Steve Oakes - Academy Director
Steve has been involved in the world of theatre for over 28 years, during which time he has trod the boards, performed in bands, as well as producing and directing a wide variety of shows.
Having been Chairman of CAST in 2006, Steve oversaw the launch of the original CAST Academy in 2007, and worked closely with the team at that time to make a success of the initial project.
Now 8 years on, Steve is using his experience to take the venture to the next level with the launch of 'The Academy @ CAST' where the involvement of experienced specialist tutors will give a greater development experience for all youngsters involved, and a real cost-effective alternative to the national franchised performing arts academies.
As well as dedicated youth projects, Steve has always tried to involve youngsters within the cast of the productions he has directed, including Godspell, Honk!, Moby Dick the Musical to name but a few.
Steve also helps coach the Drama aspect of the Academy.
Louise Willis - Singing
Louise graduated from Brunel University in 2005 with a BA in Music. Whilst at Brunel she studied voice with Angela Elliott and appeared as vocalist with the Brunel Big Band under leadership of composer and arranger Frank Griffith. Since graduating from Brunel Louise has continued to be involved with music currently providing vocals for the Wizards of Westwyc and regularly performing as a solo artist.
Louise’s vocal training began at school taught by Gillian Dibden. She was a member of the Berkshire Youth Choir winning the 1996 Sainsbury’s Choir Of The Year competition and Youth Choir of The Year in 2000. Louise has also studied the piano from childhood and in addition to vocal coaching teaches piano.
Louise has been involved with CAST since 2005, during which time she has worked on youth productions including Cast Academy’s ‘Back To The Movies’ (2007), ‘Honk’ (2008) and ‘Annie’ (2010) and Summerscales Performing Arts’ ‘Crazy For You’ (2007), ‘Oliver’ (2008), Peter Pan (2009) and Beauty and the Beast (2011).
Amber Dye - Drama
Amber got into theatre at the age of 8, after her parents took her to see Joseph in the West End. She gained qualifications in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz and Lyrical at a stage school in Northampton and had private acting lessons at the weekends. Having now been working in the industry for 22 years, she has appeared in a number of shows, including: The Crucible, Boogie Nights, Hello, Dolly, Chess and Return to the Forbidden Planet. She also performed as a lead vocalist in four West-End variety shows and appeared as a dancer in the Olympics opening Ceremony at London 2012.
Amber’s previous teaching experience includes musical theatre at ‘Pauline Quirke Academy’ (Amersham) and drama for Mad Cow Performing Arts (Amersham). Amber has extensive experience within the world of musical theatre having now directed and choreographed more than 35 shows!
Previous credits with CAST include ‘Boogie Nights’ (2010), ‘The Wedding Singer’ (2013) and most recently ‘The Snow Queen’ (2014)
Lauren Baker - Dance
Lauren has been dancing since the age
of two, and has dance quali cations in Ballet, Tap, Modern, and Jazz. Whilst at University she choreographed a number of musicals, including West Side Story. As well as teaching at The Academy, Lauren teaches Latin Dance classes and continues to expand her dance repertoire.
All our team have extensive experience working with young people within the performing arts and undergo Enhanced DBS checks.
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Our next production will be Bacharach and David Songbook featuring the music of Burt Bacharach and Hal David to be staged from 12th - 15th July 2017.
Colnbrook Village Hall
Colnbrook SL3 0RF
Tel: 07711 109331 (Secretary)
The Academy @ CAST (youth group) Monday evening - 6.30 to 8.30pm
Adult Group - Monday evening 8.30 to 11pm and Thursday evenings - 8pm to 11pm at Colnbrook Village Hall