Born and raised in Melbourne, Wendy commenced her performing arts training at the age of 4. She has competed in countless musical eisteddfods, calisthenics competitions and performed in various concerts and productions which have allowed her to take to the stage at venues all over Victoria, including the Melbourne Arts Centre. She completed her AMEB piano and musical theory examinations at a very young age, then went on to study acting at Monash University, the CAE and with Actors’ Showcase. She has since completed a bachelor of primary teaching / arts – majoring in drama, film and photography (Deakin), and a diploma of creative writing (ACJ).
Wendy is highly driven in providing her students the best opportunities to develop their skills, and is always encouraging of school scholarship and leadership positions, and those wanting to be successful in the entertainment industry. Her award winning students have received countless accolades including a Helpman Award, several Gladys’ Benson Memorial Trophy, the Peter Spyker Encouragement Award, Kingston Senior Encouragement Award and high distinctions from the Trinity College of London.
Wendy takes great pride in both her students and the work they produce. Teaching is a calling, not an occupation. It’s a life, not just part of one.
Johnny discovered at a young age how much fun putting on voices and entertaining people can be. A humble small town boy from Bendigo, Victoria, he has since trained and studied under a number of professional industry instructors and institutes to refine and hone his passion for theatre, film, and acting. His academic credits include a bachelor of drama from Deakin University specialising in Stanislavski’s naturalistic method of acting, voice manipulation and Shakespeare. Additionally, he has successfully undertaken on-screen film and TV Acting courses from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). Johnny’s acting has been enjoyed by Melbourne theatre critics and audiences a like, and admired by peers for his dedication to performance and authenticity.
Johnny is absolutely thrilled to pass on his knowledge to students providing a creative and dynamic coaching style with students.
Stephanie was elected house dance captain at Camberwell Girls Grammar School where she choreographed multiple dance routines to house students of varying dance abilities, successfully receiving first place overall. She has vast performance experience, immersing herself in many school productions and musicals and was part of the specialist dance group in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (2018) and Cats (2016). As a former drama student of WSP, she enjoyed performing the roles of Belle Gunn in Treasure Island and Farmer Boggis in Fantastic Mr Fox. Stephanie has also danced in community events, including the acclaimed Moomba Parade and has participated in the dance fundraising event, Dance Cancer Initiative (DCI). Travelling abroad to Los Angeles with her dance studio where she performed at Disneyland, including The Main Street Parade and Universal Studios has been a dance highlight and Stephanie is excited to have the opportunity to travel in March/April 2020 to Mexico to dance and perform on a cruise ship. Stephanie loves working with children and aims to encourage students in a positive manner to help them build confidence, develop to their full potential and most importantly want the students to enjoy dance. Apart from dance, Stephanie enjoys playing sport in particular netball and spending time with family and friends and is currently studying nutrition science (dietetics pathway) at Deakin University where she hopes to become an aspiring dietitian for athletes.
In addition to theatrical roles, Jessie’s natural musicality and artistry have drawn her to the commercial stage; featuring at Federation Square’s Multicultural Festival and in collaboration with Live in the Saddle (Bon Iver, St Patrick’s Day), The Hip Streets, LAUDA, and Dawn Faith. Jessie recently has returned from Indonesia, starring in Alikhan Entertainment’s production of ‘The Ice Queen’ and is excited to share her industry experience and love of Music Theatre with WSP students throughout 2020
Laura has always been a high achiever, performing consistently well throughout her school years. School captain at Deepdene Primary School, she has since graduated from Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College where she took on many leadership roles in the environmental team, Student Representative Council and Peer Support Program. Laura has received a number of awards, including Academic Achievement, School Service and The Arts. She has received distinctions in the Australian Mathematics and Science competitions. Laura is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University in order to pursue her passion for creative writing and language and cultural studies.
Laura has been with WSP for over 10 years and during that time has taken on many lead roles on stage in productions both within and outside of the company, including Annie, City of Angels and Seussical the Musical. She has also achieved countless awards at various speech and drama eisteddfods, and completed VCE Drama whilst at Canterbury Girls’. Laura loves singing and acting, and spends her spare time reading, writing and listening to Kpop.
Having been introduced to speech and drama by Wendy at the age of seven, Mia quickly fell in love with performing and the confidence it instils. In her eleven years with Wendy Samantha Productions since, she has competed in countless speech and drama eisteddfods with many accolades, including being awarded the Gladys Benson Memorial Trophy. She completed all Trinity College of London Speech & Drama examinations with high distinctions by the age of thirteen, where she become drawn to singing and dancing as well. Mia has since taken on various lead and supporting roles in Wendy Samantha Productions’ Annie, The Sound of Music, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Treasure Island, most recently performing as Carmen Diaz in WSP’s Fame. This love for the stage has sent her from Europe to America singing with the Balwyn High School Touring Choir, with performances at Carnegie Hall and Disneyland Paris being particularly memorable for her. After receiving a Premier’s VCE Award in Theatre Studies as a Year 11 student, Mia had the honour of performing her examination monologue for VCE Top Class at the Arts Centre Melbourne. During this time in Year 12 as Balwyn High School’s School Vice Captain, Mia’s appreciation for leadership and proficiency in public speaking further flourished, forming the foundation for her teaching position with Wendy Samantha Productions. She is thrilled to be able to share her passion for performing and public speaking through teaching, and hopes that she can foster the confidence it brings in her students.
Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Ms Grottoli trained at the famous Joann Chapman School of Dance where she obtained her teaching credits in Acrobatics, Jazz and Tap, while also training in RAD Ballet and competing with award winning troupes across USA and Canada. Towards the end of her youth training she won Miss Dance of America at Dance Masters of America in 1998 in New York City; where finalists attended from around North America. She continued training with teachers such as Mia Michaels and Jason Winters throughout the years in order to ensure her teaching practices are not only current but able to produce award winning dancers and choreography. Her dancers are currently Australian regional and national champions as well as globally employed performers. Her passion to help teachers develop their teaching skills has lead her to conduct teacher training workshops with individual studios in order to help them produce safe, strong and focused dancers on a larger scale with tremendous results.
In 2017 Ms. Grottoli was nominated for teaching excellence from the Australian Independent Dance Teacher Awards based on her teaching philosophy to teach habits; not steps. Ms. Grottoli believes that correctness, balance and grace can only be achieved by equipping each student with the tools necessary to be successful through coveted and globally renowned teaching techniques.