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About Theatretrain Chester

Building Confidence & Training The Next Generation Of Performers…

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Hi, I'm Steve!

Hi, I’m Steve! I’m the Company Director here at Theatretrain Chester, where my job is to ensure that your children are enjoying their professional theatre training in a fun and creative way.

I took over Chester Theatretrain in April 2005 and over the next four years successfully opened the schools in Wrexham, a second Chester School on Fridays and then the Mold School. My role is to oversee the artistic and teaching standards within the schools. I also regularly lead classes if teachers are off for any reason and I also create all of our productions by bringing together the various aspects of the show at the final stages of rehearsal. As well as leading workshops in primary schools in the area I regularly act and direct. Having been a member of Tip Top Productions since the company’s inception I have the responsibility of being the group’s Artistic Director. I have worked as a professional actor on stage and TV screen.

In July 2022 I received the Outstanding Centre Director Award at The Theatretrain Annual Conference.

Learn Genuine Theatre Principles While You Make Friends At Theatretrain Chester

The Theatretrain Way puts theatre back into the performing arts. Along with technical performance skills in acting, singing and dancing, young people get the chance to release their creativity in a safe and friendly place. Here, in an environment nurturing confidence and empathy, our students can expand to be more than they ever thought they could be. Our aim isn’t just to create better performers, but to help your children reach their full potential.

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We Create The Welcoming Environment Where Aspiring Performers Thrive

Gain Skills For All Aspects Of Life, Not Just The Big Stage.

Meet the Theatretrain Chester team

Learn more about our team and get to know what we’re all about.

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Leah
Tyson

Dance Teacher – Saturdays

Leah has been dancing since the age of 2 and later on took exams in ballet, modern and tap. She went on to train at Cartrefle College in performing arts and then onto Dance City in Newcastle. After her training, Leah danced professionally abroad for many years before coming back to her home town where she is now Team Leader- Venue Liaison for British Isles DBT Training and the Dance Teacher for Theatretrain, Chester. Leah has been fortunate enough to perform at the O2 Arena with her son Sam. Leah has performed for many years with Tip Top Productions in shows such as; Beauty and the Beast, La Cage Aux Folles and Cats. Leah has also choreographed numerous Pantomimes for Grove Park Theatre.

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George Parsonage

Acting Teacher – Saturdays

George has had a love for the performing arts since high school, taking part in several school productions
through his GSCEs and A-levels such as the Wizard of Oz, Grease & Les Misérables.
He also took part in the Shakespeare School Festival, as well as a piece that his A-Level drama class was asked to create for the National Trust’s Erddig Hall in Wrexham. In 2020 he graduated from the University of Huddersfield,
being awarded a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Drama. The following year he graduated from the University of Chester, earning a Masters of Arts degree.

In 2023 George worked as a Drama specialist at an American summer camp, located in Pennsylvania,
called Camp Towanda.  During this time, he immersed himself in the camp’s theatre department, teaching Drama to campers who were aged from 6 to 16. He helped to produce three successful shows; Rock of Ages, Oliver Twist & Hocus Pocus. He also assisted in many talent
shows and evening activities for the camper’s entertainment. While at camp George worked alongside Hank Azaria, an American actor and ex camper at Towanda, helping to create and run an improvisation workshop with him. As well as his work in the drama department, he was also responsible for the care and wellbeing of the campers in his bunk, along with a team of fellow counsellors.

George is a passionate theatre maker, loving to see younger generations discover the magic of performance.
He is very excited to be part of the Theatretrain team and looks forward to where his creative journey will lead him!

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Bethaney Wellings-Davies

Singing Teacher – Saturdays

Bethaney has been performing since a young age, excelling in Musical Theatre, Rock, Jazz, and Classic Soprano. After graduating from Institute of the Arts Barcelona, Bethaney has performed as ‘Velma Kelly’ in Chicago, ‘Sally Bowles’ in Cabaret and ‘Ann Portico’ in Half A
Sixpence. Bethaney is also lead singer for the alternative/rock band
‘The Remedies’.  She has been a singing teacher for a several years
encouraging her students to reach limits they themselves thought
impossible. She’s helped students prepare for drama school auditions and children’s West End debuts auditions.

 

 

 

 

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Rob Stevens

Dance Teacher – Fridays

Rob trained in Theatre & Dance in Salford University and after graduating went on to tour the country in Panto. After this he moved to Paris and joined the Entertainment Cast at Disneyland Paris performing in the daily shows and parades in the park. After two summer seasons at Disney, Rob returned to the UK and started working as a freelance Choreographer & Director for various companies in the North West – productions includes Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Full Monty, Guys & Dolls, Seussical, 42nd Street, Bouncers, Shakers, Avenue Q and Jesus Christ Superstar to name a few. He has also performed in various plays and musicals with roles including Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, Bobby in Company, Bill Snibson in Me and My Girl, Don Lockwood in Singin in the Rain and Al in A Chorus Line. In Pantoland Rob has performed in & directed various pantomimes over the years, all over the UK and also onboard the MV Bretagne in their summer pantos. For the past 6 years he has appeared at the Grange Theatre Northwich as the Dame for KD Productions and most recently he toured the country in their pantomime Wizard of Oz playing the role of Glinda the Good! Rob teaches all three disciplines of dance, drama and music for Theatretrain and for various other groups. He also runs performing arts sessions for Deva English & English In Chester where he teaches students from various countries around the world!

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Leslie Churchill Ward

Singing Teacher – Fridays

Leslie graduated with an honours degree in Acting from The Ohio University School of Theatre and was as an award-winning actor and singer in the States.
Now living in North Wales, she continues to share her passion for the performing arts with students, performers, and communities. Much of Leslie’s current work revolves around her love of music, but she always approaches it
from the perspective of an actor — encouraging students and choirs to connect with their emotions and express the meaning of the lyrics they are singing, all while finding their self-confidence and having fun.

Leslie believes strongly in inclusion and diversity: she is the Creative Director of the Inclusion Project at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, the co-founder and Artistic Director of Work in Progress (a mental health performing arts group for adults), and the founder and Musical Director of community choir Acquire and Acquire’s Jazz Choir.

She loves lighting the spark of the performing arts with students of all ages. She has held drama residencies at primary and secondary schools and was guest lecturer for The Hammond School, working with graduating performing arts students. Leslie also gives private acting and singing lessons for children and adults. Although teaching remotely during the pandemic produced many
challenges, it also enabled her to work with students in Wales and England — and as far away as California and Vietnam!

Wendo

Wendy Salmon

Minis & Tinies Teacher – Saturdays

Wendy is a qualified Infant teacher and over the last few years has worked as a drama teacher at various 
theatre schools. She is a huge advocate of the performing arts as she believes it develops confidence, self esteem and working together. Wendy is delighted to be part of the
Theatretrain team and cannot wait to translate her skills to the next generation of budding performers.
After many years of acting as a deupty teacher at our schools in Wrexham, Mold and Chester Wendy now joins the team ‘officially’.

 

 
 
 
 
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Barbara Davies

Desk Manager – Saturdays

Barbara has been at the helm for both Chester Theatretrain Schools since January 2008 and she is always there to provide whatever support is needed for the children and to try and answer any questions thrown at her by parents and pupils alike. She has worked with children for many years, coaching young netball teams and as “Brown Owl” with Marchwiel Brownies for 15 years before getting heavily involved with the theatre. She has been  an active member with Tip Top Productions both on and off stage since the early 90’s, performing in various musicals and pantos and assisting with sewing costumes too. She later became wardrobe manager, a role which took up most of her spare time for many years. Since being with Theatretrain her sewing machine has been dusted off many times when costumes have needed sewing for our local and national productions, her favourite being 70 nuns for the Blues Brothers Show in the Palace Theatre, Manchester. (A project supported by a few seamstress parents thankfully!!!)

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Claire Dodd

Minis & Tinies Assistant – Saturdays

 

Claire has been involved in performing arts since the age of 13 when she performed in her first Pantomime, Cinderella, as part of the chorus.
She has performed on stage with Tip Top Productions for many years in larger musicals such as Annie, My Fair Lady and Hello, Dolly! Since having her own children she has taken more of a back stage role for Theatretrain helping with costume changes and making sure the children are side of stage ready for their debuts. She has also acted as relief desk manager for the last 2 years covering all 4 schools when needed.
Claire says that being a part of Theatretrain is a very exciting
experience and she has been fortunate enough to be part of the team when they have taken challenging performances at the O2 Arena and The Royal
Albert Hall with amazing end results; it is very rewarding to see
everyone having fun.
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Wendy Healiss

Classroom Assistant – Saturdays

    

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The Theatretrain Story

Theatretrain was founded on the belief that the performing arts should be accessible to everyone, no matter their age, skill or ability. Our large-scale productions are unique to Theatretrain and invite our students to enjoy the learning experience and be a part of something bigger than themselves.

The world’s your stage at Theatretrain Chester!

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