John Hudson Music Productions Ltd was formed in 2000, although its two Directors, John and Elissa Hudson had both been involved in performing arts for many years before that.
The first of the company’s stage schools, Tyneside Stage School (as it was known), opened in September 2000.
This was partly as a reaction to feedback from many of the children who came to John Hudson for private tuition in singing, that there was nowhere for them to go to learn the different aspects of performing arts and put them into practice in full-scale musical shows. Following John and Elissa’s own experiences in the local area, where they found that many groups were focussed on singing, dance or drama – but very rarely all three – they decided that the time was right to fill a hole in the area of performing arts tuition. The hole was obviously larger than they thought, as Tyneside Stage School was full from day one, with demand often exceeding available places.
In 2003, the company opened Durham Stage School, offering opportunities to students in Durham and the surrounding area to gain the same experience. The company has also provided the same opportunities in singing, drama and dance to children and young people in Washington and Sunderland; and now has students from across the north-east who are prepared to travel to be part of our classes and shows from as far afield as Sedgefield to Whitley Bay.
After 8 years of training children and young people in performing arts, in 2008 the company took the decision to re-brand as Starset Theatre. As the stage school classes across the north-east were growing in number and size, with more and more students wishing to join and be involved in several shows and productions at once, rather than just those of their own class, John and Elissa decided that a universal name across all the classes would help the students to feel part of the same organisation.
As Starset Theatre, the company has been able to move forward, taking on new projects in schools and working with other performers all under the “Starset” banner. Our classes now run from the excellent facilities at Boldon School, where students have the opportunity to rehearse in the theatre every week. The school also has a dance studio equipped with mirrors, wooden floor and audio system, which opens up opportunities for dance and fitness classes. Our Musical Director, John Hudson, is increasingly in demand with musical societies across the north-east, while our Artistic Director, Elissa Hudson, has also started discussions about directing for other theatre groups. Keep an eye on our Latest News for updates about Starset’s progress….