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Welcome to PQA Edinburgh

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PQA Edinburgh provides outstanding performing arts tuition for 4-18 year olds.

If you are aged 16-25 click HERE for PQA Plus which offers advanced performing arts tuition for aspiring professionals.

PQA Edinburgh operates every Saturday from 9.45am to 1pm and 1.45pm to 5pm at St Augustine's High School in Edinburgh.

St. Augustine's provides excellent facilities; we have the use of the theatre space, drama studio, drama classroom and media space for our sessions.

"As Principal of PQA Edinburgh, I am extremely passionate about providing excellent quality, professional and up to date performing arts tuition, as well as offering the opportunity for young people to build confidence, make lots of new friends and learn life skills. At PQA Edinburgh, we ensure all of this takes place in a fun, safe and happy environment"

All our teaching staff are dedicated professionals with extensive experience in their chosen field. We provide first class, action packed sessions that are lots of fun! Our three core modules are Musical Theatre, Comedy & Drama and Film & Television.

As well as our core modules, students have the chance to take part in specialist Masterclasses, see their Films shown on the big screen and walk the red carpet! We also have the chance to perform in London's glittering West End!

Here at PQA Edinburgh we offer free taster sessions for all new students and we would love to hear from you to arrange a visit to see all of the exciting activities that take place at our academy.

We look forward to hearing from you soon – please request a brochure, or enrol today. Alternatively call PQA Edinburgh on 07597 321 734 or email leonna@pqacademy.com to arrange your free taster session.

Leonna McGilligan-Dix
Principal
leonna@pqacademy.com

Meet the Team

Leonna McGilligan-Dix

Principal

Leonna McGilligan-Dix - Principal

Hi! My name is Leonna and I'm delighted to be the Principal of PQA Edinburgh!

I was born and raised in the small town of Annan in Dumfries & Galloway and I knew I had found my calling when I was cast as a Snowflake in my Primary 1 Christmas concert. Growing up I had the chance to play characters ranging from Pinocchio and Nancy in 'Oliver' to Prince Charming and the Genie of the Lamp!

I moved to Edinburgh in the 1990's and I'm proud to call this beautiful city home. I began my training at Edinburgh's Telford College and from there I went on to gain a B.A (Hons) in Performing Arts, an MFA in Advanced Screen Practice and also a PG Cert in Professional Acting from ALRA in London.

My acting career has, and continues to be, extremely varied! I have appeared in a multi-award winning feature film directed by the wonderful Peter Mullan, several short films and in adverts and idents for TV and radio. I have toured the length and breadth of the country in various productions and have performed several times at the Edinburgh Fringe. I also perform as a voice over artist and continue to work as a professional actor in touring productions across the UK.

I have worked with children and young adults for several years at other theatre schools, but I know the model PQA offers is the best around. Once you come along to a session, I know you'll be hooked! I can guarantee you'll have great fun whilst learning valuable skills from our wonderful teachers.

What are you waiting for, come and join us! After all, there's no Saturday like a PQA Saturday!

Simon Dix

Vice Principal

Simon Dix - Vice Principal

My name is Simon and I'm the Vice Principal for PQA Edinburgh.

Although I don't work in the arts I am married to an actor (Leonna, your Principal!) and know what life is like on the other side. Over the years I have followed and supported Leonna throughout her career and have learned a great deal about all aspects of this varied and exciting profession.

I am a senior nurse with the NHS with nearly 20 years experience (I know, I don't look old enough!) in mental health care and management and currently work as a Child Protection Advisor for the NHS working alongside local authorities and Police Scotland. I have years of experience and post graduate qualifications in child welfare and protection and will ensure you have the best possible experience while learning in a fun and safe environment. With extensive experience in delivering the best possible care to others and working with families from all walks of life, I know how important it is for you to be in an environment that nurtures, cares, excites and stimulates, bringing the best out of everyone.

My time at PQA has taught me an awful lot and I'm now very interested in writing for children and adults and in Theatre and Film production.

I have taught children and adults for a number of years in various fields and look forward to supporting you and our fabulous teachers to make your PQA Saturday the best Saturday you can have!

Graham

Film & Television

Graham - Film & Television

Graham Kitchener is an award-winning filmmaker with experience as a writer, director, editor and producer. He began his creative career in advertising within the Saatchi & Saatchi group before switching his attention to filmmaking and establishing High Point Films.

A long established presence in Scotland's independent filmmaking community, Graham has written and directed corporate films for major organisations and world figures, including the Dalai Lama, Apple Inc, Jack Daniels and the NHS, as well as several independent documentaries.

Since 2016 he has been a lead film practitioner for Scottish Film Education and IntoFilm, delivering film literacy courses to teachers across Scotland as part of the Scottish Governments plans to improve literacy among young people.

Involved in youth work for over 30 years, Graham continues to write and direct shorts, corporate films and teach young people the art of filmmaking.

Alana

Musical Theatre / Vice Principal

Alana - Musical Theatre / Vice Principal

Alana has been with PQA Edinburgh for three years and is very proud to have taught Poppets, Musical Theatre and to be Vice Principal. Alana is passionate about both teaching and performing, having been involved in musical theatre and performing arts for 19 years.

Alana has a BA Honours Degree in Dance and an HND in Musical Theatre (along with a CIDESCO qualification in beauty and spa therapies!). She is trained in Jazz, Ballet, Salsa, Commercial and Contemporary dance, Tap and Musical Theatre and the list goes on!

Alana has performed in many professional productions, flash mobs and on TV and has enjoyed working with young people at overseas performance camps in Italy, France and the UK along with working a summer season in France and a winter season in Val D'Isere. In addition to working with PQA Alana works as a freelance dance and musical theatre teacher across Central Scotland and in the Scottish Borders where she lives with her puppy called Cooper. Alana loves variety in her life and enjoys travel and anything pertaining to dance and performance.

She has enjoyed the last three years at PQA and is looking forward to taking the PQA Edinburgh students to London's West End to perform Lazy Ace in Autumn 2017 and to continue to help the students to grow at PQA Edinburgh.

Amy

Poppets / Musical Theatre

Amy - Poppets / Musical Theatre

Amy has always loved the theatre, having danced from the young age of 3 and performing in her first professional pantomimes between the ages of 8-11, at the Adam Smith Theatre, she was destined to follow a career in the arts. Amy continued her dance and drama studies as well as becoming a member of GAMA youth for a year. She then went on to train at the MGA Academy of Performing Arts in Edinburgh on their 3 year Musical Theatre course. There, she had the opportunity to perform in various productions some of which included: The Producers (Church Hill Theatre), Flashdance (Festival Theatre), The Addams Family (The Kings Theatre) and A Midsummer Nights Dream where she played the role of Hermia, (Church Hill Theatre). In 2014, she graduated with her diploma and began to start her professional performing career.

After graduating, Amy obtained various professional credits, some of which include: Singer/ Tapper for PDF Productions in the 100 years at Edinburgh Zoo Celebrations, Ensemble Singer in Movies and Musicals (Usher Hall), Michael Cassidy Flashmob Dancer for Magners Sessions, Lead Vocalist in Beyond Broadway (Edinburgh Playhouse), Thriller flashmob dancer with Macchiato Entertainment. Most recently, Amy had a 4-month contract where she toured Scotland performing in various educational establishments as a Soloist Performer for Dream Worldwide Productions.

This year, Amy is volunteering in high schools, helping and directing the higher acting pieces in the rehearsals leading up to their final exam. She also choreographed for her local Primary school's production of Mary Poppins working with 9 to 11 year olds. She has most recently been working as a workshop facilitator with activate schools, teaching and encouraging interest in drama, dance and music in after school sessions.

Amy is really interested in community theatre and wants to get people of all ages interested in the Performing Arts. She, however, has not lost her own love to perform and decided to join GAMA earlier this year and will be playing the role of Nellie in their upcoming production, South Pacific.

Amy is delighted to be part of the team at PQA and loves having the opportunity to work with such a talented group of young people every week!

Kirsty

Comedy & Drama

Kirsty - Comedy & Drama

Kirsty has always adored theatre. Starting off with a keen interest in performing back in Aberdeenshire, she soon became more involved in community theatre projects and youth theatre facilitation after moving to Edinburgh to study. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in Drama and Performance from Queen Margaret University and has continued to work in the sector ever since.

Kirsty was an Intern with The Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh for a year, which allowed her to develop and hone her practice in Youth Theatre facilitation. She has continued to work with The Royal Lyceum Theatre since, specialising in their Discover groups, which provides theatre opportunities for young people from areas of multi-deprivation. She has also been fortunate enough to assistant direct and direct two of their Summer on Stage productions for the main stage showing at end of the programme.

Kirsty also travels around East Lothian delivering drama workshops to numerous schools during term time, as well as running drama camps during the holidays for The Drama Mill. She also works in nurseries, providing in-role stories to 3-5year olds, giving them the chance to be creative and let their imaginations run free.

As well as working within Primary Schools, Kirsty also teaches at two youth theatres in East Lothian with Indelible Arts. She co-directed Knox's performance of The Mobile Phone Show for the SCDA One Act Festival in February 2017 and has directed numerous site-specific performances with her North Berwick youth theatre group.

Kirsty is very excited about her PQA journey. Having started off as an Academy Assistant almost two years ago, she has now become the Comedy and Drama teacher for both Edinburgh academies. She continues to be passionate about helping every young person to strive to achieve the best they can.

Everyone has an inner star bursting to shine, and PQA is a great place to start!

Lia

Academy Assistant

Lia - Academy Assistant

Lia is our Academy Assistant and Runner at PQA Edinburgh. She works at the PM Academy and attends the AM academy as a member of our wonderful Red Group.

She has been a student at PQA Edinburgh since it opened and most recently appeared in the role of Kathy Seldon in our performance of 'Singing in the Rain jr'. Lia has also appeared in 'The Witches of Eastwick' at The Regal Theatre, Bathgate.

Lia trained in ballet and modern dance with Waterfront Dance Academy in Edinburgh and attended the City of Edinburgh Dance School at Broughton High School.

Lia has been accepted by Edinburgh College to study Acting & Performance.

Connor

Teaching Assistant

Connor - Teaching Assistant

Connor is in his second year at Queen Margaret University, studying Drama and Performance. Connor enjoys writing, and has had his work performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Ridotto Festival at The Caves. Connor has written and performed sketch comedy in venues around Edinburgh, but is now experimenting with different genres of writing, which he hopes to showcase in the city soon. Connor is co-writing and directing a children's show at this year's Fringe Festival (The Blue Bird), which he hopes will bring joy to the masses. Connor aspires to become an English teacher and move away to the countryside. He enjoys sunny days and making enchiladas.

Chloé

Academy Assistant

Chloé - Academy Assistant

Chloé is our Academy Assistant and Runner at PQA Edinburgh PM. She was previously a student at PQA Edinburgh AM as a member of our fabulous Red Group. Chloé has performed at the National Museum of Scotland, on Edinburgh's Grassmarket for 'Get Scotland Dancing 2015', at Edinburgh's George Street Christmas lights switch on and has performed in several of PQA Edinburgh's showings, including our recent Trinity Performance of 'Beauty and the Beast' extracts, for which she received a Distinction. She has also organised 2 charity fundraiser events for The British Heart Foundation in 2014 and Edinburgh Charity 'Streetwork' in 2015.

Chloé was also our AM Red Group Highly Commended Performer of the Year for 2014.

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Location

Saturdays 09.45 - 13.00 & 13.45 - 17.00
Poppets 10.00 - 11.30

St Augustine's High School
208 Broomhouse Road
Edinburgh
EH12 9AD

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