Stagecoach Shaftesbury

Stagecoach Theatre Arts Shaftesbury provides a drama academy, dance school and singing class all under one roof. We teach key skills in dance, drama and singing to children and teenagers aged 4 to 18 in the Shaftesbury, and surrounding area. Our aim is to nurture and develop every child`s potential through the performing arts, stretching imaginations and building confidence. Our lessons are carefully planned to provide the highest quality performing arts tuition for kids in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. Our students enjoy many performance opportunities and groups have been able to perform on stage At The Exchange Sturminster Newton, The Coade Theatre Bryanston and at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End, the home of Phantom of the Opera. Students have the opportunity to take LAMDA exams. Come and meet us and join in the fun!  You can rest assured that your child is in safe hands. Our new sister school in Blandford opens on Saturday afternoons from September with the same team as we have here at Shaftesbury.

Our Principal, Di Waterman, has been running Stagecoach Schools for 20 years now says
‘Our aim is for every child to have the opportunity to reach their potential and be the best they can be in a nurturing and friendly but professional and disciplined atmosphere.’

For a two week trial Call the Principal on 01305 777308

We offer Performing Arts Exams

Principal Diana Waterman - A.L.A.M dip.perf

Your child is in safe hands. All of our Team are Enhanced DBS checked.

Meet The Team



Our students entered for New Era Musical Theatre Examinations last Spring. At the higher grades these exams carry UCAS points. They did brilliantly, everyone passed with either merit or a distinction. This year we are entering again, we are working on the exams now.


Our Autumn term culminated in a gorgeous extravaganza of dancing and singing which sparkled all the way (literally and metaphorically). Our audience were delighted and both cheered and cried at the appropriate places. It was a great success with both schools collaborating as they have done so well before.


Our summer workshop will be running from 6th - 10th August Monday to Friday with a performance of the show the students have been working on at 5.00 pm last day. We have students who come back for summer school year after year to see old friends and make news ones. We have a great time. It is hard work, but tremendous fun. Come and join in


This musical staged by our senior students was an absolute triumph! Everyone produced wonderful fully rounded characters which absolutely matched the intricacies of the piece. Stephen Sondheim writes wonderful lyrics and music but they are not the easiest to learn and our Stage Three Students really gave it all they had and did a fine job.


Stage ones and twos, took a new look at Lewis Caroll's famous little girl in the blue dress and white apron. We had great fun with a fantastic mime and dance to start and then all the usual suspects were characterized hilariously by our younger students. Very much appreciated by the audience and the actors alike. Well done indeed.


January 2019 we are moving our Shaftesbury morning school to Blandford where we have dance, drama and music studios and space to grow. With both schools on the same site we will have opportunity to have more performing arts activities. Blandford School Arts block is a perfect fit for us and we are very excited to have both schools there.

10th Anniversary Workshop

Our two workshops for Senior and Junior students are packed with drama and fun this year. he Seniors are producing 'Stand and Deliver' a dramatic musical about Highwaymen and the Juniors are visiting the pond in 'Pond Life' a musical about the a garden pond and its amazing adventures with the creatures who live in it.

Weekly Classes

Early Stages (for ages 4-6 yrs)

Early Stages classes run alongside the main Stagecoach schools, where young people learn skills in each of the three Musical Theatre disciplines of singing, dancing & drama, so it is an easy step when it is time to transfer to the next stage.

(90 minutes each week)

Main Stages (for ages 6-18 yrs)

Main Stages classes are split in three age appropriate groups, where young people learn new skills in each of the complementary Musical Theatre disciplines of singing, dancing & drama. We nurture the shy and apprehensive, until they find their feet and voice, whilst at the same time developing and channelling those with bundles of talent, confidence and energy. We believe in the potential of every child!

(3 hrs each week)

Holiday Workshops

Meet The Team

Principal - Diana Waterman - A.L.A.M dip.perf

Diana is a trained actress having studied at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is an Associate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She trained as a singer under Abigail Dodd MBE and has been a Stagecoach Principal since 1995, when she started Central Bristol thereafter opening in Bath, Keynsham, Portishead and North Bristol. She has more than 50 roles to her credit, including the title roles in Carmen, Mame and Hello Dolly, with many director credits including Shakespeare, opera and has co-written six musicals for students and adults all of which have been performed with success.

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