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Started by Jimish and Darshana Thakkar in early 2015, The Hive was conceived as a space which would be used to spread joy and teach the art of Drama to children. By mid 2015, The Hive adopted the Trinity College London curriculum and started structuring their courses in accordance with the guidelines of the Speech and Drama and Communication Skills programmes. This decision was taken in order to give our students something tangible to work towards, beyond the performance showcase at the end of each term.

So far, over 1500 students have appeared and successfully cleared various grades of the Trinity College examination. The students of the Hive have performed mega productions such as The Adventures of Indiana (2016), The Boy Who Lived (2017), The Unfortunate Orphans (2018), Makdee (2018), and The Reader of Books (2019), Enormous Crocodile (2021). We have also been pioneers of UAE's largest children's theatre festival powered by Crayola, where in a whopping 300 child actors took the stage performing in massive Roald Dahl productions like Matilda, James and The Giant Peach, The Witches, and The Enormous Crocodile (2022) Our Young Actors Club took the stage by tears and heart in the play adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen (2022).

What started as a dream with 3 batches and 15 students a week, is now a well-oiled machine that sees more than 500 students come over to our studio in Bur Dubai and JLT every week.!

The Hive now has a home in the JLT Cluster – N area of Dubai as well. With Malavika Varadan at the helm since early 2019, The Hive is now comprised of a dedicated, driven, and dynamic group of women who are all deeply passionate about what they do.


Malavika Varadan first discovered her love for theatre when she was 13, with the Artists Repertory Theatre in Bangalore. She went on to act in several productions in the city with various theatre groups before she moved to Dubai to pursue her career in radio. She continued to act and be on stage both through her job and outside of it.

She has been with City 1016 for over 12 years waking up over a million listeners with her morning show, Breakfast no 1. She won the Khaleej Times Woman of Substance award in 2018 and was one among 11 women in the country to be recognized. She was featured as one of Masala's 100 most influential people in the UAE. Her ted talk on 7 ways to make conversation with anyone is one the most watched Tedx talks in the world - with 14 million views. She took The Hive over in January 2019.


Jenalyn, Jen to us, keeps The Hive buzzing. If you've ever called us at the centre, you've spoken to Jen. With a strong background in Business Management, Jen's role has been ever evolving and increasing since she joined us in 2016. She now handles all our finances and is instrumental in keeping our centre running and, more importantly, our teachers sane.


Alba Rose started her journey at The Hive in 2018. She has been a drama educator for over 6 years in Mumbai, starting her journey as a young drama teacher while she was graduating from Mumbai University with a major in English Literature. She is also a qualified special educator with a B.Ed. in Intellectual Disabilities.

She is highly experienced with teaching acting skills, theatrical set design, stage management, and working working with actors of various ages. One of her greatest passions is to see learners with different abilities take on theatre. Her passion project Determined and Dramatic has started with an aim to see inclusive change in Dubai.


Huda Bhaldar is a theatre artist, writer and director from Mumbai. She has been working with theatre productions and organising drama workshops for the last 7 years. She has an honours in English Literature from Mumbai University.

She has directed and acted in plays in Dubai as well. At the Hive, as a drama teacher, she enjoys working with kids aged 4 - 10. Her forte is working with adults, handling corporate projects at the Hive and taking care of tech for theatre productions. She is a fun and engaging trainer keen on making theatre more accessible and that it be used for the best benefits.

Natasha Poojari

Natasha a.k.a Nats has been at The Hive since 2021. For everyone signing up at The Hive JLT, she is our Miss First Impression (JLT): the face, voice and powerhouse on which The Hive thrives. She's a pro multitasker, from business development to being an artist who creates magic with colors as well as makeup and props, Natasha is a vital part of The Hive machinery.

Joanna Dsouza

The newest edition to The Hive's teaching faculty, Joanna Dsouza is a theatre artist, singer-songwriter, director and content writer from Mumbai. The resident movie buff discovered her love for acting, music and the stage at the young age of 4 and has since been a part of numerous music concerts and theatre plays back home.

As a double major in Psychology and English Literature, Joanna has learnt and realized in her own life and over four years of teaching experience, the combined power of the two. As a sibling of a person of determination, she is especially skilled in working with children of determination and she loves it more than anything in the world. Her expertise lie in training various age groups in Drama and Public Speaking. She also handles a major chunk of Social Media Marketing for the team of The Hive. She loves poetry, the rain and long warm hugs.


Trinity College of London is a leading international exam board and independent education charity that has been providing assessments around
the world since 1877. With 850,000 candidates a year, in more than 60 countries worldwide,
Trinity qualifications are specifically designed to help students progress.

At the heart of Trinity's work is the belief that effective communicative and performance skills are life enhancing, know no boundaries, and should be within reach of all. For more details see