Artistic Director

Janine Donnell

Musical Theatre A.T.C.L

Janine’s theatrical career began at age 3 with her stage debut as “Trouble” in Madame Butterfly (her mother Doreen Donnell playing the title role). Since then she has performed in over 35 musical shows and cabarets and directed and choreographed a further 30 shows, several as Assistant Director/ Choreographer to the acclaimed international Director/Choreographer Garry Ginivan of Melbourne, Australia.

Janine started singing training at age 4 with her mother and well known singing tutor Doreen Donnell. She won over 25 vocal championships & scholarships at several New Zealand singing association competitions. She began dancing at age 5 at the Doreen O’Leary School of Dance. She achieved advanced level qualifications in Ballet, Jazz, Character and Tap and has danced with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. In 2001, Janine was the first person in New Zealand and fourth worldwide to pass the Trinity College of London ATCL Diploma in Musical Theatre.

Janine has been a guest lecturer in performing arts for the AUT and UNITEC and previously worked as Resident Director/Choreographer for Donnell Theatre Productions Ltd, a family owned professional theatre company.

In 2013, Janine won a NAPTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Mrs Meers in North Shore Music Theatre’s production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie”. During her busy performance and production career she has worked with many well known people including, world famous opera singers Placido Domingo & Katherine Jenkins, American choreographer Michael Rooney who has choreographed for Kylie Minogue, Fat Boy Slim and also the most recent Muppet movie “The Muppets”, New Zealand legend Sir Howard Morrison, well known entertainers Tina Cross, Aaron Gilmore, Nerida Cortese, Mark Hadlow, Tim Beveridge, Derek Metzger, Suzanne Lynch, Ray Columbus, David McPhail & Jon Gadsby, Chic Littlewood, Sam Hunt, Russell Harrison, Penny Dodd, Roger Fox, and The Auckland Philharmonia and NZ National Youth Orchestras.

Janine is currently the Artistic Director of the Auckland City Theatre Academy (ACTA) one of the top performing arts schools in NZ. She manages the Musical Theatre syllabus and is Director / Choreographer for all performances produced by the school annually.

In 1999 Janine’s students were the first in New Zealand to pass the Trinity College of London Musical Theatre examination syllabus and have been awarded the highest marks in NZ on several occasions since then.

ACTA also boasts a very impressive 100% acceptance rate for it’s graduates into several highly acclaimed full time tertiary institutions including Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and Victorian College of the Arts – Melbourne, Australia.

In addition to working as Artistic Director of ACTA Janine also works as a freelance Director / Choreographer and manages her own events company Encore Productions Ltd. In 2013 she worked on the NZ season of the professional tour of the musical “Wicked” produced by the Gordon Frost Organisation. She then went on to work for UK based company Lunchbox Theatrical Productions as the NZ Casting Director/Creative Assistant for the international touring productions of Annie and The Sound Of Music. Janine most recently worked as a Creative Assistant to the Children’s Director/Resident Director for the Gordon Frost Organisation’s Australian Tour of The Sound of Music.