Our Vision

Cultivating Performance Excellence

Our Mission

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.

Our History

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”.

Our Teachers

Gill Brunings 


Gill 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. Gill has been published in the Trinity College International Playwriting Collection. 

Nicole Theunissen 

Manager and South Coast Speech and Drama Teacher,  Foundation Acting Programme Facilitator and KickstArt Youth Theatre Choreographer

Nicole 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. 

Sanele Sibiya 

North Coast Speech and Drama Teacher and KickstArt Youth Theatre Musical Director/Vocal Coach

Sanele 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. 

Sam Freese

Highway Speech and Drama Teacher

Sam’s passion for drama, dance and singing started at a young age when she joined Performing Arts Centre of Education (P.A.C.E) with Pat Fox and Dawn Harrison. From the ages of 12 to 17 she performed in numerous productions at the Natal Playhouse, taking on many principal roles.  After finishing school, she studied “Film, Television and Media” whilst keeping involved in live theatrical performances via amateur performance troupes and broadcasting work for 919.9Rockfm. Sam is the mother of a beautiful boy and currently studying towards her Asssociate Drama teaching Diploma