Local Sunderland lass Katie Brace is set to make professional acting debut in the starring role as Tracy Turnblad in hair-raising musical Hairspray at Sunderland Empire on 10 January!




25-year-old Katie was born in Middlesbrough, before moving to Sunderland at the age of three and attending Stacey Penman School of Dance at the age of four, staying there to work on her craft until she was 16.

Katie was also a part of Stagecoach Sunderland until she was 11, it’s at this drama school where she began first performing in shows and really discovering her dazzling talent! 

Despite it being her professional debut, this won’t be the first time Katie has performed on the Sunderland Empire stage. She first performed there when she was just seven years old in a production of Whistle Down The Wind in 2003. 

When she wasn’t on stage, Katie went to primary school in Sunderland, and then secondary school in Washington, whilst still immersing herself in as many extracurricular classes as possible! She attended Sunderland Empire’s summer school programmes and joined Gala Theatre Stage School in Durham at 13 which she attended until she was almost 21 before moving on to drama school.

Finally Katie finished off her theatre education at Newcastle College, studying drama and musical theatre which lead her on to the professional role she’s got today!




As well as entertaining audiences on the big stage, Katie is also going to be doing lots of workshops throughout the North East in order to she can help inspire other kids in the area. Katie is so passionate about giving back to her community as they supported her so much to get to this place.

Interestingly enough, Katie’s great great grandfather wrote the song Teddy Bear’s Picnic and his wife was a Broadway performer, but nobody else in her family has been involved in the entertainment industry or arts ever since… until now.

Katie still lives in Sunderland to this day and her whole family and community are delirious with excitement to see her on that stage! All her old dance school are coming to see her in Hairspray and they’re bursting with pride!

Get your tickets for Hairspray at the Sunderland Empire here!

Will you be seeing Katie’s debut performance in Hairspray? Get in touch online. Twitter: @SunderlandVibe, Instagram: @SunderlandVibe, Facebook: @SunderlandVibe.

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