Meet our fabulous industry professional and fully qualified teachers.

Lyn Pelgrave – Principal

Diploma of Dance
Cert IV Dance Teaching and Management.
Cert IV TAE. Australian Dance Institute Endorsed Syllabus Assessor.

Lyn has spent the last 20 years travelling and performing with touring musical comedy and theatre productions throughout Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US.

“In 2007 it was time to pack away the suitcase and establish a life at home in Brisbane. Starting The Theatre Factory meant I didn’t have to give up on my passion for the theatre and all the magic it holds”.

Leanne “Lee” Schmidt – Dance Start, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Vocational StudiesHeadshot of Teacher at The Theatre Company Brisbane

Diploma of Dance Teaching & Management

Certificate IV Dance Teaching & Management
Certificate IV Training & Assessment
Certificate IV Fitness

Leanne has been dancing from the age of 4 years old where she started Classical Ballet and Tap in Ingham, North Queensland. At the age of 12 Leanne added Modern Jazz to her technique styles and passed all F.A.T.D. Performance & Young Teaching diplomas, with distinction. At the age of 15, Leanne took part in her first musical production with the Townsville Choral Society and their production of Singin’ In the Rain, and then later joined  the Townsville Little Theatre.  This is where she developed a love for Musical Theatre.  Leanne is an active member of the amateur theatre community of Brisbane as both a performer and choreographer.

Miss Lee relocated to Brisbane to study Dance Education at QUT where she met contemporary choreographer Erin Tunbridge (Zeta Dance Group). Leanne worked alongside Erin as Australian Managing Director of Zeta Dance Group while Erin developed her international works which toured the United States in 2014. In this time, Leanne also performed for Queensland Entertainer of the year, Deana Peher as a professional Cabaret and Chorus dancer, and still performs with Ms Peher on occasion to this day.

For a number of years, Leanne has worked with Queensland & Western Australian Primary schools in delivering dance programs to assist with the dance component of the Australian National Curriculum for the Arts. With the Governments introduction of the Live Performance Training package for the creative arts, Leanne has taken it in her stride to help develop well educated dancers for a better creative arts industry in the future. This Government regulation of vocational creative industries education will encourage dancers to broaden their knowledge and allow them the ability to discuss with their peers movement functionality & the creative aspects of their craft, and this is something Leanne is passionate about.


Julia Nilon – SingingHeadshot photo of Julia at The Theatre Company Brisbane

Julia’s musical tuition began at the age of nine, undertaking classical singing lessons. After years of competing in Eisteddfods, AMEB exams, crafting her own songs and performing she branched into contemporary singing where she found a passion for jazz music that led her to auditioning for and completing a Bachelor at the Conservatorium of Music majoring in Jazz Voice. This new direction saw her perform at the Brisbane Jazz Club, The Powerhouse Museum and other venues in Brisbane while growing a skill set in contemporary singing genres, songwriting techniques, multi-instrumental abilities and teaching. 

While participating in ensembles, writing her own music, performing and teaching around Brisbane, Julia’s desire to learn more about the voice and provide a greater teaching versatility guided her towards her current masters degree in Vocal pedagogy. Her studies have cemented a wealth of knowledge regarding the voice and Julia’s personal musical experience has helped her create a balanced teaching philosophy. This philosophy aims to inspire the development of healthy, free, natural voices through the application of factual information, positive teaching techniques and exploration of sound.

Julia finished her Master’s degree in 2016 and is currently preparing to undertake a Higher Degree with a focus on modern musical theatre singing, in particular teaching modern musical theatre to children.

Erin McNamara – Choir Director

Bachelor of Music (Jazz Voice)
Master of Music Studies (Vocal Pedagogy) 

Erin has been singing and performing for as long as she can remember. She began her musical career at age 7, when she joined her local community theatre group. From that point on, Erin has performed in, and been musical director in many amateur and semi-professional musicals for over 10 years.

In 2013, she decided to expand her musical knowledge and skills through a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Voice) at the Queensland Conservatorium. While studying, Erin continued to perform as lead singer in her cover band, Avalon, and also worked as a singing and piano teacher. Most recently, Erin developed a greater love and understanding of teaching after completing a Master of Music Studies majoring in vocal pedagogy, also at the Queensland Conservatorium. This year, she has decided to continue her studies with a Master of Secondary Teaching specialising in music.

Sarah Spina – Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary

Diploma in Classical and Contemporary Dance (Elite Performance)
Advance Diploma in Classical and Contemporary Dance (Elite Performance)

Sarah started her dancing career from a young age and has progressed quickly into her passion of dance and teaching. Moving to Brisbane in 2015 she was selected to dance full time with the Australian Dance Performance Institute. Dancing full time over the
two-year period, gaining her Diploma in Classical and Contemporary Dance in Elite Performance and her Advanced Diploma in Elite Performance. Sarah has performed successfully in many competitions ranging from Far North Queensland down to New South Wales and has also had the opportunity understudying with two major Australian contemporary companies.

Now currently studying with the Royal Academy of Dance in the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies, to further her passion onto her current and future students. Sarah has many ambitions of advancing her knowledge within the dance, fitness, and wellbeing industries to offer various educational opportunities to students.  

Elleigh Mercer – Hip Hop, Acro, 

I began gymnastics when I was 5 years old and by the time I was 7 became part of a cheer team. Throughout my primary and high school years I trained and performed with this team at sports events in FNQ.

I turned to more formal dance classes at an early age- taking ballet (RAD), jazz, contemporary, hip hop and acrobatics.

At the age of 18 I began working for my former teacher at ‘Rose Studios’ and became co principal of the acro-based dance school. I taught many genres of dance from ATOD ballet all the way through to hip hop- for all ages from 3 & 1/2 years to adults classes. I am Acrobatics Arts qualified and enjoy sharing my knowledge when it comes to strength and conditioning.

Caitlin Wood – Speech & Drama

Bachelor of Creative Industries (QUT)

Caitlin attended the Queensland University of Technology. She completed a Drama major and a Professional Writing, Publishing and Editing minor and graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Distinction). She loves teaching drama and has worked with both individuals and groups to help students build their confidence, engage their imaginations, and develop their communication skills.

She has successfully prepared numerous students for Eisteddfod performances and for Trinity College of London Speech and Drama exams. She further works as a dramaturg and editor and has also worked in several arts organisations, has written professional documents for a number of companies, has curated multi-disciplinary exhibitions, and has worked for drama publisher Playlab – proofreading and typesetting play-texts. Drama is her true love and she can’t wait to work with Theatre Factory students.

Administrative Staff

Leanne McPherson

Leanne Schmidt

Tammy Richards


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