Cultivating Performance Excellence
To discover, nurture and advance artistic ability in our students. To provide opportunities for students to share talent with an active audience. To protect, guide and assist students in developing a viable and sustainable creative career.
Founded in 2007, Durban Actors Studio started life as Rising Star Performing Arts (RSPA) Theatre School. Our first class was held in 2007, and we had 5 students. Since then our programmes have grown from strength to strength. On average we see over 300 students attending various classes each week.
Our students have performed in professional productions locally, nationally and internationally. They have been cast in international movies, have been voice over artists for various radio advertisements and corporate productions, they have represented South Africa performing at the Commonwealth Games, and so much more. We have a strong track record with the renowned and well respected theatre school, LAMDA, London Academy of Music ad Dramatic Art, having taught their syllabus for 10 years and receiving, year on year, 100% pass rates with many receiving Distinction passes in the fields of acting, musical theatre and mime.
In 2016 we re-branded as Durban Actors Studio, a name which uniquely identifies our position in the Durban, Kwazulu Natal Performing Arts field. We want students to create new, engaging pieces of theatre, we want students to create a sustainable career, we want students to be a new generation of theatre goers who support the arts in all its varied forms, we want to be THE training centre responsible for “Cultivating Performance Excellence”.
Gill Brunings (Director Durban Actors Studio) holds a B.Tech Performing Arts and furthered her training with the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Gill has written and directed many productions for youth and adult performers. The most recent productions staged being The Monsters Ball and Dolphins by Starlight, staged at uShaka Marine World, 2016. Gill has also been published in the Trinity College International Playwriting Collection. Gill is primarily responsible for day to day running of Durban Actors Studio and assists with the Accelerated Acting Gold class and ATCL programmes.
Nicole Theunissen holds qualifications in BDram (Stellenbosch) 2009, BA Hons Drama (Rhodes) 2010, MA Drama Choreography (Rhodes) 2012. Nicole has both practical and academic experience in theatre and the dramatic arts, with a specific focus on Choreography and Physical Theatre. She has created and performed in works for the National Arts Festival and the Baxter Dance Festival during the course of her studies. During her postgraduate training, she served as a Graduate Assistant in tutoring undergraduates. Upon completion of her MA, she spent one year as lecturer in the University of Zululand’s Creative Arts department. Nicole is primarily involved in the Durban Actors Studio LAMDA and ATCL programmes, youth and adult.
Sanele Sibiya holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Drama Performance Studies. Sanele (or Sunny as the kids fondly call him) is a dynamo! His CV is overflowing with professional training credits and experience, this includes: choreographer, scriptwriter and co-director for Northwood High School Musicals. Artistic Director of the 2013 KZN Youth Choir Fundraiser concert. A member of the KZN Youth Choir. Flatfoot training company. Performed vocals for the Durban City Orchestra. Performed in the Grahamstown Arts Festival. Facilitated the Felixton High School Arts and Culture workshop. Co-company Manager for Young Performers Project 2014: Footloose. PANSA member. Professional performer with the B.I.G Improv Troupe. Sanele is primarily involved in the Durban Actors Studio Drama-4-Fun and Musical Theatre youth programmes.
Hillary Meikle holds a Diploma in Dramatic Art and Stage Technique with the New Era Academy in London, and has more than 20 years of experience in the Expressive Arts and Facilitation in the fields of Effective Communication, Voice Training, Creative Movement and Dance. Her early career was in Television Production and Research, where she worked in South Africa for the SABC and in the UK for ITV on various genres of programmes from children’s dramas and educational programmes to music, dance and light entertainment shows, documentaries and news and current affairs. Whilst in Johannesburg Hillary ran drama and communication skills workshops for the Malie Kelly Vocal Academy. Hillary is primarily involved in the Durban Actors Studio Drama-4-Fun youth programmes.