Gillian Brunings

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Gillian Brunings (1975-) is a British-born teacher, performer, playwright, director and principal of a theatre school. (Also works under the name Gill Brunings)


Born in York, England and performed in her first professional show at the age of 9. In 1991 completed high school with 9 GCSEs C and above at Huntington School. Moved to Durban, South Africa in 1996.


In 1994 Completed a B.Tech Performing Arts at Harrogate College, U.K. In 2001 she completed the IMM Sales Management course with Damelin, Durban and in 2004 the MDP (Management Development Programme) at Stellenbosch University


On finishing high school, she Began working as a Product Manager: Training Resources Saville Group LTD, U.K. in 1994, then joined ETA Audio-visual, Durban in Sales Support in 1996, in 1998 became Sales Manager with Advanced Cabling, and in 2002 Customer Advocate for Dimension Data, Durban.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

In 2007 she left Dimension Data to found and become the owner/director of the Rising Star Performing Arts (RSPA) Theatre School in Durban, Kwazulu-Natal; an extra mural theatre school offering training in stage and screen performance.

As teacher

Besides running the RSPA theatre school, and teaching in the school, she has inter alia been a LAMDA examinations teacher, and a locum English and Drama teacher at Highbury Prep, and contracted Drama Teacher at Penzance Primary School and Hillcrest Primary School.

In Theatre Administration

Has had stints as Action Secretary, and a member of the Props and Marketing Departments of the Youth Theatre Yorkshire. - Youth Theatre Also contracted to the Arts and Marketing Department of The Playhouse, Durban.

Since 2007 she has been the owner. director and principal of the Rising Star Performing Arts (RSPA)

As performer

Besides being a member of the chorus for many musical shows, she has played roles such as Punch in Punch and Judy; Dorothy in Wizard of Oz; Helen in Abelard and Heloise; the Doctor in Alfie; and Helga in her own play The Art of Making Art.

Stage productions she has appeared in include: James and the Giant Peach; Aladdin; The Wizard of Oz (Wicked Witch and later Dorothy); Blitz; Fiddler on the Roof; Toad of Toad Hall (Toad); Babes in the Wood; Punch and Judy (Punch); Abelard and Heloise (Helen); Alfie; Millennium Dame; The Breeders Are Coming; The Art of Making Art; Dish of The Day (Carol); Dancers Love Dogs;

As Director

Her numerous directing credits with schools include Hansel and Gretel (Seabrooke's Theatre), Art of Making Art (Westville Theatre), Honk! (Seabrooke's Theatre) and Hope Springs (Catalina Theatre).

As playwright

Wrote a number of works for schools and her students, including:

Art of Making Art, Scrooges Tale, Christmas in Africa, Wonka's Golden Ticket, Hansel and Gretel, Galaxy Rock! and African Magic.

Awards, etc

In 2014 her play Christmas in Africa was selected and published in the Trinity College International Playwriting Collection.


Curriculum Vitae of Gill Brunings (E-mail correspondence with Temple Hauptfleisch, 25 April, 2014.)

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