The Highlights Dunedin

Regent Theatre Dunedin - October 2020



Director & Staging

With 20 years in the performance and entertainment industry Dunedin-based Douglas is one of the busiest producers, directors and entertainers in the country having amassed an impressive array of drama, television, concert and musical theatre credits.

As a producer and director he has been responsible for over 60 national and international musical theatre productions including The Rocky Horror Show, Les Miserables, The Producers, The Addams Family, The Buddy Holly Story, JC Superstar, Hot Shoe Shuffle, Cabaret, Chess, Me & My Girl, 42nd Street and A Chorus Line. He toured New Zealand & Asia in the international casts of Chicago & Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Television credits include regular guest appearances on Xena Warrior Princess, Street Legal, Shortland Street, The Pretender and Passion in Paradise. As a television host he fronted the high profile weekly draw of Lotto for 2 ½ years as well as The Lounge, 3 seasons of Destination New Zealand, the award winning reality game show - The Vodafone V24 Challenge and the Living Channels travel show ‘Hit the Road’.

In 2014 he joined forces with Taieri Musical to co-produce and direct Dunedin’s sellout season of Mamma Mia.

He again produced and directed Grease: The Arena Spectacular Live with Taieri Musical in 2016 and Mary Poppins in 2017 at the Regent Theatre, for both of these shows Doug was awarded Best Direction at the Otago Southland Theatre Awards.

In 2018 Doug directed the hugely popular production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert at The Regent Theatre for Musical Theatre Dunedin and Grease: The Arena Spectacular Live for Invercargill Musical Theatre while 2019 saw him direct two productions of Wicked for Musical Theatre Dunedin and Invercargill Musical Theatre.

2021 will see him direct Les Miserables (Musical Theatre Dunedin) for the third time and he will co-produce and direct Mamma Mia – An Arena Experience with Taieri Musical in October 2021. 



Musical Director

Michael moved to Dunedin in 1999 to study music at the University of Otago, where he completed his MusB and Diploma in Teaching. He was Teacher in Charge of Music at St Hilda’s Collegiate School for 14 years before moving to teach music at Kavanagh College. He also holds appointments as the Director of Music of both St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral and Kaikorai Metropolitan Brass.

Michael has extensive experience as a choral director, with the St Hilda’s senior ensemble, Sings Hilda, having been successful in gaining selection for the National Finale of the Big Sing Competition several times. As a singer, Michael has been a member of numerous choirs in Dunedin and Palmerston North and toured internationally with the Secondary Schools’ Choir and within New Zealand as a member of Voices NZ.

Michael has musically directed many school shows and has performed on stage for local musical theatre productions. He is a regular pit musician for local musical societies and was Musical Director for Taieri Musical’s 2017 production of Mary Poppins. He is also the regular pianist for Dunedin’s popular Underground Broadway shows.




Sydney born dancer, Emma trained in classical ballet, jazz, tap and contemporary dance from a young age. Her performance career took her around Australia, India and Taiwan on numerous corporate and theme park contracts. She moved to Dunedin in 2008 and began teaching at Bennett School of Ballet and Jazz where she now teaches classes in Musical Theatre, Jazz, Ballet and Tap. Her teaching expertise also stretches to the Dunedin Ice Skating Club where she coaches students in presentation, choreography and performance. Since being in New Zealand, she has danced with DKCM Ltd, Brophy Aerials, the Boom Boom Room and the Otago Dancers, performing and choreographing pieces for various shows and sporting and corporate events such as the Big Night In, Dunedin’s Mid-Winter Carnival, Fringe Festival, Santa Parade, All Blacks and NZ Breakers games.

Emma made her Musical Theatre debut in 2014 with DKCM and Taieri Musical's Mamma Mia! Since then she has choreographed musicals around the Otago region including: Oklahoma, The Addams Family, Gourmet Broadway, Grease – The Arena Spectacular Dunedin and Invercargill, Anything Goes, Mary Poppins, Westend to Broadway, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Wicked in Dunedin and Invercargill. She has won Best Choreography at the Otago Southland Theatre Awards in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Emma has won Best Choreography at the Otago Southland Theatre Awards in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.



Vocal Director

Born in England and raised in Christchurch, Beth Waite has always been passionate about music. She began voice lessons at aged eight and things never stopped from there.

Beth is passionate about many different types of music but musical theatre and choral work will always hold a special place in her heart.

This year saw her graduating with a Masters with Distinction in Theatre Studies from the University of Otago.

In 2019, she made her directorial debut with the play Women Like Us by Helen Varley Jamieson and produced by Little Scorpion Production company.

Her performance credits include Ovation with Taieri Musical Society, The First Time with Arcade Theatre company, The Sound of Music with The Court Theatre, and various productions throughout her time at the University of Otago.

A woman of many jobs, she spends her days as an administrator and her weekends as a Senior Teacher and Group Coach at The Voice Lab NZ.



Wardrobe Concept Designer

Designing has been a passion for Jennifer since she can remember - drawing costumes to wear at tap dancing competitions from age 5 that her talented mother would then create for her. This interest continued throughout her school years, including winning 1st prize in a regional high school wearable arts competition. Jennifer went on to study Fashion Design at Otago Polytech graduating in 2008, and was selected to show her graduate collection ‘Overture’ at the prestigious iD International Emerging Designers Awards in 2009’s iD Dunedin Fashion Week. After gaining industry experience, she has started her own custom fashion label Pansy Couture specialising in custom-made bridal wear.

Costuming is a particular passion of Jennifer’s, having lived on stage from an early age.  She has been dancing for over twenty years, studying ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, burlesque, singing and now performs in local musical theatre productions. Some of her previous costume work has been seen in Musical Theatre Dunedin’s The Producers, Taieri Musical’s Jesus Christ Superstar, and Gourmet Broadway, where she was also Wardrobe Manager.

In 2016, Jennifer designed and built an original arena scale wardrobe for DKCM/Taieri Musical’s Grease: The Arena Spectacular, pushing the boundaries of a traditional Grease while still portraying the nostalgic essence of the well-loved musical. More recently, Jennifer completed the mammoth challenge of creating a wardrobe for Taieri Musical’s 2018 production of Blood Brothers which required over 130 costumes for more than 75 different characters, while also playing a lead role in the production.

Due to 2020’s The Highlights production being a compilation show and pulled together in a relatively short time frame, with a huge cast including over 70 children, the job of Wardrobe Concept Designer has come with different challenges again. The need to get creative around how the wardrobe is presented for each show has been a unique task which Jennifer has loved.



Visual Content Designer

As a self-taught multimedia designer and video editor Ben has built promotional video and onstage content for a large number of local events and productions. Projects he has contributed to include: The Southern Showdown; The OSTAs (Otago Southland Theatre Awards); Blood Brothers, Ovation, Grease: The Arena Spectacular, The Sound of Music (Taieri Musical); The Last Five Years (Dunedin Fringe Festival); Joseph (Kings High School); Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Wicked, and the upcoming Les Miserables (Musical Theatre Dunedin). His backdrops for The Little Mermaid, originally designed for a New Zealand high school, have now been licensed across North America and the UK. Ben is passionate about the success of musical theatre in the region, and is grateful for the opportunity to work on this very special project, paying tribute to the last decade of theatre. In that time he has also performed in 10 major productions in Dunedin and is currently Vice-President of Taieri Musical.