Meet the staff at Read Theatre School
Shani Woodley – Principal
Shani has trained extensively for many years in various styles of dance, including Ballet, Tap, Modern, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. She studied Musical Theatre at The Brit School of Performing Arts for two years and then continued her studies at Chichester University graduating with a BA Hons in Dance.
A qualified dance teacher, having also achieved her DDI and DDE teaching qualifications in ISTD Modern Theatre and Tap dance, Shani has also studied Level One and Two in the Estill Voice Training Programme.
As well as being proud Principal of RTS, Shani also teaches and choreographs for other theatre schools, dance schools and companies within the area, enjoying a wide variety of teaching opportunities.
Priding herself in her keen eye for detail, high expectations and passion for the Arts, Shani loves helping young performers to blossom and grow, whilst having fun and learning new skills.
Liam West - Acting Teacher
Liam began treading the boards when he played Billy’s ‘Dad’ in Billy Elliot… aged 13! He was then invited, by the West End creative team to perform one of his scenes on stage at the Victoria Palace, Billy Elliot’s West End home, at a special celebration gala performance of the show.
Having discovered his passion for performing, Liam then trained in acting, singing and dance at School Of The Arts for several years where he achieved his Grade 8 LAMDA Acting qualification in Acting.
Liam has since graduated from East 15 Acting School with a BA Honours Degree in Acting and a passion for performing, teaching and impacting the next generation with the power of drama.
Liam’s film experience includes Philomena, Fury and Macbeth.
This Autumn, Liam will making his professional acting debut since graduating from drama school for the award winning, five star reviewed theatre company Reading Between the Lines in their production of Henry II and he looks forward to bringing this professional experience, back to the pupils at RTS.
Parents & Pupils wishing to see Liam in action can book tickets for Henry II here.
Cat trained and recently graduated from Arts Educational Schools London with a first B A Hons.
Whilst training she was given the opportunity to perform as a soloist in “Some Enchanted Evening” at Cadogan hall alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Cat was delighted to make her professional debut in the Original London production of Les Misérables playing the role of ensemble and covering the role of Cosette.
Cat’s most recent endeavour was with the cast of Doctor Dolittle Uk/Ireland Tour, where she honed her skills as a puppeteer and covered the leading role of Emma Fairfax.
As well as performing, Cat also has a passion for teaching and helping young performers realise their potential. She believes that performing is an important vehicle to help all people in any endeavour and strives to build confidence and create a safe space where young people can be themselves and love what they do.
Paul Glover – Percussion Ensembles Facilitator
Paul, Founder of GoDynamite, is bringing to RTS a series of Samba & Brazilian Carnival Music Workshops.
Drums, agogos, cowbells, shakers, tamborims and group participation combine in this high-energy and multilayered performance spectacle. Pupils will be learning solo parts, interactive breaks and a system of calls and responses culminating in a terrific performance at the end of the term.
Paul’s, reputation as a versatile and hard-working drummer has brought him huge success, including international tours, major festival appearances, national radio, television appearances, drum
masterclasses, studios sessions and more. Paul has worked with a wide range of artists across many genres.
Paul is passionate about learning, education, and access to music for all. He has many years experience of playing and studying drums as well as teaching in widespread and varied situations with a great diversity of people.
Paul is a seasoned workshop facilitator with over a decade of experience. Paul regularly leads diverse groups of varying numbers for various companies, organisations and charities. He is able to direct groups both large and small ensuring participants benefit from engaging with the activity and enjoy the process of learning.
In addition to his experience as a drummer and educator Paul has vast experience in many other roles within the arts and entertainment industry.
Juliette Caton – Creative Patron
Juliette became Creative Patron of RTS in 2013, mentoring and guiding the school’s creative direction, bringing to the school her valuable experience of an extensive professional performing career and years of expertise in the training of young performers.
Jamie & Helen Read – Founders
Jamie & Helen Read, both ex-professional performers themselves – with West End credits to their names, founded what was previously known as Read Dance & Theatre School in October 2006 out of a passion for bringing accessible professional performing arts training to the Thatcham and Newbury area. Together they ran the school for six very happy years. Helen and Jamie then established Read Dance & Theatre College, to provide full-time Foundation level Musical Theatre training and in 2013, passed the reigns of the theatre school to the team that is now lead by Principal – Shani Woodley, to enable them time with their young family and to expand the courses on offer at the college which now also offers a Foundation Course in Acting and a Sixth Form Course which opened in Sept 2015.
Jamie and Helen continue to be huge supporters of the school and our pupils have gone on to train at their fantastic college.