Youth & Education
Welcome to The Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre – Surrey’s largest Youth Theatre.
We offer something for absolutely everyone and encourage lifelong learning through our classes and workshops. Find out more about our staff by clicking on our images to the right or to find out more about what we do, use the links below.
Our ethos is to inspire and develop young creative minds, by turning great stories into amazing theatre. We ensure young people have a fun, safe place to express themselves, where they can grow in confidence, build lifelong friendships and develop a universal acceptance of others.
We pride ourselves of providing a fully inclusive Youth Theatre for Guildford Borough and offer sibling discounts as well assisted places for those who need them. We also have a Targeted Places scheme that reaches young people in our area who have little or no access to theatre.
For more information on the work of our Youth and Education department or to discuss how we can work with you or your business to improve opportunities for young people and our community please contact the Youth Office.
01483 565 191
Meet the Team
CJ comes from the land of Golden Sun, sandy beaches and good Mexican food. She decided to experience colder climates and toured shows in Canada, Germany, Britain, and settled in Guildford.
Her husband and two young sons to bring her blankets to keep cosy.
CJ became part of the youth theatre in 2006 working with Act 1 and Interval, and after some work away became Head of Youth Theatre in 2017. Her degrees are in Theatre Arts, Stage Management and Technical Theatre, Film and Media Production.
Her California upbringing gives her a warm heart that sparks a passion for theatre, production, and all things Marvel.
Amy is originally from Bristol, where she began ballet at the age of 3. She then moved on to train at Laine Theatre Arts, where she graduated in 2009 with a Trinity Diploma in Musical theatre, and an additional Diploma in Speech and Drama with distinction.
Amy has been teaching performing arts to children and adults for over 10 years. In that time, she has taught and choreographed for many different schools, both in Bristol and in Surrey, including Laine Theatre Arts children's school, Guildford School of Acting’s full time degree students, Bristol School of Performing Arts, The Orpheus Centre and Dynamic Performing Arts. Amy has previously taught for Discover Drama as their dance teacher.
As a performer, she has performed in many styles of theatre, from opera to Shakespeare, including most recently as the title character in the UK Tour of Carrie’s War. Other credits include Free As Air, Gay's The Word, Our Town, Blue Remembered Hills, A Little Night Music, Follies, Hamlet, A Christmas Carol, Sweeney Todd, and the Olivier Award-winning production of La Boheme. Amy has also completed two UK tours of her original one-woman show, Keep the Home Fires Burning, about the lives of women during World War II.
As well as teaching for Discover Drama, Amy also runs her own performing arts school, Apollo Performing Arts, providing dance, drama and singing classes for children and adults in Guildford, at the same time as studying her level 6 British Sign Language, and running around after her one year old son.
In 1993 Jules was asked to create a youth theatre from the existing Act One group for the Yvonne Arnaud. 18 years and 36 productions later she is still here and excited to be a part of such a great team.
She studied Drama and Education at university and then taught and directed in schools at home and abroad before a telephone call from the theatre called her back home from Kenya to start work with the Youth Theatre. Jules is the Youth Theatre Leader for Act 2 and director of the summer show.
David is our go to man for all things musical – in fact, he is Musical Director for Act Two, Act Three our summer show and more recently for our Edinburgh exploits.
It was 1994 when David was ‘dragged into the department kicking and screaming’ to put on a production of Joseph. He enjoyed it so much that he’s been here ever since, notching up over 50 productions including composing the music for several shows written especially for the Youth Theatre. Most recently, we’ve uncovered David’s significant and unwavering love of Marmite.
Laura started her career as the Yvonne Arnaud’s first Apprentice back in 2008. She then went on to teach the Open Stage classes in 2009. She left to train at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and since then has been working as an actor and teacher all over the UK. She has worked with practitioners such as Simon McBurney and Liam Neeson as well as finding time to set up her own theatre company. Never quite able to let go of her love for the Arnaud she is now back where she belongs, jointly running Open Stage with Beth.
Laura is also one half of fantastical musical duo Trundle and Sewell – we think they’re pretty awesome!
Ellie trained at the Arts University Bournemouth, graduating in 2014 with a First Class BA (Hons) in Acting. From there she embarked on an 11-month educational theatre tour in Germany with White Horse Theatre; a tour of Tess of the d’Urbervilles with SISATA Open Air Theatre; and honed in on her ability to find the funniest cat/dog videos.
Ellie now works as a theatre director and workshop facilitator, and is delighted to be working with the Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre full time as their Youth and Education Ambassador. Starting as the Youth Theatre Apprentice in 2016, Ellie now runs the (ever busy) Education Department and is the leader for two of our Production Groups – Scene Change and Act 3. Ellie also had the pleasure of co-directing the brilliantly received 2018 Summer Show, Bugsy Malone, alongside Jules Black and Ally Manson.
In her spare time, Ellie enjoys keeping fit and active (mainly so she can indulge in her love of food) and will be running the 2019 London Marathon to raise money for the fantastic charity, Debra. She welcomes any advice/ sandwiches…
Eve has been "teaching" children and young adults here and abroad for over 15 years and after working her way through the majority of the various departments at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre has finally got her claws into the Encore & Interval at the Youth Theatre. Eve is a graduate of the Guildford School of Acting and has been working as a professional actress for over 10 years playing such versatile roles such as wicked witch, wicked step-mother, wicked Rumplestiltskin and various other wicked antagonists. Some say its her pointy nose, some say its her penchant for boiling small children in large cauldrons. Who can say for sure? Eve, probably. But I wouldn't ask her. Just bring her a coffee and some garlic bread and she'll be happy.
Claire joined the Youth Theatre in September 2018 having spent over 15 years in various PA/Admin roles both within the private and public sector. Claire was PA at the Academy Music Group, based at Brixton Academy for 5 years before moving to Guildford and enjoying various roles at The University of Surrey within the Centre for Environmental Strategy and at the Medical School.
With a guilty pleasure of Electronic 80’s pop and an unhealthy appetite for cheese (the stronger the better), she juggles her time between work, looking after her two young children and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
Jess was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She packed most of her life up into multiple suitcases and arrived in Guildford for University in 2014. During her time at University, she took a fancy to all things paint, design and costume related and graduated from the Guildford School of Acting in 2017.
Jess then spent a year in the 'I don't know what to do with my life' phase working freelance. She painted set, worked as an assistant stage manager and was in various crew and wardrobe jobs.
Her highlights were dressing the dame in the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre pantomime, Dick Whittington and being the assistant stage manager on the actor-muso production of The Secret Garden at The Barn Theatre in Cirencester.
Jess is now one of the Youth Theatre Apprentices for 2018-2019 and hopes to help the team create amazing productions.
Mel Gilbert is a new member to our Youth Team as an Apprentice. She graduated The Sixth Form College Farnborough in 2018 and achieved a Distinction in Performing arts. She was with the same performing arts school for over 10 years, mainly passionate about tap and musical theatre. Mel has always wanted to be in the Performing Arts industry and is excited to see what this year brings her. You can see her artwork in many of our show posters this year.