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Welcome to PQA Ipswich

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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 hometown of Ipswich! We operate every Saturday at St. Joseph's College from 9.45am-1.00pm and 1.45pm-5.00pm. 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 two 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 of our short films was also presented with an award at the PQA Film festival when it was aired in London's Leicester Square. Most recently we performed The Lazy Ace in London's West End where we received a distinction in our Musical Theatre in production exam!

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 email 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.

Alex

Comedy & Drama

Alex - Comedy & Drama

Hi I'm Alex, I grew up in Colchester and have had a great love for theatre for as long as I can remember.

I trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts where I was awarded the Andrew Lloyd Webber scholarship. I also attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School.

Before training I was a member of the National Youth Theatre and involved in various productions in and around Colchester with CO2, Katz and have also had experience in directing- my most iconic was; 'Teechers' by John Godber at the Headgate Theatre.

During training I performed in both musicals and plays and some of my favourite roles were: Gabby/Bobbi in City of Angels at the 'Bernie Grants Arts Centre', and Dolly in Anna Karenina at 'The Karamel Club'.

Since graduating, I have worked extensively including a great deal of recording work at Alexandra Palace in London and several workshops for exciting new work. I have also recently been cast in a commercial for meteor (Ireland's premier mobile phone provider).

I now look forward to starting a new adventure at PQA Ipswich and passing on the knowledge and skills I continue to develop as a working actor.

 

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!

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.

Aimee

Poppets Assistant

Aimee - Poppets Assistant

Performing arts has always been a huge part of my life. I began performing with The Company of Four at the age of 4 and haven't stopped since. I have been lucky enough to experience many theatre companies since then, including PQA!

I was a student at PQA Ipswich when it opened 2 years ago and loved every minute. By having the experience of participating in the academy from the perspective of a student, I know what makes us special.

I am so happy to be back at PQA as the assistant for the Poppets, as it means I don't have to leave and I can continue doing the things I love, in an environment that I love! Working with the Poppets is a huge privilege, as it marks the start of their journies as performers and I am honoured to be able to encourage them along their way.

I am currently in my last year at St Joseph's College, studying Music, Drama and English. I am also working towards my ATCL Musical Theatre with LAMDA, after completing grade 8 in Musical Theatre and acting both with distinctions.

PQA holds a huge place in my heart and I am so pleased to be back. I hope that I can help the Poppets to develop skills in performing as well as a love for the theatre, and pass on everything that PQA has taught me.

Ellie

Academy Assitant

Ellie - Academy 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.

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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