Vivo D'Arte School of Theatre Arts

Find out more about us and meet the team behind the theatre school.

Leading Musical Theatre Professionals

Meet the Vivo D'Arte School of Theatre Arts Team

Our school is led by founder and principal Dan Cowtan. Dan is supported by a team with years of professional experience in musical theatre. Whether it’s acting, singing or dancing, we provide an unparalleled learning experience. We’re passionate about helping young people develop and thrive. So we are dedicated to ensuring we give our students the right support, experience and skills needed. In order to achieve whatever they want to.

Dan Cowtan Headshot

Dan Cowtan


Dan has been working as a director, producer and singing teacher within musical theatre and opera for almost 20 years.

A student of the Royal Northern College of Music and a classically trained tenor, Dan has performed in a wide range of musical genres including productions such as Eugen Onegin, La Rondine, Threepenny Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Whistle Down the Wind and Oliver.

In more recent years, Dan’s main focus has been his work as a director, producer and educator. As managing director of Vivo D’Arte Ltd, Dan has worked consistently to create relationships within all areas of theatre and currently works in partnership with the Ambassador Theatre Group. As a director, Dan take’s great pride in creating exciting and innovative theatre.

Dan’s continued passion is supporting and developing all levels of performers and creatives within arts education.

Sara Lawson Headshot

Sara Lawson

Vocal Coach

Sara trained at both the Royal Northern College of Music and Royal Academy of Music, gaining a First Class BMus Honors Degree and a Post-Graduate Diploma with Distinction. She then gained a place on the professional development programme at English National Opera.   As a soloist Sara has performed all around the country including, The Royal Albert Hall, Harrogate International Centre, The Barbican, Bridgewater hall and Buxton Opera House. 

Roles performed include Tatyana (Eugene Onegin) Mimi (La Boheme), Fox (The Cunning Little Vixen), Bianca (La Rondine), Mona Morales (Bandanna) and Eartha Waites (Hollow Hill). 

Sara recently collaborated with John Kefala Kerr on the world premieres of two of his works: Steamsong and Arcadia.  Sara is currently the manager and head of singing at Jackie Palmer Academy in High Wycombe. The course focuses on training young performers with a professional approach. The full-time, two-year BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts course allows students to learn all aspects of the performing arts.

Shomari Knott Headshot

Shomari Knot



The Urdang Academy

Theatre/Film Credits

Little Mix/McDonald’s (Advertisement), Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Productions, Hinged Dance Company, Buddha Bar Marrakech Resident Show, Rueben Feels, Love Ratri (film), Pagalpanti (film), BBC Asian Network Live. Reuben Feels company, Southern Comfort Mardi Gras event. What’s love got to do with it (2021 film)


Buddha Bar Marrakech, Buddah Bar Beach Bodrum.

George Watkins

Vocal and Acting Coach

George graduated from his Masters studies in Musical Theatre at the Royal Academy of Music in 2019, where he studied under the tutelage of Mary King.

He completed his undergraduate studies in classical voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, under international Tenor Jeff Stewart.

During his time at the Royal Academy of Music, George was lucky enough to work under the baton of Dan Bowling (Musical Supervisor for Les Miserables, The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera in the West End), Alfonso Casado Trigo (Musical Supervisor for Les Miserables in the West End), as well as being directed by Bijan Sheibani (National Theatre), Chrissie Cartwright (CATS West End/ International tour) as well as taking part in masterclasses with household names such as Imelda Staunton, Patti LuPone and Jenna Russell.

Jon Stacey

Technical Theatre

Jon is a graduate from the Guildford School of Acting where he studied Professional Production skills. Jon has worked as a lighting designer on several productions including Mr Maker and the Shapes the UK Tour, The Stationmaster, Elf Junior and The Son of James Dean.

Jon has also recently worked in Germany as an assistant lighting designer to Andy Voller on the production of Carmen Cubana.

Christian Ashby

Technical Theatre

Christian has been involved in theatre in various technical roles for many years.

As Technical Director of the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club, responsible for the technical crew for up to 40 shows a year, his experience ranges from carpentry, sound and lighting design to stage management.

His main passion is in sound engineering musicals – with a brief experience working as a deputy sound number 2 on Fame! The Musical in The West End.

When time allows outside of a career as an IT solutions architect, Christian has worked on a number of shows for Vivo D’Arte including the immersive musical Parade in Hemel Hempstead.

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Contact us

If you’d like to find out more about our school of theatre arts, then we’d love to hear from you. Just give us a call, drop us an email, or fill out the contact form.