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Welcome to PQA Ipswich

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Due to popular demand, PQA Ipswich is opening
a brand new afternoon Academy!

FREE OPEN DAY
Saturday 23rd September
from 1.45-5pm
at St Joseph's College, Belstead Road,
Ipswich, Suffolk, IP2 9DR

To receive an information pack click HERE
or to secure your place at PQA Ipswich enrol HERE

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Hello and a very warm welcome on behalf of PQA Ipswich!

I'm Emily the Principal of the school and I'm delighted to head up our award-winning academy in my home town of Ipswich! We operate every Saturday morning at St. Joseph's College from 9.45am-1pm. We offer bang up to date Performing Arts training for 6-18 year olds with modules in Musical Theatre, Comedy & Drama and Film & TV. We also run 2 PQA Poppets Sessions, these are specialised performing arts classes tailored for 4-5 year olds.

PQA Ipswich opened its doors on Saturday 3rd October 2015 to a huge reception with over 140 young people taking part in our exciting new classes. Since then we have gone from strength to strength performing our tailor-made musical at The Jerwood Dance House, receiving distinctions in our musical theatre exams, and hosting a cinema screening at IFT.  One f our short movies was also presented with an award at the PQA Film festival when it was aired at Leicester square in London. Most recently we performed The Lazy Ace in London's West End.

I wanted to open an academy in Ipswich because I am really passionate about providing quality training by professionally trained teachers who have experience in the industry. I also want to make a safe and happy space where the students can be creative, express themselves and be who they really are. My aim is to enhance the skill set of all students but perhaps more importantly I want every student to embrace their uniqueness, believe in who they really are and have the confidence to reach their full potential in whatever path life takes them.

Should you have any questions then please feel free to contact me on 07954306553 or Emily.watt@pqacademy.com.

Emily Watt
PQA Ipswich Principal

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Meet the Team

Emily Watt

Principal

Emily Watt - Principal

My love for theatre started at the tender age of three, when I started dance classes. My stage debut was at the Ipswich Regent Theatre aged 5, singing and tapping along to "how much is that doggy in the window" and that was when the theatre bug really took hold. I completed all dance exams in ballet, tap, modern and jazz and performed in many local theatre groups throughout my youth.

I went to study for a National Diploma in performing arts at Suffolk College which I passed with straight distinctions. Following this I went onto further my studies at the prestigious Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London, from which I graduated with a BA (Hons) in professional musical theatre. Throughout my studies I received a scholarship from the BBC Performing Arts fund and the Peter Coxhead Award. I have performed alongside Kerry Ellis, Adam Pascal and Brian May at the Royal Albert Hall, performed at the Wilton's Music Hall, which is the oldest surviving music hall in the world and filmed a dance promotional video for 'Somewhere_To'.

Aside from my performing background I have a real passion for working with children. Before Training I choreographed dance routines for a local youth group and pantomime group. Since Training I have worked for Fun-Keys 4 Kids teaching music and piano to toddlers and hosting many children's parties with DNA Kids.

PQA Ipswich is a supportive and exciting place to learn for young people in Ipswich and the surrounding area. I truly believe every child should be involved in theatre whether for fun or as a stepping stone into a career in performing. Theatre is a magical place where confidence is built and memories are made.

Stephen

Vice Principal

Stephen - Vice Principal

My earliest memories of performing are knocking on the doors of the neighbours who lived in the same tenement block as me at the age of 3 and singing and dancing when they answered the door. I have been involved in theatre since the age of 12 and have performed all over the country and beyond including three performances at the Waterford International festival. Being involved in theatre was a truly transformative experience for me and opened up a whole new world of possibilities that I hadn't seen before. I genuinely believe it has shaped my life and I hope we can have such a positive impact on our students at PQA Ipswich.

Training: I have a first class honours MA in Economics from the University of Dundee. I am also a qualified management coach, have a qualification in mentoring and have undertaken numerous courses in business coaching, project management, first aid and people management. Whilst I have had no formal training in theatre I have 25 years of experience in all aspects of theatre from on stage to directing, back stage and front of house. I have also served as both marketing and business manager for a local theatre company in my home city of Dundee.

Experience: I have sufficient experience of running programmes as projects and developing local businesses through my current and previous work with Suffolk County Council. I also have lots of experience in theatre at numerous levels, playing many lead roles with regional leading amateur companies in Scotland, East Anglia and London.

Richard

Comedy & Drama

Richard - Comedy & Drama

Hello! I'm Richard and I've spent the last 17 years performing in one capacity or another.

I trained at the Guildford School of Acting with a full Dance and Drama Award scholarship and graduated first class with honours.

Before training I became a member of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and founded theatre companies 'Mad Hatter Productions' – a company set up to give young people experience in all things theatre, and 'Simply See Productions' – a company made up of my graduating class. With both companies I have directed, performed and produced shows over the past 8 years including 5 productions at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Since graduating I continue to perform, direct and write whenever I can – I'm a member of the early career development programme at the Mercury Theatre and my most recent performances include 'As You Like It' with TWAS Theatre and 'Charlie Hebdo: An Epistolary play' at the RADA festival.

I can't wait to get cracking with helping the new blood of Ipswich hone in their craft and most importantly – nurture their love for performing! Let's make some art!

Harriet

Musical Theatre

Harriet - Musical Theatre

I've been dancing and performing since I was four and I have always had a love for theatre. I performed in many local performances throughout my childhood and took exams in Ballet and Tap. Performing soon became a big part of my life. I am really looking forward to joining PQA in September and allowing the students to enjoy theatre as much is I do.

I started my training at Performers College on the one year Pre-Vocational course. After this I successfully gained a scholarship to further my training at Performers College on the 3 year Musical Theatre Course. I graduated in July 2016 with a Trinity National Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre.

Since graduating from Performers College I have been lucky enough to work professionally in the industry. My credits include X Factor for ITV, Dancer at the FA Cup Final, Ideal Home Exhibition, Summer Spectacular, Felixstowe and Jack and The Beanstalk at The Hall For Cornwall.

I have been teaching for 5 years now and I currently teach dance and musical theatre at several places around Suffolk. I love teaching and being able to help young people grow as performers and giving them as many opportunities as I had.

Wilfred

Film & Television

Wilfred - Film & Television

I've always loved telling stories, writing ridiculous fantasy short stories in English class was my favourite part of school and when I was a teenager I started experimenting with animation. But when I got a camcorder for my sixteenth birthday I knew I'd found the perfect platform to express my voice. Before long I was dragging my friends and siblings up to the park to shoot all manner of crazy videos to put on my YouTube channel.

Training:
I went on to study a national diploma in Media Production at Suffolk College where I began to hone the skills of my craft and started to see film more as an art form than a hobby. I continued my studies at the University of Hertfordshire where I acquired a BA (Hons) in Film and Television Production. This was an invaluable experience where I got the chance to use industry standard equipment and audition real actors.

Experience:
I have undertaken work placements with Dave, Red Bull and the BBC and have had my own film screened at film festivals in London.

Teaching experience:
As well as my passion for filmmaking I also love working with children, their ideas and uncapped creativity is second to none and working with them is immensely rewarding. I have spent the last three years teaching children from all over the world the art of filmmaking in the Swiss Alps as well as outdoor living skills.

Stories are important and PQA Ipswich is going to be a brilliant opportunity for the young creative minds of East Anglia to have some truly awesome experiences, forge memories they will never forget and create something really special. I for one can't wait to get started, see you there!

Ellie

Poppets Assitant

Ellie - Poppets Assitant

Hi I am Ellie and I'm really looking forward to assisting the poppets at PQA Ipswich. I am currently in my last year studying performing arts at Suffolk new college. I have performed with various amateur dramatic companies around Suffolk from a young age taking on various roles. I have recently won a high achiever award for elementary tap and still continue to take classes in ballet, jazz, commercial and singing. I will be auditioning for a three year musical theatre course in 2016 to further my training. I can't wait to help the students enjoy their time at PQA.

Catherine

Poppets

Catherine - Poppets

I have been performing since the age of 4. I trained at Linda Shipton's School of Dancing and grew up being involved with the Co-op Juniors for over 15 years.

I have had the opportunity to learn from many influential professionals and lucky enough to have performed in many productions in multiple theatres.

In addition to performing with companies such as The Dennis Lowe Theatre Company, IODS, Gallery Players and The Appeal Theatre Company, my experiences with all these companies has built on my ability within and knowledge of the industry. This has led to me choreographing for all ages and abilities and the realisation that I love to teach as well as perform. Teaching allows you see others develop, achieve their goals and create memorable moments.

I am very proud to be apart of the PQA team and I consider teaching the Poppets a huge honour and responsibility. At that age, I was taught skills that I believe are invaluable and I hope I can be that influence that my students look back on.

Dom

Film & TV Assistant

Dom - Film & TV Assistant

I've been interested by film for as long as I can remember, but didn't really enagage with it until I took film studies for A levels at the age of 17. Since then I've been obsessed with the technical and practical side of both camera and editing software. I have a real love for filmmaking, and look forward to sharing what I've learnt to all those who attend PQA.
I completed a film course at the Cambridge School of Arts with a BA (Hons) in Film and Television Production. Whilst my knowledge predominantly lies in cinematography and editing, I also share knowledge in most areas of pre-production, production and post-production.

I have worked on around 15 productions, many of which include working with local music artists in Ipswich. I have also shot and edited promos for both HomeGrown Festival and the annual Cambridge strawberry fayre competition, as well as being part of the production crew who won 3rd place for lasts years Kodak commercial competition.

I'm pleased to be a part of the PQA crew, and hope to encourage those who join us to be a part of the future artistic community in whatever way they choose.

Betty

Teaching Assistant

Betty - Teaching Assistant

Hi I am Betty and I am really looking forward to working for PQA Ipswich.

Training: I trained Blackpool and the Fylde College (BA Hons Musical Theatre). I then went on to study Musical Theatre at the American Musical Theatre Academy
Professional experience: Actress for a touring Theatre in Education Company (Theatrino – Italy, Spain), Girl in a club (Speech Development Records, Scroobius Pip, London), Dancer and Vocalist (Sunday Night Live, Her Majesty's Theatre, London)

Credits whilst training: Patricia Martin and Puppeteer (Little Shop of Horrors, Theatro Technis) Desiree (A little Night Music, The Brickshop Theatre), Sheriff (Bat Boy the Musical, Zion Arts Centre), Annabel (Lucky Stiff the Musical, The Brickshop Theatre)

Teaching experience: I worked as a Drama and dance facilitator for musical theatre camps in Italy (English Theatre of Europe – Italy) for two years.

I have a real passion for teaching acting, dance and singing and engaging students of all ages into Performing Arts. I feel performing arts is a great place to make new friendships and build your confidence.

Nathan

Academy Assistant

Nathan - Academy Assistant

I have loved performing since Primary School when I played Malvolio in a musical version of Twelfth Night but didn't get back on the stage until I was fifteen, taking on the role of Baloo in The Jungle Book. Since then I have been involved with at least two productions a year. My theatre credits have included Captain Hook in Peter Pan, Charles Condomine in Blithe Spirit, Jud Fry in Oklahoma and The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz.

I have a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts for which I studied at Suffolk New College. I also have a Coaching Qualification in Gymnastics, which I used for five years teaching 3 – 18 year olds at a local Gymnastics Club and at Primary Schools.

I strongly believe that Performing Arts helps young people develop vital skills needed in everyday life, not just those needed for performing, and I am extremely excited to be a part of that development at PQA Ipswich.

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Location

Saturdays 09.45 - 13.00 & 13.45 - 17.00
Poppets 10.00 - 11.30 and 11.45 – 13.15

St Joseph's College
Belstead Road
Ipswich
Suffolk
IP2 9DR

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