I’ve renamed my classes Katie Abbott Performing Arts as I’ve realised the time has come to make myself ‘searchable’ online and it’s easiest to put my name first! So hello to anyone who already knows me, and let me introduce myself to those who don’t.
I trained at The Arts Educational Schools, Tring Park and London, from the age of 11, and this wonderful training has shaped my career ever since. I graduated with a musical theatre diploma, but the basis of my education was in classical ballet and drama, so I was well equipped to enter the world of theatre, television and film at the age of 18.
I enjoyed a career on the stage for many years, and I’m proud to say that I have worked with The Royal Shakespeare Company, Morecambe and Wise, Bruce Forsyth, Mike Yarwood, Sean Matthias, Adam Ant, and Snoopy the Musical, to name a few! I started teaching alongside my performing career in my twenties, developing to founding the Ealing, Twickenham and Isleworth Theatre Workshops in later years, for which I was awarded a National Lottery Arts Award. I continued Twickenham Theatre Workshop whilst raising my family, and this has grown from strength to strength to the recognition we have today.
I have always taught the Trinity/Guildhall syllabus, with 100% success rate over thirty years of teaching. I gained my degree level Licentiate Diploma for Trinity in 2011. In 2012 I was invited to join the examining panel, and I spend up to four weeks a year travelling the country examining candidates for all Trinity’s syllabus strands. I have always felt that Trinity offers the most comprehensive opportunity for young people to gain graded certificates which reflect their self-awareness, vocal and physical skill, literary and theatrical knowledge, and creativity. This is at the centre of my teaching - encouraging the individual to develop their own imaginative interpretations of performance within an increasing knowledge of technique, with developing awareness of the great writers of our global heritage.
Apart from my guidance with the Trinity grades I am very keen to bring my pupils together to work in groups and in youth theatres, for there is no better way to embrace life and to learn and grow together and make lifelong friends than putting on a play!
I also write plays for children to perform, for which I am gaining a small reputation. I have staged various productions since my debut at The Donmar Warehouse in 1985, and it has given me great joy in recent years to see other companies performing my work. My ideas are always inspired by the need to create stories which involve every member of a young cast in ensemble style performance, giving them as many chances to get on stage as possible. You can find my plays at www.treepress.org.uk.
All my teachers are carefully selected and interviewed. I ensure that my deps have relevant qualifications or a degree in the performing arts, and are DBS checked, and I always work with my new teachers in the youth theatres and classes before engaging them to work alone.
At present I have two excellent deputies who both help in the youth theatre and classes as well as offering their own specialised skills.
Laura-May Hassan is my Assistant Director and Stage Manager at RSS Senior Youth Theatre. Laura-May has completed her BTec Performing Arts qualification at Richmond College for which she gained a Distinction, and she is currently studying at St Mary's University Twickenham for her BA degree in Drama and Applied Arts.
Laura-May is very talented in musical theatre and singing, with a passionate aptitude towards encouraging young people to reach their potential on stage.
Olympia graduated from St Mary's University in the summer of 2016 with a degree in Physical Theatre, and she has previously trained on a Foundation course at Birmingham School of Acting. She specialises in movement work with the students and believes strongly that drama is for all. In September 2017 she will begin a teacher training course to become a full time secondary Drama teacher.