Michelle Calame-Bell - Chair
Michelle has always had a huge passion for the arts, in particular theatre, having joined Contact Youth Theatre as a child. As a member, she was selected to be part of Contacting the World; an exchange programme with The Palace of Creativity in St. Petersburg, Russia. Michelle believes strongly in cultural education and has worked as a freelance Arts Education Specialist, providing arts education in mainstream schools and various educational settings, supporting children’s education by integrating the arts into their learning journey. Michelle strongly believes that the arts should be accessible to all and considers outreach, community engagement, participation and audience development as areas of pivotal importance.
Kirsty Thomas - Treasurer
Kirsty is an accountant by day and is the treasurer for this group. Kirsty loves a good spreadsheet and pie charts make her happy! It is her job to keep us on the straight and narrow when it comes to financial control and she does this well and is great fun to be around. She is a young mum of two boys and lives in neighbouring Urmston, but grew up in Stretford and her parents are still here so she is a frequent visitor to the town.
Shelly was instrumental in getting this group back running by advertising for people to help run the group. Shelly is the Chairperson of the Friends of Victoria Park and has been involved with FOVPS since it's inception. She has sat on funding panels both in Stretford and during her career. Shelly is a governor at Victoria Park Infant School. She is extremely organised, capable and passionate about improving Stretford. She works for Network Rail in project management and controls.
Keith has been involved in theatre from an early age, first on an amateur basis, at the Altrincham Garrick, where he got to learn about all aspects of theatre, from set building to follow spot operating, from serving behind the bar to teaching drama to 7-18 year olds. Keith has worked in professional theatre for the nearly 30 years, starting as a fly man at the Opera House, then as touring carpenter with Cameron Mackintosh. He then spent 16 years at the Royal Exchange, production managing shows, operating and maintaining the automated flying system, and looking after all the work in the Studio theatre. Since 2015 he has been the Technical Manager at Home, Manchester’s newest arts centre, being a part of setting up and opening the new building, and now helps to organise the technical team, building (and taking down) the touring sets and working with Home’s creative team to plan and present shows in the two theatre spaces and beyond.
Annika joined the board in February 2018 and is delighted to support drama activities in Stretford. She will be managing the communications of the group. Annika is a Project Manager for XTRAX, a national outdoor arts organisation and has in the past managed the 24:7 Theatre Festival of new writing in Manchester, worked as freelance producer, event manager and translator. Annika has experience in working with young people in Germany, New Zealand, France and the UK.
Jessica is a freelance Visual Artist, Project Producer, and Creative Facilitator working across Greater Manchester. She is the project coordinator for Culture Champions at Stretford Public Hall, a programme working with people over 50 to plan and deliver their own community projects and events in North Trafford. She is also currently a project producer on The Agency, an entrepreneurial project for young people aged 15-25 at Contact Mcr. Jessica has worked with many creative organisations including Venture Arts, Salford Gallery, Waterside Arts Centre and Rio Ferdinand Foundation to work with people from all walks of life. Her background is in arts to support mental health & wellbeing, she is passionate about supporting people to be creative and to make their ideas happen.
Janice was a member of Stretford Children’s Theatre back in 1978 and is delighted to be on the Committee for the new Company. She has been ‘treading the boards’ since starting with Urmston Musical Theatre and has notched up almost 30 years as a chorus and principal in Sale Gilbert and Sullivan Society. She has appeared as part of the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festivals in Buxton and Harrogate over the years and has also performed and conducted with other companies around Britain. She teaches singing, piano and music theory and is also a ‘Singing for the brain’ leader with the Alzheimer’s Society. She runs the ‘Longford Community Choir’ and is also Musical Director for several other groups.
Interested in joining our Board...?
We are generally on the look out for new Board members to become Trustees of our small charity.
Our Board currently comprises individuals with skills and experience in theatre (producing, engagement, production/technical, working with young people), event and project management, finance, law and academia.
If you have relevant skills and/or experience and time to offer, we'd love to hear from you. Please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org