Meet The Team2019-01-24T12:15:32+00:00

Our Team

Nicole Theunissen
Nicole TheunissenStudio Director

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. During her postgraduate training, she served as a Graduate Assistant in tutoring undergraduates. She was awarded a full bursary by the National Arts Council of South Africa, in addition being awarded  the Leon Gluckman Award and Jane Osborne Scholarship over the course of her postgraduate studies. Upon completion of her MA, she spent one year as a lecturer in the University of Zululand’s Creative Arts department. Nicole joined Durban Actors Studio in 2014 as an InterAct Teacher, promoted to Studio Manager in 2018, then took the reins as Studio Director January 2019.

Sunny Sibiya
Sunny SibiyaActing & Vocal Coach

Sanele (Sunny) holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Drama Performance Studies. His CV 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, vocals for the Durban City Orchestra. Sunny performed in the Grahamstown Arts Festival and was the Company Assistant Manager for the Young Performers Project 2014. Sanele has directed various Shakespeare, Drama and Musical Theatre productions for Durban Actors Studio. Sunny joined Durban Actors Studio in 2013.

Sam Freese
Sam FreeseCreative Team Member and Facilitator

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 is studying towards her ATCL Drama Teaching Diploma. Sam joined Durban Actors Studio in 2018.

Emily Cumming
Emily CummingInterAct Facilitator

Emily is studying towards her BEd in Foundation Phase Teaching through UNISA. After her BEd, she plans to complete her honours year in drama therapy. Her passion for performing was cultivated during her high school years where she took on many principal roles in a variety of productions. She at both the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre and the Playhouse Theatre. She matriculated with a 100% pass and full colours for both practical and theoretical drama. She has also gained experience at the Grahamstown Arts Festival and UKZN Arts Festival, where she learnt valuable skills from leading professionals in the industry. Emily then went on to open up her own successful business, teaching extra-mural drama in the upper highway area. Emily joined Durban Actors Studio in 2019.
“What is drama but life with all the dull bits cut out” – Alfred Hitchcock.

Gillian Brunings
Gillian BruningsFounder

Gill founded Durban Actors Studio in 2007 and headed up the studio until December 2018 when she left to return to the UK. Gill started her love for performance after performing in a York Theatre Royal production of James and the Giant Peach, at the age of 9. After completing her secondary education Gill furthered her studies via a BTech Performing Arts and training via London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Gill is a published scriptwriter, director, teacher, with strong management and leadership skills.  “A dream is great, but life only changes when you start to create! – Gill Brunings” December 2018