Directing credits include: Romeo & Juliet (Orange Tree);The Gift, Larksong (New Vic); Road (Circomedia); Full Stop (Lyric,Hammersmith/GDIF/Watford Palace); What Happens in the Winter (co-directed with Upswing Aerial Arts); Bee Detective (Cultural Olympiad); The Littlest Quirky (Stratford Circus/Theatre Royal, Bath); The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Oxford Shakespeare Company); Hangover Square (Finborough); Fight Face (Lyric,Hammersmith); When to Run (Tour); Eden's Empire (Finborough); Thatcherwrite, Hallelujah, Decade (503); Silence (The Other Place, Stratford/Arcola).
Gemma was Associate Director on Unreachable by Anthony Neilson at the Royal Court, and at the New Vic in Staffordshire 2014-15, responsible for the Hoard Festival – a season of new writing inspired by the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard.
She won a Young Directors' bursary at The Gate and attended the National Theatre Studio’s Director's Course, which was called The Directors.
Martin is a London-based actor with interests in devising, movement, clowning and Shakespeare. After training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School he did two years with us at the RSC. As well as performing in Stratford-upon-Avon and London, he has taken shows around the UK and internationally. Working with young people has long been a passion of his and he loves encouraging their creativity in workshops, classrooms or theatres. For Martin, Shakespeare’s plays are for everyone and he especially enjoys sharing them with new people.
Lucy is an actor and theatre maker specialising in devised/ experimental/ participatory performance and international new writing.
Regular collaborators include Clare Duffy, Wendy Hubbard, Chris Goode, Chris Thorpe, Metis Arts, Jane Packman, Unlimited Theatre, Slung Low Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre.
She is a member of Third Angel and the Deaf and Hearing Ensemble, creative associate with London’s Gate Theatre and a core artist with Forest Fringe. Lucy is also a selector with the National Student Drama Festival.
Work for us at the RSC includes playing Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream: Play for the Nation (2016), working alongside 28 school casts (576 fairies!) & 'When I Was Old When I Get Young' (RSC Pilot Night 2012)
Recent theatre includes: The Christians by Lucas Hnath, Grounded by George Brant (Gate Theatre, Traverse/Edinburgh Festival 2015 and 2013).
Originally from Leicester, Emma is an actor, runner and mum. She has appeared in two seasons for us on the RST stage and one suspended above it on a rope. Her theatre work has taken her around the UK, to Canada, Australia and the West End and often finds her singing, playing the flute or operating a puppet. She has been an EAP with us since 2015.
Mel Hillyard is a freelance theatre director. She recently won the JP Morgan Award for directing and spent six months at the National Theatre Studio as Resident Director, as well as directing a new play - The Brink by Brad Birch at the Orange Tree theatre.
Mel was Assistant Director with us on the 2013 Swan Summer season, working on Titus Andronicus and Candide. As one of our EAP's she has directed bespoke projects with Garsington Opera, Mandeville School and the University of Birmingham. In September 2016 Mel co-directed Twelfth Night in Hong Kong (for RSC and AFTEC) with young people and professional actors.
Oliver is an actor and education practitioner who trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. As an actor, Oliver has worked across the UK and was a member of our acting company in 2014/15. Oliver has devised and delivered theatre-based workshops for over six years. Since joining RSC education in March 2015, he has worked regularly as a workshop leader in The Clore Learning Centre and has visited schools across the country as part of ‘Dream Team 16’. He is also a regular visitor to Horace Mann School in New York as part of a new international programme; co-devising workshops for students and facilitating training for their teacher conferences.
Nia (MA MMus) is a Voice and Text Coach.
RSC work includes: The Alchemist, The Merchant of Venice, The Christmas Truce, The Taming of the Shrew (First Encounter), Matilda The Musical - amongst many other productions.
TRAINED: Central School of Speech and Drama with an MA specialising in Voice, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama with an MA in 'Creative learning' and a Music Degree.
TEACHING: Principle Study Singing Teacher in the Jazz Faculty at The Royal Academy of Music and The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. Visiting lecturer at the National Theatre Institute (Eugene O'Neil Theatre Centre), Connecticut. Faculty member of the Movement and Voice Department at The Fonact School of Acting, Paris and an International Lecturer at the Sound-Thinking-Australia annual Summer Programme, Australia.
Nia is an EAP representing our residency at the Horace Mann School in New York.
A classically trained actor, teacher and voice coach Michael currently holds the position of Senior Voice and Text Associate/EAP with us as well as running an independent career as a voice and text practitioner both in the UK and internationally.
Currently he is deputising in the Role of Head of Voice at Rose Bruford.
He lectures and trains across a number of tertiary institutions both at home and abroad and is a director/consultant/trainer/adjudicator with a number of well-known UK established organisations.
He parallels his corporate work with his theatre work and specialises in training through best rehearsal practice and the transferability of skills using classical text and storytelling.
Directing credits for us include The Famous Victories of Henry V, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Garsington Opera. Owen was Associate Director on the RSC King and Country Tour and worked with Artistic Director Gregory Doran on Richard II and Henry IV Part 1 and 2 and Henry V from 2013-16.
Owen is also an Associate Director for Cheek by Jowl working alongside Director Declan Donnellan on The Changeling (2006) Cymbeline (2007), Troilus and Cressida (2008), Macbeth (2009-11) and ‘Tis Pity she’s a Whore (2011-13)
In 2008 Owen formed Eyestrings Theatre Company with his production of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II at St Andrew’s Crypt in Holborn. Further work with Eyestrings include See What I See (St Clements Mental Hospital) and The Duchess of Malfi (Southwark Playhouse and UK Tour).
Peter Basham is an actor and director and has appeared for us in Love's Labour's Lost, Love's Labour's Won and The Christmas Truce. Other notable acting credits include: As You like it (Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bristol Old Vic), Yerma (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Burial at Thebes & She Stoops to Conquer (Nottingham Playhouse), A View From the Bridge (Duke of York's, London). Screen highlights include: The Promise (Channel 4) Skyfall (EON Pictures), Inception (Warner Bros), Sherlock (BBC) and more recently Agatha Raisin (Sky One) and Berlin Station (Paramount). Peter is passionate about his work with us in the RSC's Education department and enjoys working across a range of ages and abilities.
Sarah Downing Stanton
Sarah joined our Education Department in 1998 and created, developed and delivered extensive programmes of work for young people, teachers and the general public in Stratford and on tour both UK and internationally. Since 2003 Sarah has worked as a Freelance Arts Practitioner and RSC EAP. Most recently Sarah worked on our Play for the Nation - directing and training school children to perform in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
BA Hons English - Sussex University; Post Graduate Award in Acting - Welsh College of Music and Drama; Post Graduate Award in the Teaching of Shakespeare (for Actors and Artists) - University of Warwick and RSC.
After studying languages for his degree, Simon trained at The Guildhall and with LeCoq teacher Philippe Gaulier. He has acted with Propeller in all sorts of countries and the West End, with us in Stratford, as well as with Shared Experience, ETT, and others. There have also been flirtations with puppets: Blind Summit’s 1984 and Citizen Puppet in Edinburgh. He has taught Shakespeare and directed at the Globe and in drama schools in London, Barcelona, Germany and Rome, and translated plays for the Royal Court and the French institute. His adaptations of Danton’s Death and Agamemnon aired on BBC Radio 3, and his original play, Ubykh, was broadcast on Radio 4.
Hannah trained at Exeter University and has worked extensively on our productions, including: Julius Caesar, The Tempest, Anthony and Cleopatra, King Lear, The Winter’s Tale, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Drunks, American Trade, Little Eagles and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Her work in the West End includes, As You Desire Me, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Coriolanus. Television credits include the Channel 4 drama Offenders, Doctors and Waking the Dead.
Hannah trained with us gaining a qualification in teaching Shakespeare accredited by Warwick University and has worked extensively with the company in that capacity. She was a Director Mentor in the Learning and Performance Network project, she co-wrote and performed in a show created for Hay Festival, and for the children’s BAFTA nominated BBC Live Lessons. She has also worked for the National Youth Theatre delivering their Shakespeare Masterclass sessions and as a summer school Director.
Chris is a theatre director specialising in new writing, Shakespeare and international collaborations. His most recent productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing; Scenes from 68 Years, Arcola, London; I Burn, I Pine, I Perish, Belgrade, Coventry; Fewer Emergencies, Teatro Litta, Milan; Hard Places, Prithvi, Mumbai; The Truth, La Virgule, Lille.
He was Assistant Director with us on the Spanish Golden Age Season and directed Trouble and Wonder at the RST. As an EAP he has led residencies for teachers and practitioners in India, China and the US and has directed many pieces with young people including The Head that Wears a Crown in the RST.
Caroline Byrne is a director and was formally Associate Director at The Gate Theatre. Recent work includes: The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare’s Globe) Parallel Macbeth (Young Vic); Macbeth (Chapter Arts); Old Vic New Voices Festival (Old Vic); Electra (Caird Studio); Eclipsed (Gate Theatre); By Mr Farquhar (Waterside Theatre, Derry); Text Messages (Project, Dublin) and Shakespeare in a Suitcase (co-directed with Tim Crouch, RSC). She has also directed for the Bush Theatre, Farnham Maltings, Central School of Speech and Drama, RWCMD and Durham Theatre, Berkeley, USA. Her work as Associate Director includes Grounded (Gate/Traverse Theatre). She assisted with us on King Lear and Wendy and Peter Pan.
After taking the MA in Voice Studies at CSSD, London, Alison spent nearly eight years with us, five of them as Senior Text and Voice Coach. Shows included Michael Boyd’s award-winning Histories Cycle and many more. She is now a freelance Shakespeare coach, working with us and other theatre companies worldwide, as well as a diverse range of individuals and businesses. Alison is an Associate Artist of the RSC.
Directing credits for the Handlebards: Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, Comedy of Errors, Romeo & Juliet, and Twelfth Night (national and international tours).
Other directing credits: Shakespeare Odes (national tour), Animal Farm & Twelfth Night (Royal and Derngate), Mucky Kid (Theatre 503), Trojan Women (Jack Studio), Pericles (RSC), Miracle (Hen & Chickens), Reverie (Pleasance), The Government Inspector (Lost Theatre), Nowhere Man (Etcetera Theatre), Carve (Tristan Bates).
As Associate Director: The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre & national tour) and Neville’s Island (Chichester Festival Theatre & Duke of Yorks). James was Staff Director on Good Night Mister Tom (West End and national tour).
Jane Moriarty is a freelance Director and is the current Resident Director at the National Theatre Studio.
She worked as an Assistant Director for us on: The Christmas Truce, Queen Anne.
She worked as a Director on: Blue Stockings (Bridewell), Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down (White Bear Theatre); Boxed In (Pleasance Theatre); Night of January 16th (White Bear Theatre) and Boston Marriage (Cockpit Theatre). As Assistant Director: Fortune’s Fool (Old Vic Theatre); The Taming of the Shrew, The King James Bible (Shakespeare’s Globe); but i cd only whisper (Arcola Theatre) and Life for Beginners (Theatre 503). Movement direction/choreography includes: Arcadia and Translations (ETT and Sheffield Crucible).
Tracy is a practitioner, writer and researcher, specialising in active approaches to Shakespeare for education and has worked with us since 2007. Tracy is an experienced teacher of English and drama in UK and international contexts and develops work with students and teachers from primary to postgraduate levels. She is particularly interested in the physicality of Shakespeare’s language and his intercultural appeal. She has an MA in Shakespeare Studies from The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham and is currently writing up a PhD through the University of Warwick on the value of using theatre based practice in teaching Shakespeare.
Director Alex Thorpe is currently Associate Director and Assistant Director for us on The Seven Acts of Mercy and The Two Noble Kinsmen, respectively. Previous work for the RSC includes Assistant Director to Sir Trevor Nunn (Volpone) and Justin Audibert (The Jew of Malta).
TRAINING: Alex trained in Theatre Practice at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and in Theatre Directing at Birkbeck College.
OTHER RECENT THEATRE INCLUDES: As Director: Romeo and Juliet (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama); Birdland (Arts Ed) and Lee Harvey Oswald (Finborough Theatre). As an Assistant Director, Alex has worked at venues including The Old Vic, Sheffield Theatres, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tricycle Theatre and Almeida Theatre.
Alex was longlisted for the 2015 National Theatre JP Morgan Award and the 2014 JMK Award. He is a Visiting Director at Arts Ed and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Matt Costain is an actor, aerialist and theatre maker. He trained in theatre at The Rose Buford College of Speech and Drama and in aerial skills at The National Centre for Circus Arts. He has performed for us in Wendy and Peter Pan, and as part of Michael Boyd’s Olivier Award winning Histories Cycle, for which he was also Aerial Director. He has performed at the National Theatre in Warhorse and The Birds and has played Shakespeare’s Globe in Pericles and Macbeth. He has recently finished a West End and international tour of Hetty Feather, which he co-devised, and which was also nominated for an Olivier Award. He directs projects for immersive theatre mavericks Secret Cinema, and is currently directing for Immersive Cult.
Matt has been an EAP at the RSC since 2008, and loves every minute of it!
Joseph has performed extensively as an actor for us since 2009. Productions have included Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar, The Winters Tale, The Witch of Edmonton and The White Devil. He has also performed in many of the UK's other great theatres including the Almeida, Chichester Festival Theatre and the Bush Theatre.
He has been an EAP since 2010, leading workshops for us across the country. To date he has led sessions on over twenty different Shakespeare and other Jacobean plays.
Joseph brings the rehearsal room techniques he has used as a performer directly into the classroom. He has enjoyed exploring Shakespeare's text with children as young as five, all the way through to students in their eighties.
Aileen trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama and works professionally in film, theatre, television and radio. Her work for us includes Assistant Director to Tim Supple on Midnight’s Children and Greg Doran on All’s Well That Ends Well. RSC International and National Youth Ensemble director. Director on the Scholars Pitch Project and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the RSC Regional Schools Celebration at the Swan.
Aileen has written a variety of plays for the BBC from Church Ladies to Tracy Beaker for CBBC. She is founder and Artistic Director of Butterfly - creating theatre in caves, castles and ancient woodlands. Aileen was Head of the MA in Acting course 2012-2015 at Arts Educational Schools in London where she has been developing her unique Butterfly acting technique. She is currently working alongside Greg Doran as Associate Director on The Tempest and is director of the First Encounters production of The Tempest in 2017
Marieke trained as a theatre director at Birkbeck College after reading English at the University of Cambridge. Alongside directing her own projects she works as an Assistant Director and workshop leader. Principal areas of interest include classic texts and rarely performed comedies. Recent credits as an assistant/associate include the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s The Painkiller and The Entertainer (Garrick), Show Boat (New London) and A Mad World My Masters (RSC and ETT). Directing credits include Love and Money and The Same Deep Water As Me (GSA), Sleight & Hand (Summerhall), Civil Rogues (Pleasance Edinburgh and Islington) and While the Sun Shines (Lion and Unicorn). Marieke has run workshops for a wide range of theatres and educational institutions including the RSC, Guildford School of Acting, NODA, Monobox and The Actors Centre.
Evelyn is a working actor; after graduation from Guildhall she took part in our King and Country Season, performing in Richard II, Henry IV parts I & II and Henry V as well as touring the country with the First Encounters performance - The Famous Victories of Henry V.
Evelyn has worked as a workshop leader for three years working with a variety of age groups on subjects as diverse as; the solar system, the Victorians and the Montagues and Capulets.
Sophie worked as an actor with us from 2009-2011 in Michael Boyd’s long ensemble appearing in King Lear, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Antony and Cleopatra, The Drunks, Oxygen and American Trade. Other recent theatre includes: Wolf From The Door, The Get Out (Royal Court), You Can’t Take It With You (Manchester Royal Exchange), Mrs Hudson’s Christmas Corker (Spymonkey/ Wiltons Music Hall), Every Last Trick (Spymonkey/ Northampton Theatre Royal) and Get Happy (Told By an Idiot/ The Barbican).
As well as being an EAP for us; she also leads workshops for the National Theatre and Told By An Idiot. For the NT she also worked as Director of Physical Comedy on a production of The Comedy Of Errors in 2015.
Co-author of the RSC Shakespeare Toolkit for Teachers and the new Oxford University Press/ RSC Play series for KS3 students, Rachel has been with us as an EAP for over ten years. She began her career as an actor, but re-trained as a secondary English/ Drama teacher. After a few years at the chalk-face, she moved back into the theatre as Director of Education at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, before joining the RSC. She has been privileged to work with students aged 3-18 and their teachers in education systems all over the world, exploring how rehearsal room pedagogy can support a range of learning outcomes, from analytical written responses to full scale performances. She has an MPhil in Drama in Education from Warwick University, where her research work investigated change in learning and teaching inspired by an active approach to Shakespeare.
She balances her work for us with directing, acting and being a mum.
Robyn is Artistic Director of REND Productions, Associate Director of Omnibus Arts Centre, and an EAP with us.
Directing includes: premiere and transfer of Grey Man by Lulu Raczka (Shakespeare In Shoredith Festival, Theatre503); ACE-funded “exhilarating and provoking” (The Stage) Howard Barker Double Bill (Arcola); Alban's Garden (Theatre503); ACE-funded site-specific Woyzeck (Omnibus); multi-Off West End Award nominated “shrewd and searching” (Guardian) UK premiere of Lot and his God (Print Room). Assisting includes: Hecuba, Love's Sacrifice (RSC); The Dance of Death (Donmar Trafalgar); Kingdom of Earth (Print Room).
Robyn is a founding Board Member of Stage Directors UK, and previously worked for a year at Chichester Festival Theatre.
Over her ten years with us Mary developed the CPD programme for teachers, managed the professional development programme and in 2005/06 served as Acting Director of Learning. She is an experienced teacher of English and Drama in schools and universities and has a professional acting background. She has a long-standing interest in creativity and in collaboration with the National College for School Leadership developed a year-long creative leadership project for Headteachers. Specialising in adapting theatre practice to the learning needs of professionals in other occupations, Mary leads training workshops in the UK and abroad in the areas of teaching Shakespeare, effective communication, collaborative working and creative leadership.
Lizzie Hopley trained at Manchester University and RADA.
Theatre work includes the Roaring Girls Season (RSC), Tis Pity She’s a Whore (Cheek by Jowl), Abigail’s Party (No. 1 tour), Twelfth Night (National Theatre Tour) and Six Characters in Search of an Author (Young Vic).
Film credits include: Jane Eyre (Dir. Cary Fukunaga), Pierrepoint (Dir. Adrian Shergold), The Thirteenth Tale (Dir. James Kent) and for TV: Little Boy Blue (ITV), The Day of the Triffids (BBC) and Randall & Hopkirk Deceased II (BBC).
Written work includes plays for Granada TV, Radio 4, Radio 3 and Big Finish Audio Drama.