Our diverse faculty of coaches have trained and taught all over the world. This cosmopolitan mix of respected industry professionals ensure all HCAC programmes are of an international standard.
About Our Teachers
Kamil Haque is the founder and artisic director of Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity (HCAC). After 8 years working and coaching in Los Angeles Kamil returned to his native Singapore in 2013 to establish HCAC, Singapore’s first professional acting centre and Asia’s first centre to teach the preeminent Lee Strasberg’s method of acting.
Kamil graduated top of his class from the American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA) with a BA(Hons) in Acting. He was the first student in half a century to be awarded Latin Honours for this subject.He is also the first and only Asian to be given the privilege to train and then coach at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. He is the only coach in Asia experienced in teaching the Lee Strasberg Method of Acting.
In 2011, Kamil was bestowed the honour of being invited to become a working observer at the world-renowned The Actor’s Studio. He was the first Singaporean ever to be part of the studio.
In addition to these accolades, Kamil was appointed as the Head Acting Instructor at East West Players, the USA’s oldest Asian American Theatre group, as well as the role of Global Internship Director at the Company of Angels (CoA), Los Angeles’ oldest repertory theatre company.
Having experienced first-hand experience of the demanding industry standards of Hollywood, Kamil is well-acquainted with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed internationally.
To date, Kamil has coached well over 2000 students, many of whom have appeared on stage as well as in major motion pictures, television shows and national commercials around the world. He has also produced, directed and acted in several award-winning and critically-acclaimed productions in USA, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
HCAC is the culmination of 23 years of working towards fulfilling a childhood dream.
Kamil was born and bred in Singapore with a rich cultural understanding due to his multi-ethnic origins.
He found his passion for drama at the tender age of 7 and has spent his life dedicated to the craft of acting. HCAC has been created to enrich lives and inspire actors and non-actors alike. It is part of Kamil’s great vision to elevate and progress acting as well as other forms of creative expression in Singapore.
As part of the growth of HCAC, in 2014, Kamil start Method Productions, a presenting production company across all mediums. Kamil has also overseen the inception of several flagship productions including Metaphors Be With You, a curated-true-personal-essay-showcase, Pioneer Passages a regular dramatized reading series of plays by pioneering playwrights and The Singapore Monologue Slam which is Singapore’s first monologue competition.
Alan Lyddiard is a award winning theatre director/writer/producer whose work has been seen extensively across Europe and beyond. He has directed over 100 theatre works during his career. His latest production “Anniversary” will be touring across the UK next year. He was Artistic Director of Northern Stage in Newcastle, UK for 13 years where he created the Northern Stage Ensemble, with a full time company of 13 performers. They toured across Europe and invited world-class theatre makers to come to Newcastle to share their work and teach the ensemble performers. These included Peter Brook, Lev Dodin, Simon McBurney, Robert Lepage, Yukio Ninagawa, Gabor Tompa and many more.
Alessandra Fel is an actress and physical theatre performer, director and teacher. After twelve years in London, she relocated to Singapore in 2013 where she founded her company, TheatreLab. Since then she has been teaching physical theatre at LASALLE College of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Art and School of the Arts Singapore.
Upon receiving her degree in philosophy, Alessandra moved to London to study a Master in Contemporary Theatre at Brunel University and then continued with a two years full time training at Lispa, the London International School of Performing Arts – Lecoq training.
Some of her most notable collaborations include ‘The Pearl Fishers’ by Bizet and ‘Radamisto‘ by Handle at the English National Opera (ENO).
During the past 5 years in Singapore, Alessandra has collaborated with Maya Dance Theatre company, RDG Production and has participated to the M1 Fringe Festival twice, receiving an NAC Creation Grant for her last creation ‘Under My Skin’ (Esplanade Studio Theatre 2017), developed within the Centre 42 Artist in Residence Programme and starring Patricia Toh, Rizman Putra and Catherine Sing. The Straits Times dedicated a page about the making of Under My Skin and wrote a great review of the show.
Alison Coriell has been teaching theatre for 15 years . She has worked as a professional actress in New York, Chicago and Houston.She is a graduate of NYU Tisch of the Arts, Second City Conservatory , and the School at Steppenwolf. She has studied Improv at IO, UCB, Annoyance , The PIT , Comedy Sports and Station Theatre.
Deborah Emmanuel is a Singaporean writer, performer and four-time TEDx speaker. Her work and dialogue has featured at festivals like Makassar International Writers Festival and Queensland Poetry Festival. She has performed on stage and screen with companies like TheatreWorks, Singapore Repertory Theatre and Mediacorp. Her work has toured Asia, Australia and Europe and featured in numerous publications locally and internationally.
Deborah has published two books, When I Giggle In My Sleep (2015) and Rebel Rites (2016) and her bands Wobology and Mojave are both launching their first studio albums this year. When not writing, performing or being a frontwoman, Deborah workshops writing and performance. She has worked with a variety of people, from curious adults to excited youth and emotionally-disordered seniors to transitioning incarcerated women.
Emil Marwa has been a professional actor for over 25 years. Emil first realised he wanted to act at the tender age of 8 when he played Peter in a school production of “Peter And The Wolf”. At 13, he made his TV debut as a regular in the BBC kids show “Grange Hill”, various commercials and TV roles followed. He then went on to study Acting at Rose Bruford college of Speech and Drama in London graduating with a BA Honours. His first role was that of Muneer Khan in the award winning play “East Is East” at the Royal Court Theatre. He then went on to play Bertram in “Alls well that ends well” for the Oxford stage company directed by Peter Brooks’ daughter Irena.
It was then that his film career began with the role of Moose opposite Oscar nominee Samantha Morton in “The Last Yellow”. Emil reprised his role in the movie version of “East Is East” which won a BAFTA and became an international hit. He then went to the US to play Vijay Rau in “The Guru” playing opposite oscar winner Marisa Tomei, he played opposite Tim Robbins in “Code 46” and then went on to play his first leading role in the Norwegian hit “Izzat”where he was nominated for best actor at the AMANDAs.
He starred in the sequel to “East Is East”, “West Is West”and British zombie comedy “Doghouse”. More recently, he played opposite Jake Gylenhall and Gemma Arteton in “Prince of Persia” unfortunately, his scenes only saw the cutting room floor! In 2014, he played Tuveh Ben Mayer in “The Physician” alongside Ben Kingsley and Stellan Skarsgard and 2017 will see the release of low budget British thriller “Winners” in which he plays the lead.
Emil has appeared in numerous British TV shows over the years and performed in the West End several times.
James started out his career in journalism, as the editor of the industry leading film website, Joblo.com and his work was featured regularly in publications like the Huffington Post and the New York Times.
He transitioned into screenwriting, working on several features including The Rude Mechanical (2006), which he wrote for Ravenwood films in Los Angeles and the award winning Malaysian film, Jarum Halus (2008).
After that he took some time away from writing to get married and move to Singapore, where he now lives with his wife. When he returned to writing his script, “Sonata” placed number one on Scriptshadow’s annual list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood for the year 2015, and was represented by Kaplan/Perrone, one of the biggest talent agencies in LA.
He most recently wrote the play Stool Pigeon (2017), which was the debut production for Thomas Pang’s new theatre company, Room to Breathe.
Jody worked as a full-time improv actress at Universal Studios Singapore for 2 years before relocating to NYC. She was accepted into the prestigious Circle in the Square’s Musical Theatre program and graduated in 2015. Upon graduation, Jody landed the lead role in The Internet Ruined My Life, which premiered on Syfy. She has also guest starred in several national commercials such as Geico, Maybelline, Giphy, Budweiser and American Museum of National History.
As a theatre artist, Jody’s off-Broadway work include Oedipus the King, Seminar, Five Flights. She was also nominated as Best Actress in a Musical during the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity for her work in The Golden Smile. The show subsequently went on tour to Washington DC and was part of the Capital Fringe Festival. Her favorite role to date is Lady Nijo from Top Girls, which was performed at the broadway house, Circle in the Square Theatre.
Jody loves going back to her improv roots and has done multiple shows at The People’s Improv Theatre in NYC. She also dabbles in puppetry and has taken aerial hoop classes in the past year.
Jolene Wong is an actress and storyteller. She graduated with a first class honours degree in Acting from LASALLE College of the Arts, where she received training in the following methods of actor training: Stanislavski’s System, Suzuki Method of Actor Training, Meyerhold’s Biomechanics for Theatre, Grotowski-based Physical Acting, Clown, and Mask Work. Her physical training includes the asian forms of Kalaripayattu and Tai Chi, while her vocal training includes Fitzmaurice Voicework and Estill Voice Training. Her thesis explored the psychological impact of working in theatre on actors in Singapore, and she continues to seek insight into the working culture and experience of the Singapore theatre and film industry.
Jolene made her professional acting debut in Toy Factory’s Here and Beyond (directed by Stanley Seah), and other acting credits include roles in Alfian Saat’s The Insiders (directed by Jo Kukathas), Carol Churchill’s Skriker (directed by Natalie Hennedige), and Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan (directed by Noor Effendy Ibrahim). She has also acted in numerous short films and commercials.
As a performer, Jolene prizes versatility and intelligent choices. As a teacher, her philosophy is to guide students to the best versions of themselves. While she is currently training to teach under Kamil Haque at HCAC, Jolene intends to further her studies in voicework to become a certified vocal coach.
Joyce Lu is a performer, director, and educator currently teaching in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Pomona College in Los Angeles. She has performed with Body Weather Los Angeles at the Guggenheim and Getty Museums and also wrote and performed her original show Grace Needs A Mirror last year at Highways Performance Space under the direction of Shabaka Henley. Joyce also has a specialty in Applied Theater. She was a member of the Living Arts Playback Theater Ensemble for five years. She is also a certified Feldenkrais Method Practitioner.
Nicole Stinton has worked in the theatre industry for two decades across Australia and Asia, specialising in Musical Theatre. Her experience is not only as a professional actor, director and playwright, but also as an artistic director, acting teacher and vocal coach.
Nicole has published several books on Drama that are widely used in the Australian education system. She holds an MBA in Arts and Entertainment Management from Deakin University and a Bachelor in Musical Theatre from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). As an actor she is most known in Singapore for her rendition of the blonde bombshell Norma Cassidy in Victor/Victoria, which ran at the Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay.
Prescott Gaylord is the former Artistic Director of the Baltimore Improv Group, and creator of ‘Unscripted – an improvised play in two acts,’ a show that has enjoyed sold out runs in Baltimore over the past 9 years. He has directed large and small scale improvised projects in several cities in the US including, ‘Skinesthesia – Body Painted Improv’, ‘The Movement’ (with modern dance troupe “The Collective”), and ‘Secrets’ (improvised storytelling and secret sharing). He has performed in and directed shows in improv festivals in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Bethlehem, Washington DC, Austin, New York, Shanghai, Manila, Singapore, and Chicago. Before escaping to Singapore, Prescott was a performing member of Lekker, and Evan the Loyal (in which he performed fully wordless sets from time to time). He now performs with Singapore troupes The Latecomers and NotOK.
Ralf Räuker studied acting (1981-85), worked with Jerzy Grotowski in Italy 1985 and in France 1987. He took part in the “International School of Theatre Anthropology“ (ISTA 86, 95, 96) and the “Actors Laboratory“ 1988 at the Odin Teatret, directed by Eugenio Barba. Ralf received a two years postgrad scholarship to research Meyerhold’s Biomechanics (1988-90) at the University of Arts Berlin. He worked from 1991-96 in close collaboration with Gennadi Bogdanov from Moscow on a long term research project, teaching and documenting Biomechanics at the Mime Center Berlin. In the 1970s, Bogdanov was trained by Nikolai Kustov who was an actor and instructor for Biomechanics at the Meyerhold Theatre in Moscow (from 1928 until the theatre was closed in 1938). In 1995, Ralf started his career as a theatre maker and director and has directed and devised more than 20 theatre and performance projects since then.
In 2003, he moved to Perth in Western Australia to work as a fulltime lecturer (later also course-coordinator), first in “Theatre Arts” at WAAPA and later in “Contemporary Performance” at Edith Cowan University. In 2005 he enrolled in a PhD in Performing Arts at WAAPA and successfully graduated in 2011. In 2013, he started his international teaching program “Workshops on the Move“. Currently he is working as a Senior Guest Lecturer in Drama at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.
Simon is an London based actor, director and teacher.
He was a member of the Original Shakespeare Company for ten years (roles include Albany and Mountague) and was an OSC workshop leader and verse nurse, training actors and taking the company on tour to Jordan and managing the Boys’ Company performance.
Since 2001 he has been training actors in OSC cue script techniques around the world, including Stanford University, SRT, Oxford University, Loyola Marymount University, Drama Studio London, LAMDA, NAFA and Berridge Programs.
Alys Hills leads all Zen Zen Zo physical theatre training in New Zealand. A qualified and registered dance and performing arts teacher, Alys, who was formerly a Drama Head of Department, spent 10 years training regularly with the Australian Zen Zen Zo company. Alys is now based in Christchurch where she runs the weekly Actor’s Dojo classes at the Arts Centre. However, Alys also frequently travels around New Zealand, Australia and Asia to run Zen Zen Zo workshops and residencies for high schools, professional theatre companies and more.
Raised in Avignon, where one of the most famous French theatre festivals is held every summer, Arnaud Pierre started his first theatre classes in elementary school. Throughout high school, Arnaud studied classic French theatre and even co-wrote a few plays.
Arnaud has performed over 200 improv shows and has studied dozens of different improvisation formats with various coaches for eight years and discovered the many faces of improv, such as the narrative style of Keith Johnstone, Del Close’s organic approach and Viola Spolin’s games-based format. Arnaud has performed with a variety of different improv troupes in France, and in national and international festivals. Arnaud arrived in Singapore in 2012, wide-eyed and eager to experience the Improv scene in the Lion City.
Some of his accolades:
– Representative of the International Theatresports Institute in Singapore
– Received 20+ awards as the First Star improviser, won 2 improv competition/tournament
– Main speaker for a conference at The School of Life
– Gave workshops in England, France, China, Singapore and will be part of the Manila and Beijing Festivals.
Benji Reid is a an award-wining visual theatre director, who has been the recipient of the Nesta Dreamtime award runner up for Art05 Award and currently the recipient of the Welcome Trust award for exploring the relationship between physical theatre and sports. Benji was a member of the Broken Glass street crew before formally training in classical ballet, contemporary dance, lighting design and choreography at the Northern School of Contemporary dance. Benji currently holds the position of Associate Artist at the Royal Exchange Manchester. In theatre, Benji has worked widely with such highly regarded companies as the David Glass Ensemble, Trestle Theatre, Theatr Clwyd and Black Mime Theatre. In 1998 Benji went on to direct his first main stage play, hip hop musical ‘Avalanche’ for Nottingham Playhouse – this became the foundation for his company, Breaking Cycles.
David Glass has performed, directed and taught in over sixty countries. Trained at the Lecoq school in Paris, David has also worked as a soloist performing in forty countries, before establishing the David Glass Ensemble which has won international awards including TMA award for Best Director. In 1998, he established the Lost Child Project, where he used theatre as a tool to allow children on the streets around the world to tell their stories. In 2000, he established the Centre For Creative Development in Cambodia, training aid agencies in Creative Practice.
David now teaches around the world. He is a visiting Tutor at Bournemouth University of the Arts and LAMDA Drama School. He continues to write and has recently established the Centre for Creative Practice in London to help creative workers, development agencies and education organisations to become more successful.
David has nurtured many working actors. Past students of David’s include Emma Thompson, Stephen Daldry (Billy Eliot), Simon McBurney (Theatre de Complicite), Amit Lehav (Gecko Theatre), Jim Chim (Theatre Ensemble Hong Kong), Tina Ellen Lee (Opera Circus), Tom Morris (Director Warhorse) and Adam Sunderland (Sticks Theatre).
Dr. Valerie Kaneko-Lucas is a director, scenographer and theatre educator. She
trained at the Sherman Theatre Cardiff (Wales) and Theatre Die Raben (Germany),
and studied commedia, mask and physical theatre with Antonio Fava, Michael
Chase and Ronald Wilson. She is a qualified teacher of the Michael Chekhov Acting
As a director and scenographer, she has created productions in Britain, France,
Germany, and the United States. Her work has been seen at the National Theatre
London, Welsh National Opera, Hackney Empire, Theatre 503, Nantes Carrefour
d’Europe, Bonn Theatersession, Roy Bowen Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe. Her
production of Sylvia Plath: A Dramatic Portrait was selected as The Guardian’s ‘Pick
of the Edinburgh Fringe.’ She has a strong interest in development of new writing for
the stage: as producer for Arlecchino Torn in Three (a modern Commedia dell’Arte)
and designer for Sahar Speaks (Palindrome Productions), produced with the Sahar
Speaks Foundation, which trains women journalists in Afghanistan. She was Visiting
Artist in the Department of Theatre at the Ohio State University, developing outreach
and community arts projects.
With over 20 years’ teaching experience in university drama departments, Valerie
has taught courses in Shakespeare and classical text, scene study and dramaturgy,
Western mask, site-specific and immersive theatre, directing and devising. She was
a founder-member of the London School of Film, Media and Performance (Regent’s
University London), for which she created the BA Acting and World Theatre. Valerie
most recently was Programme Director for Theatre and Performance at Regent’s
University, where she developed the BA Acting for Stage and Screen.
Giovanni Ortega is a multi-disciplinary artist who made his debut on the East West Players stage in 2005 playing the role of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in the hit musical Imelda. In 2011, Ortega wrote ALLOS, the story of Carlos Bulosan, which was commissioned by East West Players for its Theater for Youth Program. The following year, Chicago’s CIRCA Pintig Theater Company produced it as part of Migrant Stories. During the same time, East West Players included an excerpt of his work in its Theater for Youth touring production Our American Voice. ALLOS was also produced by LA18 for Kababayan Today where he also serves as a Kulturahan correspondent for Art, Activism and Academia. Additional works include: Tug of War (PINTIG), Wayne (Pasadena Playhouse) and Lost in the Margins (Mezçlão). His directing credits include East West Players’ New Works Festival and productions at Pomona College including Medieval Mystery Plays, Spring Awakening, In the Next Room and Urinetown (April 2016). His acting credits includeRomance of Magno Rubio at Inside the Ford (LA Weekly nomination) and Dogeaters at Center Theatre Group. Giovanni has performed for over 300 organizations, universities and prisons (P.E.P.) with various one-person shows including Playfair. Choreography credits include: Tea, with Music (East West Players) Cinnamon Girl, Girl Most Likely To(Playwright’s Arena) Last year, he adapted and directed The Kingdom of Banaras in Varanasi, India then directed What the Butler Saw at Upstage Theater in Bern, Switzerland. As an author, he took the literary artist category for the most sought after author with Leaves from the Silverlake Barrio, and a collection of his poetry was included in an anthology of mixed heritage writing in Completely Mixed Up. He is currently working on his next book entitled Gitano, which will be published by Carayan Press. He is a visiting assistant professor at The Pomona College Department of Theatre & Dance.
For more information go to: www.giovanniortega.com
Founder and Director of Arts for Action, (www.artsforactionuk.org.uk) Melissa Eveleigh is a physical theatre practitioner. She trained at the London International School of Performing Arts (Lispa) in Jacques Lecoq Training and Devising Techniques and has extensive experience of applying theatre for positive change. Melissa has trained over 1000 practitioners and over 300 students from all over the world, as well as devising award-winning political and social theatre.
Melissa works with actors dancers and facilitators to create visceral physical and multi-disciplinary performance, and has developed an audience engagement and facilitation practice that draws upon forum theatre, combining this with use of chorus, partner contact work, viewpoints, games and image theatre.
She has designed and facilitated national programmes for the use of the arts for justice in Mynamar, South Sudan, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and regularly works in partnership with the British Council. Melissa is also a Visiting practitioner at Warwick, Leeds and Arts University Bournemouth.
Scott Wings is an award winning performance artist from Brisbane, Australia, who has toured his one-man shows across the world including Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival. His performance style is grounded in the physical theatre training of Suzuki and Viewpoints methods, fusing movement and writing techniques to create one-man shows and ensemble performances. He has trained in Japan with the longest running Butoh organization Dairakudakan (Camel Battleship), New York with SITI Company and in Australia with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre. Scott Wings works with text and creative writing as an award winning spoken word artist and comedian. This mix of styles has resulted in Scott Wings’ reputation as an innovative independent performance artist.
Shivram Gopinath is an award-winning writer and spoken word performer. His work has been featured at the Singapore Heritage Fest, Singapore Writers Festival, Singapore Literature Prize Awards, Spore Art Salon, SPEAK, Speakeasy, Lit Up Festival and more. He has performed alongside internationally acclaimed spoken word artists like Sarah Kay, Phil Kaye, Kosal Khiev and Luka Lesson.He is actively involved in the local spoken word scene, helping organise and host monthly slam competitions, workshops and readings. A proud member of the PAP (PARTY ACTION PEOPLE), a rolling poetry troupe, he is also the 2015 and 2016 Singapore National Poetry Slam Champion, the only person to have won the title twice.
Tejas Ewing is a Journalist and Author covering social justice issues, a Filmmaker and CEO of Ewing Communications. He teaches filmmaking at NAFA, and specialises in creating innovative learning programmes for NGOs, Academia, Government and the wider non-profit sector. As a filmmaker, he studied at Prague Film School, and has worked on over 15 short films, including both Award-Winning and Award-Nominated films.
He has a passion for telling compelling stories that encourage audiences to think about social and environmental issues. His goal is to inspire the next generation of filmmakers to get out there and make films with the tools they already have: a phone, an idea and the commitment to work hard and have fun!
Varshini is the Co-Artistic Director of RootPrints Theatre, a London based applied theatre company that she co-founded, creating bespoke workshops that focus on the celebration of cultural diversity and place attachments. She also works as a freelancer where she creates and delivers drama workshops for various communities such as primary school students and patients in dementia care homes. As an Applied Theatre practitioner, actor and spoken word artist from Singapore, Varshini also holds a Masters in Applied Theatre programme from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and resides in London. She is also working as a facilitator on the second phase of Performing Places Bexley run by Professor Sally Mackey (RCSSD, London), a multi sensory project that explores how a public space can be shared with ease and how it welcomes strangers, through the use of a fictional narrative. She has recently been working on developing multi sensory workshops for children with additional needs.
Varshini was part of the pioneering batch of students at HCAC and has been trained and mentored by Jane Gilmer (NZ), Kamil Haque (SG) and David Glass (UK).
In Singapore, Varshini’s stage credits include Star Spangled Girl (Yellowchair Productions), Nagamandala (HuM Theatre), A Second Life (Little Red Shop) and Blithe Spirit (Stage Club Singapore). She has been the face of nationwide Julie’s Biscuits ‘The Best of You’ advertorial campaign. Varshini’s work can also be found in the poetry anthology, Words: Lost and Found (Coffee Stained Press). She has conducted active meditation workshops in Singapore and showcased her poetry in a one-woman show. Varshini is passionate about using theatre as a platform to address social issues she cares about including displacement, women’s and children’s rights and human rights violations.