Academy Locations:

Welcome to PQA Tees Valley

Request An Info Pack

Grab one of our FREE info packs, fill out our quick form.

Info Pack

Enrol Now

To enrol simply complete and submit our online form.

Enrol Now

pqa tees valley homepage pictures.jpg

We operate on a Saturday morning 10am-1pm and 2-5pm at Stockton Riverside College.

Our aim is to ensure a high level of performance industry training, while gaining confidence, developing life skills and having lots of fun along the way.

The academy has superb facilities that include a theatre that seats 171 people, where students will learn to develop their comedy and drama skills. It is also perfect to showcase their talent, with the use of their brilliant lighting rig and sound system. The dance studio is air conditioned, with sprung floor and mirrored walls, so you can strut your funky stuff, while in musical theatre. The T.V. room has a removable green screen so you can create any weird and wonderful set your imagination comes up with.

All our excellent practitioners deliver fun filled, creative, high energy, action packed sessions.

Have a look, to see for yourself!

Try your hand at classes in Comedy and Drama, Musical theatre and Film & T.V. We also offer "Poppet" classes for our young pupils, which will be all of the above condensed into a shorter session, 10am – 11:30am. From time to time we will also have master classes in Street dance, theatrical make up, clowning and puppetry.

Other things to look forward to as well as your weekly sessions are; West-end shows, film premier events, which you will be staring in. Plus the opportunity to take part in Trinity exams, with no extra cost to your parents.

If you have a passion for singing, a love of dancing, perhaps you want to be the next big film director or you just want to have fun, while learning new skills, contact us today to book your free taster session. or call 07936546347

We look forward to meeting you.

Laura Lonsdale

facebook.png     youtube.png


Meet the Team

Laura Lonsdale


Laura Lonsdale - Principal

Hello, my name is Laura and I am honoured to say I am the principal of PQA Tees Valley.

As a proud "Smoggy", born and bred in Middlesbrough, I have a passion to bring a high standard of performance industry training to the area and most importantly to you, the next generation of performers.

I started my training at Sylvia Young Theatre School, so I understand the importance of developing your skills, from a young age. It was an education for life both on and off the stage. At 18 I attended the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA). My career started as soon as I left drama school, I literally hit the road running, going on a national tour with Hull Truck Theatre and I have never looked back.

Being an actor gives you a chance to be whoever you want to be and I have been lots of different characters, both on and off screen. A chocolate factory worker for the BBC, a blushing bride for ITV and a women scorned in the Westend. It's been a fantastic 14 years in the industry and long may it continue. I also have my own theatre company, where we write, create and produce our own pieces of theatre.

I became a practitioner as I wanted to pass on the skills I had been taught. You never stop learning and developing your talent. Working with young people reminds me of that on a weekly basis. Not only do you get insider knowledge of what it is like to work within the business, you will get someone who has been training young people for over 6 years. With the correct nurture and guidance, students will develop, grow and discover new possibilities, that where never open to them before.

PQA Tees Valley want you to learn new skills, in safe, fun and creative environment. Become different characters, sing like no one is listening, dance like no one is watching and most importantly be yourself. Gain the confidence, techniques and determination to stand out in a crowd.

So if you just can't wait to be king, defy gravity or you simply can't stop the beat!

Come along and meet us.

As William Shakespeare said "All the worlds a stage."


Musical Theatre

Maria - Musical Theatre

Maria is originally from the North East and trained in dance at the Justine Kavanagh Theatre School. At age 18, she received a scholarship at The Mountview Theatre Academy and moved to London to study on the Acting Foundation course. After this, receiving a second scholarship, she went on to train at The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts and received a degree in Acting.

Since graduating, Maria has been involved in work all over the country and continues to work as a jobbing actor. Most recently she has been working with Northern Stage in Newcastle as part of their associate company, 'The Letter Room' touring a new musical called "Bonenkai".

Maria also works as a theatre director and is Artistic Director of Black Coffee Theatre which has been running since 2010. She has recently been the associate director to two-time Obie Award-winning director Rachel Chavkin on Northern Stage's production of 'Catch 22?.

Maria absolutely loves teaching and enjoys passing on everything she has learnt from the industry to encourage and support her students.


Comedy & Drama

Laura - Comedy & Drama

Me again, just a different picture!
Not only am I your principal, I am also you comedy and drama coach.
As you are aware I love creating, working and guiding young people, helping you to become the best version of yourself. It's important that I know you and you get to know me, that way we can work better together.
Here is a more detailed version of my career, enjoy.

Theatre credits:
Dora Strang – Equus / Maggie Hobson – Hobson's choice both at the Lion Eagles theatre.
Mandy Wild – Studs – Hull Truck theatre (national tour) and Arc – Stockton.
Shelia – The Shy gas man – Southwark playhouse.
Maxine – Like a virgin – National tour.
Sandra – Beautiful thing / Reggie Fluety – Laramie project – Hazel Pearson theatre.
Jean – Your home in the west – Middlesbrough theatre.
Denise – Miss Crispy 1988 – National tour.
T.V credits:
Denise – The Royal – ITV.
Nancy – The Eustace brothers – BBC 1.
Tracy – Bodies – BBC 2.
Barbara – Mrs David – BBC 2.
Sara – (Regular) – Rocket Man – BBC 1.
Sandra – Dalziel and Pascoe – BBC 1.
Film credits:
Liz – Awake – Short film.

Teaching credits:
Having worked with many different performing arts schools, I have taught acting, dance and comedy. However I have also taught performing arts at G.C.S.E. and A level at Secondary school level.
I have directed and choreographed for lots of big scale youth theatre productions in the North East.
The Wiz, Alice in wonderland, Grease, Summer Holiday and my favourite High school musical, to name but a few.
Working with my students each week is hugely important to me, I get to know each of you on a personal level, get to see you develop into young actors and have lots of fun too!


Film & Television

Dan - Film & Television

Hailing from Middleborough in the north of England, Daniel has written and directed a number of short films, including 'Interdiction', as well as two feature length documentaries, 'Young, Fit and Dying' and also 'The Directors'. YF&D sold across Europe, Scandinavia and the Middle East, receiving glowing reviews along the way.

Daniel studied Film at Middlesex University, receiving a BA (Hons) as a scholarship student. His fastidious approach to writing, directing and film production ensured he has attracted lots of projects and funding which culminated in his foundation of Erimus Productions and later, 90SecondStory, together the fastest growing film production company in the North East.



Sarah-Jane - Poppets

Sarah is originally from Middlesbrough and has enjoyed musical theatre from young age. After training locally she then attended Arts Educational and completed a foundation course, after gaining a full scholarship Sarah went on to train in performing arts for 3 years at The Italia Conti Academy learning Jazz, Street Jazz, Ballet, Tap, singing, harmonizing, Estill technique, Alexander Technique, Stanislavski and Commedia Dell'Arte.

Since Graduation Sarah's highlights have been performing as Rebecca in 'Newland', both at The Bridewell theatre and at Edinburgh Festival, filming for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, lead show girl at The New Wimbledon Theatre and More recently treading the boards at Middlesbrough Theatre in 'Bazaar and Rummage' As well as teaching Sarah also sings with a wartime vintage band. Sarah has worked in many aspects of TV, theatre and film and is very excited to be a part of PQA to be able to pass on all of that knowledge in a fun and creative environment.


Assistant/Vice Principal

Sarah - Assistant/Vice Principal

Sarah is from the Stockton area, and studied BTEC performing arts in 2008 under the guidance of Laura Lonsdale, where she successfully attainted a distinction.

Dancing from a young age, Sarah has first class experience of what it is like to be a young performer and the journey that your children are about to experience. She has performed in small scale school productions and larger local productions at Middlesbrough theatre.

Since leaving school, Sarah successfully achieved a Certificate of Higher Education in Early childhood studies from Teesside University, learning to work very comfortably with children from all walks of life. She has worked with children in a variety of settings including classroom and more informal relaxed settings. Coming from a big family she is no stranger to a group of small children with big personalities.

More recently, Sarah was able to work with the Young Americans, a non profit organisation from Corona L.A. inspiring children in schools with their wonderful choral music.

Sarah is very excited to be working alongside the rest of the PQA tees valley team, and will be a hands on friendly face to ensure the students feel safe and comfortable! It is her goal to provide this nourishing environment to enable our students' talents to flourish!


Academy Assistant

Nikki - Academy Assistant

Nikki is from Teesside and has been performing from a young age, falling in love with performing arts at the age of eight when she attended a drama group at Middlesbrough Theatre. From here she continued her practice through School, which then lead to Stockton riverside college. Here is where Nikki began to hone her skills as a performer covering all aspects of performing arts. By excelling in her chosen field and receiving an AVCE in preforming arts with full distinctions.

At the age of eighteen Nikki received a DADA Scholarship to Train at SLP College of Performing Arts where she graduated with a National Diploma in Musical Theatre and also became an Associate of the London College of Music. Whilst studying at SLP she became Head of Academy in her 3rd year of training, which helped her gain experience and knowledge in leadership and fuelled her passion for helping others.

Since Graduating some of her professional roles have included: "Cinderella" in Cinderella Pantomime, "Cassie" in Staggered for Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 and North East Tour, Music Video Relax 2009 (Chicane) - Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Holly's back again, "Spirit" in Aladdin, MFC Kit Launch online Advert 2014, Pineapple Dance Studios on Sky One, Rollover Hot dogs Online Advertisement, Children's instructor for Kate Fox "The Finishing Line" tour.

As well as assisting at PQA Nikki continues to work in the Arts professionally with theatre and film companies in the region in her spare time. Nikki also teaches workshops to adults for specialist parties and events around the UK.

Nikki loves teaching and is honored to be working with the next generation of performers at PQA!


Teaching Assistant/ Cover teacher

Shane - Teaching Assistant/ Cover teacher

Shane is a professional Actor from Stockton on tees and a graduate of Teesside University where he gained a BA Honors Degree in Performance and Events production. Having trained in all aspects of performing arts his main passion is for acting. Some of Shane's credits include: Lead Male in Roll-over Hot-dogs Advert, Lead male for Middleborough FC Kit Launch Advert, AOL internet Advert, Jazz in "Staggered" Tour and Edinburgh Fringe production, Relatively Speaking, Matt in "The Shagaround" at Middleborough Theatre plus many more. Shane is very excited to be bringing his knowledge to PQA and is looking forward to working with the performers of the next generation.

Latest News


Continue Reading

PQA News Tees Valley,


Continue Reading

PQA News Amersham, Aylesbury, Barnet, Barnsley, Bath, Bishops Stortford, Blackpool, Bradley Stoke, Brentwood, Bridgnorth, Brighton, Brighton West, Bristol, Cambridge, Canterbury, Cardiff, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Chislehurst & Sidcup, Colchester, Coventry, Crawley, Darlington, Derby, Dulwich, Durham, Eastbourne, Eastleigh, Edgbaston, Edinburgh, Enfield, Evesham, Exeter, Guildford, Harlow, Harrogate, Hemel Hempstead, Hertford, HIgh Wycombe, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Maidenhead, Mallorca, Milton Keynes, Muswell Hill, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northampton, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Preston, Richmond, Rochester, Romford, Rugby, Scarborough, Sheffield, Solihull, Southend on Sea, Southport, Stroud, Sutton, Sutton Coldfield, Swindon, Tees Valley, Tonbridge, Torbay, Tunbridge Wells, Warwick, Watford, Wickford, Windsor, Wirral, Wolverhampton, Woodford Green, Worcester, York,


Continue Reading

PQA News Tees Valley,


Continue Reading

PQA News Tees Valley,


Saturdays 10.00 - 13.00 & 14.00 - 17.00
Poppets 10.00 - 11.30 & 11.45 - 13.15

Stockton Riverside College
Harvard Avenue
Stockton on Tees
TS17 6FB

Get Directions

Request An Info Pack

Grab one of our FREE info packs, fill out our quick form.

Info Pack

Enrol Now

To enrol simply complete and submit our online form.

Enrol Now