MBCTA and ACDA – History since 1980
Merilyn Brend is a director, dialogue coach and a trained drama and music teacher at both primary and secondary levels, a professional actor and a community artiste. She graduated from St. Peter’s College (Uni. Birmingham) majoring in drama. She has been trained by and worked with notable people such as Joan Littlewood, Prof. John Pick, Second City Theatre Company (U.K) and Freeform Community Arts.
She has dedicated her work to all aspects of youth performing arts. She has been the dialogue coach for many children’s television series. She has also tutored many students who are presently in training or who are actors and professionals working within the industry. Merilyn owned and operated an agency, being a founding member of the Victorian Children’s Agents Association; however, education, training and performance dominated and the agency ceased in the early 1990’s.
For the past thirty years she has led MBCTA Youth Theatre and Drama School working with students aged from eight onwards. The Drama School provides a wide range of opportunities for those interested in entertainment in the Outer Eastern Suburbs. MBCTA concentrates on introducing students to all aspects of actor training and performance. Courses offered include acting technique, performance, film and television skills, training in the various disciplines pertinent to theatre and also offers VCE Drama. MBCTA offers a range of facilities, including performance space seating an audience of 55, green room, make-up room, costume area and bio-box.
Merilyn, with her husband Bill, formed the Australian College of Dramatic Arts (ACDA) in 1991. ACDA is a private VET in Schools college specialising in acting for film and television. The college became a Registered Training Organisation in 1996 and offers the first and only accredited Certificate II and Certificate III in Acting (Screen) courses.