Our YPT Team
Theatre School Principal
Claire is a qualified primary school teacher with a focus on the arts and has been involved with Young Peoples Theatre since 1991. She started out as a year 5 student and tutored classes as a young adult, before becoming the principal of the theatre school.
As the principal of the theatre school, Claire is striving to maintain the fantastic foundations that have been laid by those before her, as well as bringing new programs in to keep YPT a fresh and contemporary place. She stands by our motto: theatre for young people, by young people.
As well as acting and makeup design, Claire has also taken on other roles at the theatre such as front of house, canteen, choreography, backstage crew, stage manager, set painter and director.
Claire has definitely come a long way since the little girl running around on stage in a squirrel costume and she attributes this to everyone at YPT, her mentors, her colleagues, her students, her parents and her friends.
Aaron has a long history in theatre and has been developing skills on and off stage since the age of 10, became a Stage Manager in his teens, directed his first production in his early 20’s and has worked commercially with Opera Australia and Kookaburra Musical Theatre Company.
Aaron has been nominated several times for best direction at the City of Newcastle Drama Awards and has had a vast number of the productions he has directed nominated for best production!
A graduate of the University of Newcastle (BTeach/Arts – Drama, English), he has developed a passion for developing young people and is an advocate for arts education.
In addition to his work at YPT and as a Drama/English teacher he is also completing his Masters Degree in Educational Leadership through Southern Cross University.
Aaron is very proud to be part of the YPT family and is thankful to the countless volunteer hours that contribute to its continuing success.
Theatre Company Assistant
Chelsea has been training in the performing arts since age 4, when she took her first dance lesson and has gone out to have a career in the industry. Chelsea hold her Diploma of Arts (Acting) through the Regional Institute of Performing Arts, completed a 2-year full-time dance course through Newcastle Dance Academy and has an Associate Diploma of Performance (Musical Theatre) through Trinity College London. As well as being the Theatre Company Assistant and Senior Tutor at Young Peoples Theatre, Chelsea currently works as a performer for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Chelsea’s performing highlights include playing ‘Kate’ in the theatre-in-education touring show Opening Doors produced by the Nib Foundation/ Tantrum Youth Arts, was ‘Sammy’ in the Peppa Pig Show Live, ‘Queen Miranda’ in the Sofia the First Storytime Live, performed in and was dance captain for the Metropolitan Players shows Mary Poppins and Wicked and most recently appeared in the cast of a Mystery Musical with The Very Popular Theatre Company. Chelsea is also a director/ choreographer most recently working on, CATS Abridged, Seussical KIDS, Little Women and The Addams Family.
Chelsea has taught dance, drama and musical theatre at several institutions around the hunter and has been involved with many theatre companies. Chelsea is a member of the City of Newcastle Drama Association Committee and has been a selected performer/ choreographer for the CONDA Award Ceremony for several years. She was also nominated for a CONDA for Costume Design for CATS Abridged. Chelsea was the Nib Foundation’s Inspiring Young Australian for the Newcastle Community and was featured in their Youth Week Campaign.
Chelsea is delighted to work as a part of YPT and thanks the students for the enthusiasm and willingness to learn that the bring to YPT.
Young People’s Theatre is an incorporated community organisation administered by a Management Committee elected by the Adult Members at the Annual General Meeting in March each year.
General Meetings are held at the Theatre on the third Tuesday of each month at 7pm. Parents/carers are encouraged to become Adult Members, to attend the meetings and to participate in running the organisation.
2018 YPT Management Committee
PRESIDENT Monica Skehan
VICE PRESIDENT Jane Smith
SECRETARY Robyn McLean
ASSISTANT SECRETARY Natalie Peattie
TREASURER Karen Eveleigh
ASSISTANT TREASURER Sarah Skehan-Ryba
COMMITTEE MEMBER Janene Fox
PRINCIPAL THEATRE SCHOOL Claire Thomas
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Aaron Taylor
THEATRE COMPANY ASSISTANT Chelsea Willis
OFFICE ASSISTANT Katie Heath
Life Membership is awarded to adult members who have demonstrated outstanding service to the association.
Mary Ann HILL
Lyris LEIS (d)
Robert (Bob) PRICE
Young People’s Theatre has nurtured the careers of many young people, with many former students continuing to maintain a focus on the Arts and Entertainment Industry.
Former students have become performers on the stage and screen, and behind the scenes as teachers, directors and lighting and sound technicians.
Melvin JAMES RELF