Meet the Team

ADAM FRESCO

Born in London at a very early age, Adam worked as a professional writer, director, actor, producer and acting coach in British theatre and Television for many years. Now a New Zealand citizen, Adam holds a Masters in Creative Writing from The University of Auckland and has been Whoa! Studios’ Producer since 2014, where he has produced, written and directed our live stage shows: A Very Gloomy Holidays, The Doods Dance Show, Gloomio The Great!, Space Aliens from Outer Space!, The Duck of Destiny and Custard of the Caribbean. Adam also acts, playing Dr Gloom’s inept sidekick, Colin, and has co-written and produced our TV show, Custard’s World. He also writes film reviews for New Zealand’s premiere movie website Flicks, and school shows for The Ugly Shakespeare Company. In his spare time, Adam enjoys drawing cartoons, cat-juggling, embarrassing his son, and taking photos of his dogs wearing silly hats.

PRODUCER / WRITER / DIRECTOR / ACTOR (Colin)

Head Technician / Writer

Russell King

Russ King has been involved in theatre in one way or another for most of his life. Russ took up acting in his childhood but started working behind the scenes on live shows in high school.  He came to New Zealand from Canada in 2009 to attend The University of Auckland and in 2014, he earned his Master of Arts, specializing in writing and directing for the stage. While he currently works as the head of the technical department, Russ is also a writer and has written a number of full-length plays, including Buzz’s Fright Night, and more recently, It Came From Outer Space.

Terry Hooper

Terry trained at the Rose Bruford School of Speech and Drama. He worked for six years as a professional actor in many London theatres and in Europe. He has also worked in Theatre In Education and directed for youth theatres. Terry is the Artistic Director for The Studio at HLT and co-founder of the Acting Collective. For Whoa Studios his main role is as Dr Gloom, the would-be supervillain, but he also directs shows, makes costumes and props and has even been known to take on small puppeteering roles.

Actor (Dr. Gloom) / Director / Costume / Props / Puppeteer

Puppeteer / Actor

Lucy McCammon

Lucy McCammon graduated from Unitec, School of Performing and Screen Arts in 2005, and has since worked professionally as an actor for stage and screen, producer, children’s entertainer and drama teacher. In 2012, Lucy founded Puppets for Poppets, which has enabled her to create and perform solo children’s puppet shows, and share them with audiences all over Auckland. She has also performed at Festivals including The Christchurch Puppetry Festival, Whau Arts Festival, and Out of the Suitcase Festival in Wellington. Lucy was delighted to join the creative team at Whoa! last year, and enjoys spending every day working on making awesome theatre for young New Zealand audiences.

Jon Coddington

A 2008 graduate of Toi Whakaari:NZ Drama School and Massey University’s conjointly offered Bachelor of Performance Design, Jon Coddington promotes himself as a theatre designer and collaborator, puppeteer and puppet maker, illustrator, animator and sculptor. And Barista. Jon mostly performs the role of Buzz at Whoa! Studios but often will juggle multiple puppets at a time. In his spare time, Jon enjoys drawing, sculpting and mastering video games.

Puppeteer / Actor

Puppeteer / Actor / FOH

Renee Mahy

Renee is a writer, director, puppeteer and actor who has been performing on stage since the age of three; once she started, she never stopped. She graduated high school with a scholarship for best in her field, which was drama. Renee is now in the final year of her studies in Performing and Screen Arts, at tertiary education. She has written, directed and starred in several short films and web series. Renee recently came on board as a puppeteer at Whoa! Studios, jumping in to help out on ‘Custard of the Caribbean’ and working full time in ‘It Came From Outer Space’ where you will find her performing with the puppet Jazz. When not performing or filming, Renee spends her time as a doting parent to her many fur-babies.

Paul Lewis

Inspired by Jim Henson, Paul began puppeteering and building puppets as a self-taught teenager, and continues honing those skills at Whoa! Studios, primarily performing the role of Custard. As a puppet-builder at Whoa! Studios, he has been responsible for creating Mr. Tibbles, Ninny and Nonny, as well as Stephen the Duck and Wiremu the Frog, and is designing and building new characters for the first season of Custard’s World, coming late 2018. Paul is an acting degree graduate of Unitec’s Performing Arts School and has appeared nationally and internationally on stage and screen.

Puppeteer / Actor / Puppet Maker

Puppeteer / Understudy / Usher

Nathaniel Moody

Nathaniel is a puppeteer, writer, film maker and complainer from the mid west of Auckland. Having performed in dance, plays and musical shows since the age of 4, Nathaniel became a puppeteer 2 years ago, learning the wisdom of [The great and powerful] Frank Oz and the genius of Jim Henson from YouTube videos. When Nathaniel isn’t on Front of House duties at Whoa! Studios he can be found understudying some of the main characters in the shows, performing with his character, Stephen The Duck and debating why a Bento Box is the superior lunch time meal.

Headshot by Alex With.

MARK MOCKRIDGE

Mark was discovered in the wild at a young age, having been raised by feral kiwis. His introduction to civilised society has been rocky, with his journey culminating in his ability to communicate only through puppets. This has worked out well for Whoa! Studios, as Mark is the perfect person to play an alien dog, and cheap to feed as he loves earthworms and doggie treats. In his spare time, Mark enjoys not finishing his…

UNDERSTUDY / Puppeteer / FOH

UNDERSTUDY / PUPPETEER

KELLY GILBRIDE

Kelly is an acting graduate from Unitec and works as a freelance producer, director and performer for theatre, documentary and television. Kelly has worked as a producer at Pop-up Globe, Proudly Asian Theatre and recently formed PG Productions. She plays Brianna in our Custard’s World: MCK (Mission Control Kids) webseries for Heihei. She currently has a jigsaw puzzle obsession.

Ariana Shipman

Ariana is a Sound, Lighting & Audio Visual Technician who loves working in Live Children’s Theatre. She stumbled into Live Sound mixing at intermediate. She then trained in Unitec’s Performing and Screen Arts Degree, graduating in 2016. When Ariana is not covering the shows for the other Technicians, she can be found looking after the website and other systems that need maintenance. In her spare time, Ariana enjoys figuring out Rubik’s Cubes, designing/operating other small theatre works and playing a Druid in Dungeon’s & Dragons.

System’s Manager / Venue Technician

Sound / Venue Technician

Samantha Tran

Samantha Tran has been working at Whoa! since it first opened. She started with a role in Front of House, then made her way into becoming the Sound Designer for the live shows. Sam has also studied at Yoobee School of Design and obtained a Diploma in Digital Design – Film and Animation. Sam is a huge film lover and hopes to one day be a Film Director. Her favourite Children’s Film is Studio Ghibli’s ‘Spirited Away’.