Meet The Team

Patrice Patel

Patrice is a highly accomplished performer and educator. She has fifteen years of classical RAD and ISTD dance training specialising in Ballet, Modern and Tap, gaining the highest qualifications possible in those syllabuses. She has a Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching) and is the director and founder of Gobsmacked Productions Limited.

Patrice is an experienced Performing Arts Director and educator. Her roles have included full-time teaching Year 4-6 in Primary Schools in London and delivering Performing Arts and English programmes in Summer Schools across India, Indonesia, Canada and China. In 2012 Patrice became the Director of Performing Arts for the biggest international school theatre in the Middle East – Cairo English School in Egypt. It was there she created her own original work including choreography, scripts, music, costumes and set design, receiving high accolades for all her musicals. While managing this role she became fully qualified to teach the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) specialising in Dance and Drama.

This inspired Patrice to start ‘Gobsmacked Productions’ which launched in 2014 in Tauranga, New Zealand. Over three to four weeks she delivers high quality Performing Arts Programmes designed to strengthen the Arts Component of the curriculum and provide participating schools with a professional gobsmacking theatrical performance complete with original scripts, music, costumes and sets. She has now directed and produced nearly 50 school musicals with some casts of up to 450 students in New Zealand and the Middle East over the last ten years.

Patrice enjoys working her magic with children and is extremely passionate, hardworking and dedicated to giving children an experience they will never forget!

Josiah Ruff

Singer, songwriter, producer, recording artist. Josiah has over three decades of experience in the music industry with quite a few credits to his name. He has performed on stages around the world and even appeared on television a few times.

Josiah has nearly a “score” of albums produced, has chartered on billboards #8 and produced over 1000 songs for artists and clients looking to make their next single or stage play.

Melanie Schubert

Melanie Schubert is a Croatian Australian young adult and middle grade writer. She has been writing scripts and songs for the New Zealand performing arts company Gobsmacked Productions since before its inception in 2015.

In 2017, she won a competition to have her first book, a middle grade titled GREGORY AND THE GRIMBOCKLE, published with an American Indie press, she writes across all age categories and enjoys doing them all.

Melanie was a Pitch Wars 2020 mentee with her YA Contemporary Fantasy SOCIETY OF THE UNSEEN.

She is currently a host and a creator of the writing podcast: Of the Publishing Persuasion, together with her co-host Angela Montoya. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her husband, and one highly opinionated French bulldog.