Stage Door Staff

At Stage Door School of Performing Arts we pride ourselves on our staff, all of whom have worked professionally in the industry, both in WA and internationally. We believe that our staff’s experience and expertise in their fields ensure that students develop their craft under highly skilled guidance.

The Stage Door staff range in experience in the performing arts, including lecturing/teaching at WAAPA and other established schools, studying at prestigious international universities, and working professionally in the industry in Perth, over East, and internationally.

Ian Westrip OAM

Stage Door School Director, Executive Producer & Musical Director, Chorus Master and Singer
Ian Westrip OAM, FTCL, AMUSA, ARCM, Dip Ed.

Educated in Perth, London and Glasgow, he was the recipient of a number of prizes and awards as a singing and conducting student, including the Lord Mayor of London singing prize and The Royal Scottish Academy Hugh S Roberton prize for conducting.
During the seventies he pursued a career as a singer of opera an oratorio, singing in the UK and with Australian Opera, Scottish Opera, Canberra Opera and West Australian Opera. At the same time he extended his conducting work especially with West Australian Opera of which he was Acting and Assistant Musical Director and Chorus Master, conducting Nabucco, The Marriage of Figaro, Dido and Aneas, The Medium, The Elixir of Love, Carmen, Amahl and The Night Visitors, Die Fledermaus, other productions and concerts. His singing roles include Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Zurga in Pearlfishers, Papageno in The Magic Flute and Dapertutto in The Tales of Hoffman, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Schaunard in La Boheme, Marullo in Rigoletto, The Minister in Fidelio, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia, Germont in La Traviata, Falke in Die Fledermaus, and Dancairo in Carmen. 

He formed the Music Theatre Company of WA creating more opportunities for young people to work professionally. He was also Musical Director of UWA Choral Society. 

After completing 13 years as Director of Music at John XXIII College, he took the position of Chorus Master of English National Opera and conducted a recording of Intermezzi and Preludes with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. 

Returning to WA, he again took up Musical Direction of the Music Theatre Company and the management and responsibility of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Major projects in this period were as Chorus Master for Edgley’s Production of Aida, conductor of La Traviata, La Boheme and Verdi’s Requiem for Regal Opera. 

He is currently Managing Director of the Stage Door School of Performing Arts which he founded in 1996 to teach and promote singing and music theatre with young people. 

Until 2003 Ian was a lecturer in singing in Music Theatre and Classical Departments at WAPPA and has been lecturer in singing at UWA and ECU Classical departments. He manages, promotes and conducts concerts with the Perth Lyric Chorale as well as teaching privately.
In 1998 he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to music in Australia as a performer and teacher. 

The ICW Performing Arts Association (INC) is his new initiative with a goal of assisting youth and persons with disability in the performing arts. 
ICW Productions has now become an established part of the WA Arts scene with its highly regarded quality productions of OLIVER, COMPANY, LES MISERABLES and CATS. In 2014 THE MIKADO, THE SOUND OF MUSIC and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA were presented, with further productions of THE WIZ (Iona PC) and OKLAHOMA (MUSAE) 2015 and OLIVER (ICW Productions) 2016.

The Best of British concerts have also been revived under the banner of ICW productions and will continue into 2018.
He was most recently Guest Chorus Master of WA Opera Company’s season of Carmen.

Emily Star 

Emily is a skilled Actor and Performer, who works in a variety of multidisciplinary settings.  Originally from Brisbane, Emily has recently made the move to Perth to study a Bachelor of Performing Arts at WAAPA. Emily is technically trained in a variety of dance styles including ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary, and has surrounded herself in all aspects of the performing arts from a young age. Her passion for performing led her to undertake fulltime Musical Theatre Studies for 2 years, where she performed in Urinetown, Songs for a New World and a variety of Cabarets in a solo & group context. So far her teaching has led her both interstate and overseas, allowing her to have worked with a wide variety of children in various settings.

Her most rewarding teaching experience to date is having the opportunity to work and tour as a Dance Captain on the mass ensemble of the national tour of ‘Grease the Arena Experience’. Emily’s background in live performance extends to solo singing and acting, making her a versatile teacher when talking about the performative aspects of dance. Emily is an approachable and committed Teacher who is keen to share her passion for music theatre, with those that she teaches. For her, creating a comfortable and supportive classroom is her goal as she believes it is the best atmosphere to encourage and nurture young performers.

Jay Walsh 

Jay is a seasoned performer in all forms of entertainment for over 40 years, including theatre, opera and variety. Among over 80 professional productions there have been notable performances as First Gravedigger in Hamlet, Trinculo in The Tempest, with the Hole in the Wall Theatre Company, and Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night for Class Act. In the Blue Room, he created the lead male role in Blood and Bone by Kate Mulvaney, an eccentric Father in For The Birds by Jenni Baird, and another unfortunate dad, Rob, in My Father’s House written and directed by Lis Hoffmann. He was nominated for Best Actor for his performance as Wal in Class Act’s Hotel Sorrento. In recent years he played Ben in the World Premiere of David Williamson’s When Dad Married Fury alongside the late Edgar Metcalf, and Bishop Sheil in Her Holiness. He played Fagin in ICW’s production of Oliver! In 2016.

Other appearances include Ed in Heather Nimmo’s The Other Woman for Steamworks/Black Swan; Mr. Rice in the Last Seen Imagining/Perth Theatre Company production of Molly Sweeney by Brian Friel. For Artrage he created and played the lead role, Jay, in The Audition, written and directed by Michael Bond, Maloney in the Black Swan/LRF production of On Our Selection at Tranby House, and Johnny Tuxedo in Suits – the Musical for Handzon Productions. 

On television, he played Papa Graziano in 19 episodes of Streetsmartz. Recently, he has been seen frequently in television commercials and on buses for commercials for Homebuyers Centre. 

He is a yarn spinner and story teller and has appeared with Roger Montgomery and Jon Doust.

Jay received the Equity Guild Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Industry at the Equity Guild Awards in 2001. He is a Marriage and Funeral Celebrant and has officiated at over 1500 weddings and funerals. He has been a member of Actors Equity since 1979, and is currently appearing in a number of Murder Mysteries for Cluedunnit!

Igor Sas - Head of Drama  

Training: At ECU completing a post graduate Diploma of Arts (Theatre Practices), a Graduate Diploma of Education (secondary drama) and has a degree in Architecture. Igor has worked for many of Australia’s major theatre companies. He was nominated for Best Male Actor in the Equity awards WA for two consecutive years, 2001 & 2002 and won the award in 2015 (PAWA).

Theatre includes: The Golden Valley (world premier, Magpie Theatre South Australia, The Blind Giant is Dancing (world premier, State Theatre Company of South Australia), Stand Up for Shakespeare (Sydney Theatre Company), Art (touring production, Melbourne Theatre Company), Soulmates (Perth Theatre Company), The Gathering and The Red Shoes (Thin Ice/ Black Swan), Zastrozzi (Black Swan Theatre), The Web (Hothouse/Black Swan State Theatre), Fragmented ( Blue Room WA), The Swimming Club (Melbourne Theatre Company/ Black Swan State Theatre Company), The Trial (Thin Ice/ Malthouse Theatre Melbourne/ Sydney Theatre Company), When the Rain Stops Falling (Black Swan State Theatre Company), The Fremantle Candidate (Deckchair Theatre), Death of a Salesman (Black Swan State Theatre Company), As you Like It (Black Swan State Theatre Company) and laughter on the 23rd Floor (Black Swan State Theatre Company).

TV credits: Lockie Leonard, Ship To Shore, and Parallax.

Film Credits: Twelfth Night, Justice, Teesh and Trude, Japanese Story, Needle, Three Acts of Murder, Drift, The Turning, The Reckoning and Blue Dog.

Musicals: Guys and Dolls (National Theatre London/Adelaide Festival Centre), Pal Joey (State Theatre Co. of SA), Beach Blanket Tempest (SWY Theatre), Cats (ICW), The Sound of Music(ICW), The Phantom of the Opera(ICW) and Oklahoma (Musae)

Directing: He has directed for the National Theatre Company (Perth), State Theatre Company of South Australia (Magpie TIE), John Curtin College of the Arts WA, Presbyterian Ladies College WA, All Saints College WA, Guildford Grammar School, the critically acclaimed production of Closer at the Rechabites Hall Theatre WA (2007), The Good Thief starring Allan Girod (2009) Blue Room Theatre, When Harry Met Harry (2010) again with Allan Girod for the Blue Room Theatre and touring The Canadian Fringe Festival.

Igor has been a proud member of Equity since 1975.

Ksenia Arkhipova - Stage Door School Head Russian Drama teacher  

Ksenia was born in Moscow and she was devoted to the theatre from early age. She was playing in kids’ theatre from the age of 8 and attended classes of public speaking, poetry, artistic writing and a musical school. Throughout school years she has been writing scenarios and she has been staging her own performances at school and in summer camps, which involved up to 100 people being present on the stage.

When Ksenia was 10, she joined Russian Folk ensemble “Veretentse”, with which she performed on some main stages in Russia, including Kremlin palace and concert hall “Rossiya”. Though these performances mainly involved singing, it was a great school of stage voice techniques, which Ksenia willingly shares with her students. During university period, Ksenia was working on the radio and continued staging shows at universities and at the “Palace” of art and crafts of children and youth in Moscow. Not lacking sense of humour, Ksenia was a part of KVN team of Gubkin university and performed as a stand-up comedian. In Perth Ksenia has written several scenarios for Russian community concerts and plays. She acts as a conferencier, MC and a stand-up comedian.

For Ksenia the focus areas of teaching students drama are:
- Understanding the psychology of the character to be played, which is an excellent skill to learn to understand other people and predict the behaviours;

- Creative thinking;
- Partnership;
- Articulation, pronunciation and strength of voice – which is a great skill for any public speaking;
- Mastery in Russian language;
- Have fun.

“I am trying to give children knowledge which they could be applying in their everyday life”.






Stage Door is proud to
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of Screen Craft in 2019.


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