Inspire Academy opened in January 2007 with a group of 17 young actors. Since then the organisation has grown to become one of the Midlands' leading drama workshops with over 130 members.
We focus on discovering and developing new talent from across the East Midlands, with weekly sessions taking place in Nottingham City Centre, close to the Victoria Centre.
The group is split over three age groups; 7-11, 11-16, 16-21, along with an Over 21's group for Inspire Academy Alumni. Our annual auditions for new members take place in the Spring of every year and there is no previous acting experience required to apply.
Our sessions run throughout the year, including through school holidays and half terms. The focus of the sessions vary depending on the projects we're working on. Sessions include: rehearsals for performance projects, acting for camera, improvisation, audition techniques, script work & new writing. At the heart of everything we do at Inspire Academy is our fundamental belief that acting is about seeking truthful and honest performances.
Inspire Academy is also a casting pool and young actors agency, recognised by Spotlight. Notable alumni includes; LARA PEAKE (The English Game, Born to Kill, Brave New World), SHALISHA JAMES-DAVIS (I May Destroy You, Mary Queen of Scots, Death in Parasdise), DAN WOLFF (Leopoldstadt) along with many others.
Luke Gell has been the Director of Inspire Academy since it's beginning in 2007. He is actively involved in leading sessions and directing plays.
Luke's background is as an actor in Television, Film & Theatre. Appearing in Casualty, Holby City, Citizen Khan, Still Open All Hours and many more. He is most recognisable for his role in three series of the BBC's Two Pints of Lager and A Packet of Crisps.
In 2017, Luke made the decision to retire from acting and instead switch his full focus on nurturing new talent. Alongside his active role at Inspire, Luke is the lead agent for the Inspire Academy Agency.
Kadie Papayova has been involved with Inspire Academy since 2008. During her time with us she has directed productions of Boudicea and the iconic; A Streetcar Named Desire. Her triumphant production Square Mile was a particular stand-out, a self-written, loose adaptation of The Wolf of Wall Street staged in an old, empty warehouse in Nottingham City Centre.
Kadie comes from a background as an actor in TV & Theatre and has worked as both a choreographer and movement Director in Theatre. Her most notable acting credits include Wuthering Heights for ITV.
Alongside her work at Inspire Academy, Kadie is a senior human resources manager at a large, multinational corporation.
Silas-Paul Simpson has recently joined the team as an Assistant Director. His biography will follow shortly.