My current role is as Assistant Dean for Business Engagement and Educational Partnerships, in the School. This involves working with creative and cultural organisations at a local, national and international level, as well as working with our network of partner Further Education Colleges.
Before taking up an academic career, I worked professionally as an actor, facilitator, workshop leader and theatre designer and latterly as a creative producer, working with theatre companies across the UK including Live Theatre Company, The Tricycle Theatre, Newcastle Playhouse and Tyne Wear Theatre in Education Company, Northumberland Theatre Company, Pentabus, Oily Cart, The Unicorn Children’s Theatre, Theatre Kit, Tower Hamlets Youth Arts Project, Wandsworth Family Education Unit, Freeform Arts and the Usk Valley Project. I have also acted in an advisory capacity for a number of professional companies including Northern Stage, Theatre Cap A Pie, Open Clasp, The Maltings Berwick, and South Hill Park Arts Centre.
My research interests focus on theatre for and with children and young people, interactive theatre and the use participatory performance in a range of community contexts. I have worked either in a practitioner role or as project lead/creative producer on theatre research projects undertaken across the public sector, including Education, Health and Youth Justice. I am driven by a fascination with theatre as a collaborative, collective, live experience that enables an audience to reflect, empathise, think, feel and that facilitates creative expression. I am committed to theatre/art practice that prioritises inclusion and accessibility, whilst maintaining high production values.
I have a particular interest in the use of theatre methodologies in leadership and management development and I have presented work that uses theatre as a metaphor for organisational performance in national and international forums such as the Institute of Advanced Management in Brussels, the Egos International Conference in Lyon and the British Management Association. Here at Teesside, I developed and lead the Leading Roles Project where we work with clients such The Leadership Foundation in Higher Education, Health Authorities and private sector companies to delivering leadership training through theatre. In 2012 I was awarded a Fellowship by the Leadership Foundation in Higher Education.
Working at the University gives me the privilege being part of an agenda that supports the development of the creative infrastructure in the region and supports the next generation of artists. I serve as Chair of the Board of Theatre Hullabaloo and Vice Chair of the Creative Darlington Strategy Board.