Stageworx Principal and Director
Gemma studied at the Whitehall College of Performing Arts in England, gaining a first-class Musical Theatre Diploma and her teaching associates in Drama and Singing through L.A.M.D.A., as well as her advanced I.S.T.D. in Modern, Tap and Chechetti Ballet. Gemma is currently studing the latest techniques in vocal development through Berklee.
Gemma has performed professionally for 12 years, beginning her career in the UK as a dancer for Robbie Williams at Prince Charles’ 50th Birthday celebration at the Lyceum Theatre and Gerri Halliwell’s ‘It’s Raining Men’ music video. She also appeared in variety shows at the London Palladium, Theatre Royal and Her Majesty’s Theatre before joining Carnival Cruises as lead production vocalist. After travelling America and the Caribbean, Gemma came to South Africa to perform in The Buddy Holly Show. From here she has performed in many major musicals including My Fair Lady (Eliza Doolittle), Mamma Mia (Lisa), Footloose (Wendy Jo), The Boys In A Photograph (Christine), Fiddler on the Roof (Hoddel), Hairspray (LouAnne), Jesus Christ Superstar (International Tour), Fangs, and most recently toured Australia and New Zealand as Agnetha in The Abba Show.
As a Producer, Director, Choreographer and Vocal Arranger, Gemma has worked extensively in the corporate entertainment industry. She has produced and directed a number of original children's theatre productions. She has also choreographed various music videos for SA Artists and vocally arranged for many other corporate entertainment events.
In 2008, Gemma opened StageWorx School of Performing Arts, after seeing a need in the arts industry for the training of young people wanting a professional career. Gemma, with her husband Matthew, have also created the Born to Perform Platform, giving young people professional opportunities in the world of entertainment.
Gemma has co-produced 5 major productions with maestro Bryan Schimmal - Two productions of Night With The Stars at the Lyric Theatre in association with the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra and three Born To Perform Productions also at the Lyric Theatre.
Gemma is now founder and CEO of the Born To Perform NPC - giving opportunities for bursaries for young South Africans wanting to further their skills in the arts,
STAGEWORX DIRECTOR / Head Of Songwriting and Artist Development
Matthew has been a prominent figure in the South African Music Scene for over 10 years. His experience ranges from playing Drums and Percussion in shows such as Chicago, Lion King, We Will Rock You, Boys in The Photograph and Skouspel, to playing and recording with the likes of Zebra & Giraffe, RJ Benjamin and is to-date the drummer for The Graeme Watkins Project.
Matthew’s love for film saw him opening a video production company in 2010 called Dream Canvas. Some of his clients include Daniel Baron, Elvis Blue, The Colab Network, Montecasino, Regent Insurance, The Muses, Bernard Jay Productions, Afro Asia and Swing City.
In 2015 Matthew joined forces with Gemma Donnelly to create the Born To Perform platform, merging his music skills with his video skills in creating a platform to showcase the young talent of South Africa in a professional way, with the goal of creating a new demand for young talented performers in the country.
Some of the highlights of Born To Perform to-date have been the 2015 & 2016 Gala Shows at the Lyric Theatre, the Christmas Special that aired on M-NET, the collaboration with the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra with the Night Of The Stars Concerts, the Silverstar Christmas Carols Event in 2016 and the launch of the Headlinerz platform.
Rowan joined the Stageworx Faculty in 2015.
Most recently he was the Musical Director of the company of SWEENEY TODD on the heels of the South African premiere of SISTER ACT at the Joburg Theatre where he served as musical director and conductor. Previously, he toured Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Malaysia and South Africa with JERSEY BOYS, winning him the 2014 Naledi Award for Best Musical Director alongside his mentor Bryan Schimmel. He was previously nominated for his work on the South African touring production of MAMMA MIA!, and on the critically-acclaimed reconceptualised PIRATES OF PENZANCE – a long way from his start in Richard Loring’s THE YOUNG ONES and placing Top 16 on M-net’s “Project Fame”. He has had the privilege of working alongside Queen’s Roger Taylor and writer Ben Elton on the Asian Tour of WE WILL ROCK YOU and with Anthony Rapp on the South African production of RENT. Other credits include MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL, SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD, KNIGHTS OF MUSIC, FOREVER PLAID, CARRIE, HOT MIKADO, TWO IN THE BUSH, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, FORBIDDEN BROADWAY, DREAMGIRLS, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE BOYS IN THE PHOTOGRAPH among others. He is currently resident musical supervisor for National Children’s Theatre and The People’s Theatre and is co-director of Broadway Boot Camp: .
Mullin joined Stageworx full time in 2015.
After an extensive career in Hip Hop, including choreographing for the World Hip Hop Championships, choreographing and performing the opening for Kanye West, choreographing for the Soccer World Cup Opening and working alongside B.O.B, Mullin has been concentrating on theatre work and is being mentored directly by Gemma.
Over the past year, Mullin has performed in many events and corporates as a vocalist and dancer for Montecasino, Gold Reef City, Stageworx Entertainments and many others. Although his passion remains in choreography, he has also been a vocalist as part of a campaign for Aero.
Mullin will be the assistant choreographer on the 2017 Joburg Theatre Pantomime.
Mullin's work experience is vast and we are so proud to have him as a full time teacher at Stageworx.
Dillonne hails from Cape Town. She attended the University of Cape Town's School of Dance (1999-2002) and studied Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, African and Spanish Dancing, majoring in Choreography and has worked with well-known choreographers such as Christopher Kindo, Adele Blank, Vincent Mantsoe and Sylvia Glasser amongst others.
Dillonne worked with the Guild Theatre Dance Company in East London and the Tswane Dance Company between 2002 and 2004. She went on to tour Sweden with the Moving into Dance Company in 2004-2005.
In 2005 she joined the world-renowned Vuyani Dance Theatre, under directorship of internationally-acclaimed choreographer Gregory Vuyani Maqoma. She was nominated MEC most promising contemporary dancer in that year. One of the highlights being a performance in Paris, France in 2006. Dillonne has also worked as a dancer and a choreographer for various corporate events such as the Peroni Festival, Multichoice, Nedbank Golf Challenge as well as in Casino Productions for Sun International and Tsogo Sun. From 2007-2008 she was a Choreographer and Dance Captain for selected international venues all across Cyprus, producing Extravaganza, Variety, Latin and New Year’s Eve shows.
During the World Cup in 2010, she was chosen to join the local production team and performed with Shakira, John Legend and Black Eyed Peas at the Opening Concert.
She also has over 10 years teaching experience, which includes Moving into Dance Trainee First Year Students, Dance Café, Fred Astaire, The Dance Junxtion and Dance Zone. She has further taught at various Outreach Programmes in Mdantsane (East London), Alexandria, Soweto, Langlaagte and Riverlea.
The Junior Teachers are in place to work with our starter school and junior learners or students in the elementary grades for Trinity College London exams. They are all ATCL- or LTCL-qualified and have graduated from the Stageworx Establishment, now following their own careers in the arts.
They have been through our system of training and so have a great understanding of what we expect at Stageworx from our pupils.