Holywood Road

The most recent Belfast School of Performing Arts venue and school opened on 7 April 2018.

Teaching Team:

Drama – Debra Hill

Debra has worked as a professional actor in Northern Ireland since the age of 9 when she landed the face of a nation wide Health Campaign and starred in the Online and Television advertisement. Realising she had a passion for the arts, she became a member of ‘The Rainbow Factory School of Performing Arts’ and was there for 12 years before leaving to further pursue her career. Debra is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast with a BA HONS Degree in Drama and is currently represented by Lorraine Brennan Acting Management in Dublin. She also has training in Musical Theatre from The London College of Music (Grade 5), Stage Combat (APC), Casting and Screen Acting (Carla Stronge).

She has appeared in many productions with theatre companies such as Spanner in the Works, GBL Productions, Gambit Theatre, c21 Theatre, and Kandu Theatre. In 2012 Debra starred as Cassius in Julius Caesar at The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon and with this knowledge in Shakespeare, in 2016 she was chosen to play the leading role of Miranda in The Belfast Tempest with Terra Nova Productions after a wide social media campaign launched to find an actress to play the role as part of the Shakespeare400 anniversary. Continuing this, she went on to star as Lady MacDuff/Ross at The Grand Opera House Belfast. Debra stars in the world award winning short film The Immaculate Misconception with Partizan Films and currently touring schools in Ireland with Theatre in Education and tackling issues that young people within our generation face today. She was honoured to have recently been asked to perform with Kenneth Branagh at The Ulster Hall in his play Public Enemy as part of ‘Branagh in Belfast’ Freedom of the City celebrations.

Debra has recently just received a place at The Acting Studio drama school in New York City to study at their Summer 2018 Acting Conservatory to further her training and is very excited to be the drama teacher of both BSPA South and BSPA Holywood Road.

Music – Emma Jane McKnight

Emma-Jane McKnight studied Music at the University of Ulster where she graduated with honours.

As a performer herself she has performed in various venues including the SSE Arena, the Ulster Hall and in 2012 the Royal Albert Hall.

She enjoys her chosen career as Vocal and Piano teacher, passing on her knowledge to many children and adults in the County Down area. She has a deep passion for musical theatre and performance, and is thrilled to have been asked to join BSPA as Music Teacher in their new Holywood Rd school and to help provide the perfect platform for our students to express themselves, hone their musical, dramatic and dancing abilities, gain self belief and to of course, have lots of fun in doing so.

Dance – Caitlin McClurg

Caitlin has been performing for 23 years. She started dancing at the age of three and three years later her first performance was alongside Sue Pollard in The Grand Opera House, Belfast, in the Christmas pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk. Caitlin continued to take part in both the Christmas and summer pantomimes until the age of 12.  She also landed the role of Shprintze in the UK tour of Fiddler of the roof for a week long performance with esteemed performer Paul Nicholas.

Caitlin studied musical theatre at SERC, Bangor, for two years. Since then, she has performed various roles across Northern Ireland. Most notably as Tracey Lorde (High Society) in the Grand Opera House.

Centre Manager – Lorraine Parkinson



To register for the Holywood Road school email info@thebspa.co.uk.