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Alice Penny

Sessional Leader - Infants Drama Group

Alice is a professionally trained Actress, training at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London. She has a host of experience of working creatively with children, both as a Performer & Storyteller, Drama teacher, Theatre Practitioner, and award winning entertainer ('Netmum's' favourite entertainer in the north west award). With a huge passion to inspire children's imaginations Alice started working with kids in 2007, & later went on to set up 'Mother hen' in 2011, a small & independent, award winning children's theatre company that aims to create wonderful, multi-sensory, interactive theatre experiences for children, that are accessible to all. Alice's work with Mother hen has been varied and diverse, delivering projects in schools & nurseries & children's centres right across the north-west, regularly working on the Royal exchange theatres family friendly events, for Manchester libraries, in hospitals, community centres, theatres & art galleries, gardens, festivals, at parties, or even in people's homes. Alice strives to offer the highest quality performing arts in a nurturing environment, and her holistic approach treats every child as an individual. Alice thinks that there are a million different ways to learn about the world and have fun, and whole-heartedly believes in the power of imagination, laughter and nonsense!


Gemma Richmond

Sessional Leader - Infants & Senior Drama Group

Gemma Richmond has an extensive and diverse theatre background. Ranging from performance, directing and facilitation. Graduating from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London(specialising in Applied Theatre) Gemma has been based in Stretford since 2016 and facilitates with both the youngest and oldest groups at SCT.

Performance, Film Making, Physical Theatre, Puppetry, and Teacher in Role are all core to Gemmas practice. Allowing young people and children to explore their creativity in a safe and nurturing platform. 

When Gemma is not facilitating at SCT, she works for one of the country’s leading Learning Disability Charities. Supporting people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health issues to live the life that they choose. Her experience has equipped her with knowledge on how best to support people with social and educational challenges.

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Debbie Olsen

Sessional Leader - Junior Drama Group

Debbie is the Head of Creative Curriculum at Loreto Sixth Form College in Chorlton.  This includes teaching SEN high needs pupils to use drama as a tool for life. She has lived in Stretford for over 10 years.  Debbie was raised in Blackpool where she studied dance and drama for many years, appearing in shows at the Winter Gardens, Opera House and Grand Theatre.  After completing a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts she moved to London and started working front of house and backstage at the Adelphi Theatre. Debbie then gained a place at Rose Bruford College and completed 2 years of a BA Hons degree in acting before leaving to bring up her son Lewis. She completed the degree at St Martins College in Lancaster and then deciding to go in a new direction and complete her teacher training. Debbie has since worked in secondary schools directing shows from 'Little Shop of Horrors' to 'the crucible' and working on projects such as 'Shakespeare for schools' and with organisations such as The People's Museum. She is really excited to be working with the Junior section as it is a challenge different to her day to day job.

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Samantha Lafferty

Sessional Facilitator - Junior Drama Group

Samm moved to Manchester from the Lake District in 2018 to complete her BA in English & Creative Writing. She has previously worked as a teaching assistant and tutor in various high schools across the city, most recently in the SEN department of Loreto Sixth Form College. 


Samm has experience working creatively with all ages of young people in the north west as well as abroad. She has facilitated after school clubs, drama and scriptwriting workshops, and mentoring sessions to promote awareness of mental health and wellbeing within teenagers. She believes drama and performance can be a key channel to exploring important themes and barriers facing young people, empowering them to confront and challenge issues in a safe and creative way.


Outside of SCT, Samm currently works as a support worker in a homelessness and poverty prevention charity based in the city centre.

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Donna Agg

Sessional Leader - Senior Drama Group & Youth Theatre

Donna trained as an actor at The Guildford School of Acting for three years and then worked
professionally as an actor for ten years. She enjoyed touring the UK and playing in the West End for
several companies, especially her stint with The English Shakespeare Company. After becoming a mum of
two she then retrained as a Speech and Drama Teacher at The Guildhall School of music and drama. She
has worked for many drama companies in London as a drama facilitator and director. She has also been
preparing students for their speech and drama grades for the past twenty plus years and has a real
passion for bringing out the confidence of students and helping them to find and be proud of their
Donna still occasionally works as a voice over artist, which she really enjoys.
Donna has recently relocated after many years living in London and Cambridge and as she was born and
bred in Blackburn is very happy to get back to her northern roots.


Rosarie Walsh

Sessional Leader - Adult Community Theatre Group

Rosarie Walsh is a freelance project co-ordinator, drama facilitator, theatre maker and mum of 4 based in Stretford. She was born and raised in Cork, Ireland, where her love of theatre began at the age of 4, with dance, drama and performance. Rosarie has an MA in Applied Theatre from the University of Manchester as well as 13 years experience of organising arts and cultural learning projects and creating devised performances with children, young people and adults. Rosarie has recently set up her own non-profit organisation. Emerald LENS CIC unlocks community connections, conversations & change through the arts, drama and social engagement. Emerald LENS aims to effect meaningful change through creative projects that stimulate fresh thinking, new perspectives and a broader sense of understanding within local communities. Her most current project is Mother in Crisis: Then and Now 

In 2017 as project coordinator for Stretford Children’s Theatre Rosarie secured £36,000 from The Heritage Lottery Young Roots fund to facilitate a project called Ahead of His Time: John Rylands. This culminated in summer 2018 with 6 devised promenade performance at the Stretford Public Hall. 


Tina-Louise Liddle

Sessional Manager - Theatre Groups

Tina is a local parent who moved to Manchester, from Yorkshire, in 1990 to study Modern Languages at university.  She has lived in Stretford for 20+ years and is a parent at Stretford Grammar School.  She currently works full-time at The Open University but used to be an extra-curricular language and creative writing teacher, going in to local nurseries and primary schools in the Trafford and Manchester area.  Her previous work history mainly consists of 30 years within the customer service and administration fields at: Monsoon, John Lewis, Waitrose, My Travel Airways/Airtours International Airways, Eurostar and Safeway (to name a few).  She is therefore a very people orientated person and is looking forward to providing you with a very warm welcome at the Stretford Children's Theatre drama sessions.  


Cat Butler

Administration and Communications Coordinator

Since graduating with a first class degree in Performing Arts from Salford University in 2012, Cat has worked as an actor in theatre, TV and film. She also founded Fine Comb Theatre company, a new-writing theatre company that has performed in the North West and Switzerland. She has worked as course coordinator at the Independent Centre for Actor Training, and as a freelance theatre producer.

She is delighted to be a part of Stretford Children's Theatre, and looks forward to welcoming all of the fabulous young thespians into class each week.

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