The Team



– Co-Founder/ Producer –

-Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) – University of  Ballarat, VIC, Australia
-Diploma Business Management – New Zealand Institute of Managment

Brendan has a strong history in Music Theatre. In 2010 he commenced studies at The University of Ballarat Arts Academy in Australia studying towards a Bachelor of Arts – Music Theatre which he successfully gained in 2013. His university performance credits include roles in Sweet Charity, NINE, Working!, and Tobias in Sweeney Todd. In his graduating year, Brendan performed successful seasons of his self-devised cabaret show Pray Away The Gay in Ballarat, Melbourne’s The Butterfly Club and Melbourne’s Short + Sweet Cabaret Festival.

Brendan returned home to New Zealand late in 2014 bringing back his skills and training in Music Theatre and Cabaret. Previous to NZMTC, Brendan Co-created HOTSPOT– Auckland’s monthly cabaret night, Co-Produced the sellout season of TWISTED – The Musical (Basement Theatre), Jessie Cassin’s solo cabaret show SANDY EDMONDS Sure to Rise (Classic Comedy Club) and independently produced Jason Chasland’s IMPOSTAR – Who Does He Think He Is? (Q Theatre).



– Co-Founder/ Producer –

-Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) – University of  Ballarat, VIC, Australia
-Advanced Certificate in Performance (Singing and Acting) – EXCEL School of Performing Arts

Shelley studied singing and acting at Auckland’s EXCEL School of Performing Arts. She then furthered her training in Australia by gaining a Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) from the University of Ballarat’s Arts Academy. Shelley has performed two of her self-devised cabarets at Melbourne’s renowned The Butterfly Club and in 2014 she was selected to sing for New York based Vocal Coach and Musical Director Michael Lavine, during his tour of Australia.

2017 saw Shelley co-found and launch the New Zealand Music Theatre Company (NZMTC). After two years in London, she made the move home in December 2018 with the goal of developing a thriving, professional music theatre industry in New Zealand.

Shelley founded and currently teaches the Music Theatre program at DANZA Studios in Auckland  She also runs her private teaching business, Shelley Cocker Performance and Voice Coach


Ryan Jacobs


– Creative Director (Music Theatre Unleashed) –

– BFA in Musical Theatre – New World School Of The Arts in Miami, FL.

Ryan Jacobs is a Canadian director/writer/performer and has spent the better part of the last decade travelling throughout Canada and the US as an artist in different capacities, however throughout the years, Ryan’s passion has shifted from the on-stage spotlight to the craft of collaboration and creation. Most recently, Ryan held the Artistic Director position for Suitcase Theatre, which is a TYA company based in Toronto.

For 13 summers, Ryan also worked at the French Woods Festival of Performing Arts in Upstate New York, where he has written a number of original shows and also directed over 40 productions for children of all ages. Through this endeavour, he has had the opportunity to create nourishing and safe environments for performers to explore their artistic and creative natures. Ryan has harnessed skills in communicating in an animated, fun and articulate way.

Ryan is thrilled to be bringing his passion for musical theatre to New Zealand and working in collaboration with NZMTC to create Music Theatre UnleashedUnleashed is an exciting new professional platform that showcases the art of musical storytelling. Everyone has a story to tell and an important aim of this project is to inspire developing composers to create new works and then provide them with a platform and opportunity to showcase their work to new audiences.

Avenues such as this are vital to building a Music Theatre culture in a community that has been underexposed to our medium of storytelling. Theatre is a collaborative art and it takes a community of artists to bring that art to the forefront.