Meet the SOTA Team
SOTA pupils are taught by a team of highly trained and experienced practitioners who bring a diverse variety of qualifications and professional performance experience to the training offered at SOTA.
JULIETTE CATON (CMT) - Director of SOTA Schools / Director of Voice / Principal of SOTA Reading & SOTA Bracknell
Juliette is one of only 20 Certified Master Teachers in Estill Voice Training within the UK, has over 20 years experience as a professional performer and has coached performers for over 15 years.
Passionate about giving young people a dynamic and challenging learning experience, she co-founded SOTA in 2005. Read more about Juliette.
EMMA STRUTT - Director of Dance
Emma is a qualified ISTD dance teacher and teaches ISTD Modern, Tap and Ballet at SOTA Reading. SOTA pupils blossom under her instruction, benefiting from her technical excellence and sheer love of dance. Under Emma's instruction our students have consistent improved and excelled in their dance training and our exam results of A's & B's are celebrated year after year.
Alex McWilliams - Drama Coach (SOTA Reading)
Ben Ashton - Drama Coach (SOTA Reading)
Ben is a BA Honours Acting graduate of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (2005 - 2008) andThe Patricia Routledge Award & also Spotlight Prize Nominee 2008.
His theatre roles include Benvolio in Romeo & Juliet (Creation Theatre Company);Mercutio in the Royal Shakespeare Company and Mudlark groundbreaking multimedia production of Such Tweet Sorrow; Paris i
n Romeo & Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company); Ernest in Ernest & the Pale Moon (Soho Theatre); Jerry in The Zoo Story & Gus in The Dumb Waiter (South Street Arts Centre. Ben played Mercutio in the workshop of Tweet Sorrow (RSC), was an Actor for Cicely Berry’s Directing Course (RSC), and has contributed in Shakespeare Workshops for RSC/CDS.
Ben's screen credits include Toby Walters in Doctors (BBC); Simon in All About George(ITV); Dan in The Murder Rooms (BBC). Film Projects whilst training: Wesley in Crews(directed by Ian Barber); Bill in Tomorrow (directed by Deborah Paige); Graham Stone inPlay The Game (directed by Ian Barber); Equus (Sonia Frazer).
SAMMY FONFE - SOTA Windsor Principal.
Sammy trained at Italia Conti and is Principal at SOTA Windsor where pupils benefit from her passion for creating an exciting and fun learning environment.
PHIL RILEY - Musical Director & Singing Teacher (SOTA Windsor)
Phil trained at Mountview gaining a degree in Musical Theatre. He is Musical Director at SOTA Windsor teaching singing and arranging. Phil brings his outstanding vocal coaching skills to the pupils who enjoy his fun, well structured and confidence boosting classes.
DANI McCULLUM - Acting & Musical Theatre Coach (SOTA Windsor)
Dani trained at Arts Ed in Musical Theatre and at Bristol Old Vic as an actress and she teaches Drama & Musical Theatre at SOTA Windsor. Dani is a LAMDA Examiner and Founding Co-Director of Reading Between The Lines; Reading's professional acting company. Dani is an extraordinary teacher and her brilliant classes help and encourage SOTA pupils to really benefit from the discipline of becoming a performer.
Laura Bennett - Dance Teacher (SOTA Windsor)
Training: Arts Educational Schools London, gaining a BA (Hons) in musical theatre.
Theatre includes: Loserville (West Yorkshire Playhouse), A Tribute to Glee (Dubai), We Will Rock You (UK and European tour), Never Forget (UK tour), MAMMA MIA! (international tour), P&O world cruise, Dancer for Lisa Scott-Lee (UK tour and China), Aladdin (Malvern) and several seasons at the Hexagon, Reading.
Television includes: commercials for Premier Inn, Burger King, Vodafone, TGI Fridays, SKY 3D and the Mars Football World Cup.
Jess Allen - SOTA Windsor SOTA Seeds (SOTA Windsor)
Jessica studied at RedroofsTheatre School and then at Arts Educational Day School in London witha focus on Dance and Musical Theatre and achieving a distinction grade in all LAMDA majors.
Jessica has been performing from a young age firstly appearing infilms and TV including the named part of ‘Lucy’ in ‘Born and Bred’ along with a wide range of extrawork; ‘Bridget Jones Dairy 2’, ‘Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Tooth’, ‘Down to Earth’, ‘Finding Neverland’ and many more. During her training at Arts EducationalSchool she appeared in the annual Drama, Dance, Acting and Musical Theatreshows as Lead roles as well as chorus. Jessica was lucky enough to appear in ‘Joseph and the Technicoloured Dream Coat’ on tour aspart of the Joseph Choir. Jessica was also a lead dancer in ‘Boggie Nights’ and ‘West Side Story’ with Starmaker Theatre Company.
Jessica is currently playing the part of ‘Erma’ in ‘Anything Goes’ and also choreographing a selection of dance numbers in theCharters School Dance Show. Jessica isalso in the early stages of rehearsals for ‘Godspell’ playing the part of ‘Sonia’. Godspell is her second show with RandomProductions as she was dance captain and part of the chorus in ‘A Sliceof Saturday Night’.
Jessicaloves teaching and watching the children develop their performance ability andimprove their confidence.
Oli Kyte - Drama Coach (SOTA Windsor)
Hollie Taylor - Drama & Dance Coach (SOTA Windsor)
Hollie trained at Arts Educational Schools London, where she received aFirst Class BA Hons Degree.
Hollie originated the role of Veronica in BETTY BLUE EYES at theNovello Theatre in 2011. Other theatre credits include Lamb Chops (as well asunderstudying and playing Serena and Mabel) on the Irish tour of FAME THEMUSICAL, the original revival cast of OLIVER! at the Theatre Royal Drury Lanewhere she played the role of Bet many times, Kelsi in HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL atthe Hammersmith Apollo, HIGH SOCIETY UK Tour understudying and playing the roleof Dinah, and the title roles in SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS at theMansfield Palace and CINDERELLA at Camberley Theatre.
Holliehas also worked in TV, playing leading role in short film THE MAIDS and thetitle role in THE BLOODY MARY SHOW and most recently Frannie Squeers in THELIFE AND ADVENTURES OF NICK NICKLEBY for BBC One.
LAURA BAILEY - Drama Coach (SOTA Bracknell)
Laura trained as an actress at Arts Ed, Chiswick and teaches drama at SOTA Bracknell. The students love Laura's creativity and passion for creating exciting, thought-provoking drama.
Read more about Laura here.
Emma Smith - Principal of SOTA Cookham
Emma trained at Mountview Academy where she received her BA Hons in Acting. In her final year Emma played the lead in the musical Brenda Bly The Teen Detective.
Emma played Gerda in the tour of The Snow Queen with Image Musical Theatre Company and has performed with the creative writing project at The Hampstead Theatre.
A passionate teacher, Emma has also lead workshops for BAFTA.
The SOTA Team also includes student and assistant teachers who have taken a qualification in dance leadership and make a massive contribution to the successful running of SOTA whilst being mentored by the practitioners at SOTA.