Sara Pruce Director / Drama Teacher
Sara first studied acting at Questor’s Theatre in Ealing and then trained at Drama Studio London. She subsequently performed on the London Fringe in productions such as The Bright and Bold Design at The Chelsea Centre Theatre, Macbeth at The Drayton Court Theatre, East at The Brockley Jack Theatre and Popcorn at The Man in The Moon.
She then joined the award winning Chain Reaction Theatre Company, touring schools across London and Nationwide with fun shows and workshops promoting health education to young people.
Sara moved to North Devon with her husband in 2003 and shortly after her daughter Anise was born. Since then she has taught acting skills at The Edge Performing Arts Academy where she directed The Wizard of Oz. More recently she taught at Platform 2. She has also taken roles in local theatrical productions and in 2014 directed & peformed in Female Transport at The Plough Arts Centre.
In addition to her acting experience, Sara studied playwriting skills with Oxford University (home study) and The Bristol Old Vic, and has written her first short play, 100 White Butterflies. She hopes to collaborate with young people to develop scripts in the future. Locally, Sara was on the Bideford 500 'GRAFTAS' judging panel in 2014, and was recently part of a committee that fundraised for a Public Access Defibrillator at Appledore Fire Station.
"My aim is to give young people the opportunity to discover their potential as a performer and as a person. I didn't have that opportunity when I was at school, but when I became involved in Theatre later on I quickly gained confidence and learnt so much about life in the process. I am so glad I took that step."
Carol Shephard-Blandy Director / Musical Theatre Teacher
Carol has never wanted to do anything else and has been lucky enough to work, on and off stage, professionally for 30 years.
Carol trained at The Guildford School of Acting. Theatre credits includes: Mme Dubonnet in The Boy Friend (Jill Freud & Company); Lauren in A Torch Song Trilogy (Kings Head Theatre); The Old Bachelor (Lyric, Hammersmith); George Sands in A Winter in Majorca; The Music Man (Plymouth Theatre Royal); Mrs Squeezum in Lock Up Your Daughters (Theatre Royal, Winchester); national tours of Godspell, The Old Bachelor; When Did You Last See Your Trousers?, Bazaar & Rummage and Steaming. Unaccommodated, Bride or Groom?, A Kind of Alaska, Twelve Pound Look and Amy Is Four (Lunchtime Season - Southwold Theatre); numerous Music Hall Bills and Panto's with Hiss & Boo including Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Aladdin (Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple); Christmas Cat (Leather head) and Sleighrider and at The Players Theatre, Cinderella and Puss In Boots.
Film credits include Martine McCutcheon's replacement in Love Actually.
Production credits include: Production Manager, The Actor's Company 2002 Season at London's Jermyn Street Theatre; Production Assistant for Evergreen Productions; and for eight years was Production Coordinator for Jill Freud & Company - Southwold & Aldeburgh Summer Theatres.
Off stage, Carol has been many things! From singing in the Ladies loo at the Piccadilly Theatre to help raise funds at an Aids Charity Marathon to working as a Tea Lady in a City Firm! Since her latest production in 2006, a son -Toby: Working with with KS2 students at Appledore School on songs and staging as part of their Enrichment afternoons; a Musical Theatre Workshop for Sarah Anne Westcott's Summer Workshop; Music co-ordinator on Female Transport, at The Plough Arts Centre. This year she was thrilled to be asked to help judge the Music category of the GRAFTA's and hopes to be further involved this year.
"Working in groups as well as solo, students will work on pitch, tone, diction and presentation. Everyone can sing and the students will learn that it’s not necessarily how you sound but how you put a song across!"