibhes own words 'It's my happy place'!

Eilish O'Leary

My daughter has been attending Centre Stage School for 4 years. She started with Theatre Tots and moved on ward from there. The musical theatre classes have been instrumental in the development of her self-confidence, as well as her great love for music and dance. The teachers and staff include and encourage all children of all abilities, and each child has a chance to shine. I couldn’t recommend Centre Stage School highly enough. Thank you to everyone there for the amazing work you do!  

Caroline Hayes (Arts Educational School London)