Theatre is the art of looking at ourselves (Augusto Boal)
I grew up in the East Riding and my earliest memories are of Saturday morning dance and drama classes and performing in local festivals and school productions. I became a member of the National Youth Theatre when I was 16 years old and went on to read Drama at The University of Manchester when I was 18 years old.
Alongside my aspirations of becoming a professional actor, my degree course also introduced me to the teachings of Applied Theatre, in particular, within the community, prisons and places of war. I came to understand how the arts can be used to make the world a better place by aiding the personal, social, political and learning development of individuals and communities.
Following university, I co-founded Northern Lights Drama Theatre School, providing high quality teaching and support to young people across Hull and East Yorkshire. I was a founding member of She Productions and became a Trustee when the company formed as a CIO in 2020. It is an honour to be able to support these talented women who I also call my friends and I feel very lucky to still be a part of the She story, championing the charity’s innovative new work for the stage, online and within the local community.
I grew up in a very small hamlet in Derbyshire the eldest of three sisters. My mother is an artist and actor specialising in folk arts and crafts. My dad was a science teacher, caver and ceilidh caller: he retired in 2004 and did VSO in Namibia. My maternal grandmother came to live with us when I was 10 due to ill health.
After a year out where I supported English lessons at a school in France for 6 months and then work as a part of a team proving 24 hour care at home to a person in London I began training as an Occupational Therapist in Coventry. I enjoyed my studies immensely and completed three placements in Leeds, Kettering and Milton Keynes. When I qualified I moved to hull where I completed my postgraduate rotation doing jobs in mental health, learning disability and community rehab. I specialised in stroke rehabilitation for about 7 years and 2 years ago I joined a specialist palliative care team. I have remained clinal for the 19 years since qualifying. I have completed clinical supervision of staff and some project management but I have not taken on full management roles.
When She asked me to be a part of their board I was completely honoured. I had not been part of a board before and I have never been involved in charity work. I believe passionately about the power of story to impact on wellbeing both of the individual and the community. I also believe this is how social change is effected. I would describe myself as a creative thinker and compassionate. I feel my expertise is in human and community behaviour. I lack confidence in project management and reading large documents.
I live in Beverley with my husband, Gordon. I have two step sons who both live away. I’m regularly in touch with both my sisters and my mum, and members of my extended family. Friends are very important to me and I am in regular, frequent touch with them. I listen to a lot of radio and audio books. To relax I crochet and needle felt. I love to eat out with Gordon.
From any workshop I feel I would need to start at the beginning! I need to better understand what is expected of me as a board member and feel I have some supper of plan to grow in this area. Also, there is a figure amount of work we need to do around policies and governance and I’m unsure where to start!
I was born in Dundee, Eldest child to a Scottish Obstetrician and Canadian Teacher.
Qualified as a registered nurse in 1986 and then midwife in 1989 – “retired” in 2019 but was retained on the midwifery bank to cover shifts in the community when it suited me!
My love for the theatre goes way back.
I danced at the Vera Skelton Dance school and was on “Junior Showtime” in 1972. My dancing was rekindled in 1993 when Samantha joined Fleur Elizabeth Dance and Drama, continuing with Tap and Jazz/modern. Sadly, ended due to achillies problems @ 2012.
When ERT opened I felt that I belonged at this special theatre. I have never seen anything I didn’t enjoy – maybe a couple of things I wasn’t too sure about – but honestly can say I’ve loved every minute.
I became a SHE groupie – even coming to the children’s shows (thankfully with grandson in tow). The nickname was from my son – but I guess he is correct!
I was honoured and flattered to be asked to be a trustee of SHE Productions, although I still am not sure how I can help in their development but if there is anything I can do, I will.
Currently travelling through the canals of France on our boat “Options”, with a long-term plan to end in the Mediterranean and then turn left!! As her name alludes to – life is full of options, and we need to take every opportunity that is offered to us and say YES to everything (well nearly)