Stagecoach Washington and Chester-le-Street

A very big welcome to Stagecoach Washington and Chester-le-Street where we provide weekly classes in singing, dance and drama for 4-18 year olds. Stagecoach Washington are one of the few performing arts schools in the area, able to accept childcare vouchers and tax-free childcare payments.
Myself and the amazing teachers, help all our students build confidence and life skills they can take into adulthood. Stagecoach has a strong educational framework, and our classes are fun and a place to make friends for life. We also provide regular opportunities to perform both within the school and in other venues.
We always offer a 2 week trial to get to know us first. For more info on our classes, or to enrol for a trial, please click on the Weekly Classes button below.

Principal Melanie Hill

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


Summer Workshop!

Our Summer Workshop will be a fun week of singing, dance and drama with the show We Will Rock You. For children aged 6-18, it will be a week to remember at Hermitage Academy! Available for non-Stagecoach children as well as regular students. Enrol now!

Summer 2022 register open

Our FAB new Summer Term is open for new students now. Enrol now for a 2-week trial for either our Saturday morning school in Chester-le-Street, or our Friday evening school in Washington. Places are limited but it's not too late to join!

Feedback from our parents

Tax free childcare

We are able to accept payments from the government tax-free childcare system for our fees. Which effectively means they pay 20%! The system is available for most people with children up to the age of 12. See their website for more info and to apply.

Weekly Classes

Early Stages (for ages 4-6 yrs)

Stagecoach Early Stages
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)

Stagecoach Main Stages
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)

Further Stages (for ages 15+ yrs)

Stagecoach Further Stages
Our advanced musical theatre sessions give talented students the chance to extend their performance skills.  Through in-depth training and master classes, we help students to hone their skills in singing, dancing and acting.  We also give students the confidence to audition for theatre and vocational drama schools (if that is their goal) and make sure they are well prepared for interviews and auditions. 

Fees in accordance with Main Stages.

Holiday Workshops

Meet The Team

Principal - Melanie Hill

Melanie has a passion for ensuring that every child has the best possible education in theatre arts to help them build vital life skills for their future. Her experience over the past 23 years combines performance, marketing and producing. She’s performed since the age of 14 in musical theatre around the North East and London, and she is now a professional voiceover artist. As a producer, Melanie has staged productions in London’s off-West End and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She co-produced the UK premier in 2008 of the musical ‘The Thing About Men’ by Jimmy Roberts and Joe Di Pietro, directed by Anthony Drewe, at the King’s Head Theatre in London which starred West End performers Paul Baker, Tiffany Graves, Nicola Dawn, Hal Fowler and Tim Rogers. Melanie has also produced shows and cabarets with actors including Paul Nicholas, Frances Ruffelle, Carmen Cusack, Robin Cousins and Adele Anderson, and Edinburgh Fringe productions of ‘The Thing About Men’, ‘A…My Name Is Alice’, ‘Just So’ and ‘Have A Nice Life’.

Although originally a Southerner, Melanie spent a lot of her childhood in the North East in Chester-le-Street. She then lived and worked in London for 20 years, but was overjoyed to move back to the North East 3 years ago and is now married to her childhood sweetheart who is teaching her how to be a proper Geordie!

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