Paving the path for next-generation performers

The success of Stagecoach’s model is built upon not only a passion for the arts, but also ongoing support and training that helps every franchisee create the best learning environment for future performers.

‘Stagecoach schools provide a thriving, nurturing and supportive environment for creative learning. That’s just one of the reasons why more than 55,000 children attend our classes worldwide, every week. It’s providing artists with direct access to share their passion in performing arts with young, enthusiastic minds,’ says Andy Knights, CEO of Stagecoach Performing Arts, the UK’s largest network of part-time performing art schools for children. 

Since opening in 1988, the Stagecoach franchise – now with over 300 franchisees across eight countries – has unlocked the potential of more than one million students. It is built upon the ethos of guiding franchisees to “work for yourself, not by yourself”. 

Knights continues: ‘All franchisees receive, not just the foundational model on which to build their business, but also ongoing training. Stagecoach provides industry-leading support in marketing, customer service, IT and business development. The tried-and-tested structure enables franchisees to play to their strengths and provides the best possible environment in which to succeed.’

Knights adds that even if you’re not a teacher, a Stagecoach franchise could be perfect for you because ‘as a franchisee you are not expected to teach, but to oversee’. 

‘You manage the running of your school and recruit teachers within the disciplines of singing, acting and dancing to deliver the classes.’Investment to become a Stagecoach franchisee starts from $20,000*, with Stagecoach providing both initial and ongoing training for Principals and Managers on key topics, including Mentoring and Professional Development, Planning and Progress, Customer Service, Financial Management and more. 

The franchisee will also gain access to a global network of like-minded individuals who share a passion for helping their students achieve their goals – another vital aspect that makes Stagecoach so successful, says Knights. 

‘Stagecoach Performing Arts is a successful franchise operation because of the wealth of knowledge and experience our diverse franchisees bring into our network.’

Knights continues: ‘Our Discovery Chats are designed not only for prospective franchisees to learn more about Stagecoach, but for us to learn about you too. If you have a passion for performing arts, experience or a desire to develop the lives of young people in your local community, and the willingness to learn new skills – we would love to hear from you.’ 

Supporting students to reach their potential

In addition to the support provided for franchisees, ‘Stagecoach has developed a unique Educational Framework for each stage of learning,’ says Knights. ‘The ages of children in each stage may vary across the country depending on the children attending, but our talented and experienced teachers have the flexibility to adapt their class content to the interests, talents and ages of their students.

‘There will be variances in the delivery of the Educational Framework from school to school as each Principal and their teachers choose the exciting, creative content that is appropriate for their school to personalise students’ learning. 

‘Our framework helps every student develop and reach their full potential,’ Knights adds. 

He continues: ‘Every year, each school has the opportunity to offer a number of annual scholarships to students from low-income families. For the first time, last year some schools offered scholarships to Ukrainian children. This is aligned with Stagecoach’s community focus, and efforts to provide opportunities.’

Read: How your performing arts skills can equip you for a new career

Students can access quality training in acting, singing and dancing, as well as gain a breadth of insight into the world of performing. 

Knights continues: ‘Building a network of passionate and skilled franchisees is a great feeling, because I know that each and every single one of them is making a positive impact on their students’ lives as well as their own. Many of our students find success on the stage or go into film and other areas of the performing arts industry, but the stories I hear that remind me what this business is all about, are those of the shy students who, thanks to Stagecoach, are now confident enough to stand at the front of their class and present their projects to parents and peers. 

‘Our ethos is to equip young people with “Creative Courage for Life” – regardless of the path they choose to take in their future,’ he concludes. 

Stagecoach is owned by Trafalgar Entertainment, home to Trafalgar Theatre, comprising Trafalgar Theatre and Olympia Theatre in London, Theatre Royal Sydney and 12 UK regional venues.

Ready to become a Stagecoach franchisee? Learn more.

*The franchise fee is for a new territory and excludes taxes.

Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. Most recently she took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne. Instagram: @lleizy_