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Our practitioners include freelance ISTA staff members from all around the world and two full time staff members who have taught in international schools and worked in the entertainment industry.

Anne Drouet, Executive Director & Music

Honorary Life Member - Founding member of ISTA Academy, Shanghai & Hong Kong


Anne has been teaching music and musical theatre since 1994 and her work in and outside the classroom has taken her around the world. As a freelance composer (Anne Wu), Anne has worked with music legend John Altman and recently performed with Andy Summers from the Police. She has also composed music for film (Weinstein Films) and theatre projects. Anne enjoys teaching students to compose with a variety of director's briefs and resources.  Young people who may never have written a note before, learn to express themselves through music and write their own songs using instruments as industry software.  Anne is most inspired by a drive to develop empathy and shape value in young people through powerful experiences in the Performing Arts.


Anne is the founding director of ISTA's first Performing Arts Academy which was based in Shanghai.  She is now the Director of Visual and Performing Arts at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong and is hugely honoured to be setting up ISTA's second permanent home.


Juliette Simms, Drama & Physical Theatre

Juliette was inspired to join the ISTA community after observing the magic of one of their festivals at the ISTA Academy of Hong Kong. Since then she has gone on to work as an ISTA artist, ensemble leader, and festival artistic director, as well as having led several of their professional development sessions online and contributed articles to Scene, ISTA’s online journal. 


With over 20 years' international experience in teaching drama and English, she is passionate about all types of story-telling, in particular giving young people a voice through the creation of original devised theatre. She has choreographed numerous performance pieces, ranging from pure dance and musical theatre numbers through to physical theatre. Juliette is also passionate about bringing Shakespeare to life through creative approaches that open the texts up to performers and audiences alike. 


Lindsey McAlister OBE, JP - Drama & Physical Theatre

After working for the Arts Council of GB and the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lindsey left the UK to travel… after one year she arrived in HK. That was nearly 40 years ago! In 1993, Lindsey founded the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation (YAF) Each year she creates at least one major original performance to be staged in HK. She has toured theatrical performances internationally.


Lindsey was awarded an MBE on the Birthday Honours list in 1997 for her work in the field of youth arts and in 2006 she received an upgrade to an OBE for her contribution to British Arts Overseas. Lindsey is a passionate writer, director, choreographer specialising in physical theatre, her focus is always to help the next generation to find their authentic voice through the arts.

Darren Scully, Drama


ISTA has been a big part of Darren’s life since the early 1990s. He is a former Vice President of ISTA and a trustee. You may have seen him as AD, Rep or host of ISTA festivals both in Europe and Asia. He’s the Director of Performing Arts at the Western International School of Shanghai.


Darren has directed a lot of theatre in over 30 years as a teacher, from classic musicals to edgy experimental work. More recently he has been working on re-interpreting classical texts through physical theatre approaches  and devised work in immersive, site-specific venues.  He is an experienced AD at over 10 festivals and Student Ensemble Leader at TaPS (the IB Theatre programme). He has also worked a lot with teachers as Artist-in-Residence and for professional development at festivals. He has hosted 6 festivals at MS, HS and TaPS levels. Darren has been a contributor to ISTA’s journal, Scene, and co-authored IB Theatre Arts training for teachers.

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