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Meet The Team

Emma Pryke - Centre Director

Emma has been involved in Theatretrain since 2002, when her daughter joined as a pupil the day Bury St Edmunds Theatretrain opened.  Emma was so impressed with the Theatretrain ethos and the opportunites it offer’s young people from all walks of life, that she wanted to take on a more central role.  In 2004 she became Centre Manager and in 2006 she took on the running of the centre.  The thing she enjoys most about her job is finding new ways and ideas to inspire the pupils and to keep the centre moving forward.

Julie Withey - Centre Manager

Julie has been Centre Manager since 2009 and enjoys every minute of working with the centre. 

Julie is the smiling face who will be there to greet you every Saturday!

Heidi Stubbings - Dance Teacher

Heidi trained professionally with a scholarship at the Tiffany Theatre College in Southend on Sea where she was lucky enough to be taught by seasoned West End performers as well as  established teachers from all over the country. She studied classical ballet, contemporary, latin, American tap, Hip Hop, Commercial, pas de deux, Lindy Hop, Salsa, Jazz and many other styles too numerous to list as well as classes in drama, singing, vocal technique and performance style.

During her time at Tiffany’s, Heidi performed at numerous venues in and around London, from  Olympia, Her Majesty’s Theatre and the Royal Academy of Music.

Since graduating from college she moved to London and continues her training in her spare time taking classes at  Pineapple and Dance Attic as well as working on some music projects with some independent recording artists.  In 2009 and 2010, Heidi travelled to New York to teach at Stagedoor Manor and in 2011 she travelled to Antwerp in Belgium as the Theatretrain representative to teach workshops at EDERED, the annual World Children’s Drama Encounter.  In September 2010, Heidi became a student again and is currently studying Urban Dance at University in London.  Heidi has been teaching dance at Bury St Edmunds Theatretrain since 2004 and Sudbury Theatretrain since it opened in January 2009.

Heidi has been the Dance Teacher at Theatretrain since 2004. She is an FDI qualified dance teacher and has completed major ISTD exams in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Modern dance.

Chelsea Francis - Singing Teacher

Chelsea  trained  at  Suffolk College  studying a 2 year  course  in  performing  arts,  achieving  straight distinctions and winning the “Most outstanding pupil of the year” award.  

She discovered her passion for all things theatrical at a very early age as all she ever wanted to do was sing. Attending stage schools at weekends she developed a passion for all aspects of performing arts.After performing in France in a cabaret show, dance production and a performance of A Midsummer Night’s dream where she played the role of Bottom, she felt ready to try and crack into the music scene back at home! Chelsea has won several singing competitions over the years, most recently taking part in a national Green King Singing competition where, after several heats, she eventually won.  Chelsea has been working as a professional singer doing gigs for many years and is enjoying it immensely, having recently added ‘All Gone Gaga’ A tribute show to her repertoire, she is available for weddings and birthdays!

Chelsea has been teaching singing at Bury St Edmunds Theatretrain since 2005 and Sudbury Theatretrain since it opened in January 2009 and she says ‘the best part for me is watching my students doing something that makes them and me so happy.’  In 2010, Robert Hyman, Theatretrain’s resident musical director, asked Chelsea to teach at Stage Works, a long running and successful summer camp held in Northern Ireland, in his place as he was able to attend due to other commitments.  This is a reflection of Chelsea’s hard work, commitment and professionalism that she brings to Theatretrain.


Sam Pryke – Drama Teacher

Sam trained at The Quay School of Theatre Dance for 11 years in Ballet, Tap and Modern, and has taken both chorus parts and principle roles in many musicals, her first show being ‘Oliver!’ when she was 10. She also studied drama for her GCSEs at Sudbury Upper School & Arts College, gaining an A* after achieving 100% in her practical exam.  She won the William Wood drama faculty award in 2006 and went on to gain a BTEC National Award in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre).

Sam spends her week as a primary school teacher, a job which she absolutely loves. She particularly enjoys working with children who have learning difficulties and, during the summer holidays, she tutors at a literacy and numeracy Summer School for children with dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Sam joined Theatretrain in 2002 as a student at the Bury St Edmunds Centre. During her time there, she  performed in many local shows and London productions in a wide range of theatres, which she says was fantastic experience and so much fun! From there, she became a teaching assistant and then a cover teacher at several local centres, regularly teaching lessons in all three subjects and took on the permanent role of Drama Teacher at Colchester Theatretrain in November 2010.  Sam is delighted to have joined our team and is enjoying being able to share her love of all things dramatic with everyone.  She hopes you enjoy working with her as much as she knows she will with you!