Forrester Academies t/a Performing Stars and Sky Theatre
A local Performing Academy
In Summer 2011, Suzanne and Lex organised a week-long theatre workshop at John Ferneley College. The workshop was attended by 45 children, aged between 5 and 16 and consisted of lessons in performance techniques from Suzanne and other industry professionals, concluding with a performance at Melton Theatre.
The success of the workshops and the positive feedback received from the parents led to Performing Stars commencing its first academic year that September. Spurred on by early success, a second branch was opened in Birstall in September the following year, with a further branch opened in Burton in September 2014. However, it quickly became apparent that the success of Performing Stars in Melton was largely down to the presence of Suzanne and Lex within the community, which was difficult to replicate elsewhere. Suzanne and Lex instead decided to focus on expansion within the town in which they had such a strong presence.
Sky Theatre was later formed as an adjunct to Performing Stars and offers students of the academy the opportunity to join other local performers in a high-level theatre production. The first Sky production, Les Miserables was performed to critical success in Summer 2015. This was followed by youth productions of Phantom the Opera and Singin’ in the Rain and Sky’s first adult productions: Legally Blonde and American Idiot.
Suzanne and Lex first engaged RR Accountancy in 2012; as the business developed, RR offered guidance to Suzanne and Lex on tax and revenue concerns, as well as business advice during periods of expansion.
With support from RR Accountancy, Performing Stars continues to grow as an organisation and as a community resource with services and classes being continually added to the roster, in response to feedback from the students and parents. They now provide graded dance classes in ballet, tap and jazz as well as non-graded classes in contemporary, acro and street dance. In addition, the Capella adult choir has been introduced, offering parents the chance to sing in a group and perform on stage.
Starting with just 30 students in 2011, Performing Stars now has over 300 students across the various classes. Several students have also progressed to drama school and professional performances. Suzanne feels that much of the success and development of the company has been due to the continuing support of RR Accountancy with whom she is now working on a business plan for further growth and more exciting opportunities.