The Playhouse - the new creative space where our Illawarra kids can find their own groove!

 Naomi Cotterill Wed 15 August 18


Psssst! Have you heard about The Playhouse? No? If you’ve got a creative little soul or quirky character on your hands, then you might want to turn your ears firmly to the ‘ON’ position ‘cos we’re about to spill the beans on the Illawarra’s premiere creative space for little (and bigger!) people. 

Founded in Thirroul, The Playhouse is the brainchild of absolute drama fiends, Siobhan and Daley Chaston. Parents to two gorgeous boys (and two equally gorgeous dogs), the Chaston duo wanted to give the Coal Coast an inclusive, creative space where kids were free to just BE. The Playhouse is all about celebrating all that is awesome and unique about our kids, through drama.

With locations in both Thirroul and Balgownie and term time classes catering for children 5-12, there’s a whole host of reasons to check out a class.

1. Drama helps everyone to be heard – Drama classes at The Playhouse are all about giving kids permission to be themselves, in whatever way ‘works’ for them. This opportunity is invaluable for providing a safe and secure space for self-expression and discovery, and plenty of fun along the way.

2. The Playhouse is all about inclusivity – Being a kid, especially a kid who might be a little on the quirky side, can be TOUGH. Siobhan and Daley get it. They’re all about catering for the individual needs of each student. Whether it’s a student who finds coming out of their shell really difficult or one who is at the opposite end of the spectrum and is constantly told to ‘tone it down’, classes at The Playhouse offer both these kids the chance to embrace their personality and use it to create something awesome.

3. It offers plenty of scope for creative play – Kids, even the older ones, learn through play. And play isn’t always top of the agenda in formalised learning. Classes at The Playhouse are structured around providing those much needed opportunities for creative play and self-expression, without the pressure of ticking the boxes or reigning in big ideas.

4. It teaches skills far beyond the dramatic – Yes, it’s a drama class BUT there’s so much more to it than that. The Playhouse has three core values that each and every student agrees to abide by; fun, inclusivity and respect. Skills that not only ensure a cohesive class space but that foster a great attitude towards life outside of the community centre/scout hall.

5. The Playhouse gives a voice to everyone – Like the child at a vacation care program who wore the ‘difficult’ label who, at the end of class, informed everyone that it had been ‘the best day of his life.’ Or the student who wrote a letter to let The Playhouse know that it had become her ‘safe space.’ Real kids, real connection, and the chance to be heard.

6. The Playhouse is run by people who ‘get it’ – Many parents remark that there’s something different about classes at The Playhouse. It’s an intangible feeling, a vibe if you will, that makes the space a little bit magical. It’s largely thanks to the love Siobhan and Daley pour into each class. They genuinely adore what they do and that spills out into every activity and interaction.There’s no going through the motions here. Kids feel that. And it makes them feel good.

Want to check out The Playhouse and experience firsthand what it has to offer? Classes are available at both Thirroul Library and Community Centre and Balgownie Scout Hall, Monday – Thursday afternoon for school aged children. 

The first class is a FREE TRIAL for kids (and parents) to get a feel for the structure and activities. School holiday programs are also available.

For more information, visit

With thanks to The Playhouse for working in partnership with Parents Guide, for bringing their unique vibe to the Illawarra and helping sponsor this article!



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