Sameena Zehra –
Trustee A storyteller, comedian and Blues singer, performer and interactive trainer. Sameena lived in England until the age of seven. Over the next 20 years, she lived mainly in India where she learned to speak 3 Indian lanuages fluently and completed her education, including a BA (Hons.) in Psychology, and an MA in Literature. She also started her career as an actor, writer and director working both in the conventional setting of theatre, and out among people standing or sitting, watching, talking and joining in with the acting out of stories relating to various issues such as the death penalty, marital rape and sexuality. Her first love has always been live performance and she has worked at he RSC and the National Theatre, amongst others. Her preference has been for working on new work, being part of the team that creates the first ever performance of a script.
In 2011, Sameena wrote and performed her first solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe. The show has since toured at the Adelaide and Brighton Fringes and she will be taking her show back up to Edinburgh in 2012. She is currently writing her new solo show. Sameena has also worked with the Trust for the Study of Adolescence, facilitating and directing young adults suffering the effects of alcohol abuse and, with them, producing a piece of theatre for a world conference on mental health. She has been involved with Southall Black Sisters, working with women who have survived domestic violence and helping them find voice and expression through writing and theatre workshops. In 2008, she volunteered at the Rainbow Centre in Peru, running theatre workshops with children and young adults with severe learning difficulties. In 2010, she spent a month in Kashmir, running theatre and music workshops with children orphaned by the civil unrest there.
Stephanie Pirrie –
Trustee Stephanie is experienced in general business management & marketing. She studied Business Studies at the University of Plymouth and now runs a successful communications & technology company in Oxford. She has worked in a number of different commercial sectors including fashion, sports retail, software, Internet, & media production. She led the marketing strategy for Telelogic, global software company, designed and developed award-winning multimedia for Macmillan Publishing, and launched one of the first internet provision companies in the UK. Stephanie is a trustee of the Jericho Wharf Trust & the Jericho Living Heritage Trust, both charities are based in Oxford. She is also a singer & musician & leads a community choir based in Jericho.
Anisha Charania –
Trustee Anisha Charania is a counsellor, role-play and education consultant. She has a degree in English and Drama and has trained as an actress. Since 1994 she has worked predominantly in community theatre and has a strong background in theatre-in-education and theatre-in-training. Before setting up Chinwag Theatre in 2001 with Ben Priest, her theatre-in-education experience included sexual health work; drugs awareness work; anti-bullying projects and work with excluded pupils and young offenders. Interactive training programmes for the public sector have included in-house and external interviewing skills, management skills, customer service skills, managing challenging behaviour and diversity training. All these programmes have involved hot-seating; forum theatre; facilitation and role-playing between the actors and audience/ participants.
Roy Hutchins –
Programme Director Originally working with excluded teenagers in Hackney, Roy then began to advise and implement equality and diversity programmes for government departments and private sector companies. As a consultant and trainer in this area, he has worked at board, senior management and staff level with organisations throughout the world – helping them develop individual and organisational awareness on how to promote inclusion.As a writer, director, performer and theatre producer – he has written extensively for the BBC and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Perrier Award. He has won two Edinburgh Fringe Firsts, The Charrington Best Solo Show Award and The Time Out Performer of the Year Award. He also presented the BBC’s Omnibus (Whale Nation) which won the coveted Royal Television Society Best Documentary Award. He recently performed ‘Darwin’s Nose’ at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (2011) where he collected the Archangel Award on behalf of the author, Heathcote Williams. Since then he has been the artistic director and performer of two major Brainfruit shows: ‘ ‘Forbidden Fruit’ & ‘Fiery Tongues’ (aka as The Poetry Army, and Poetry Can F*ck Off’).
Heathcote Williams –
Company Associate Winner of the 2011 Archangel Award at the Edinburgh Festival. Heathcote is a poet, playwright and author whose first book, The Speakers was greeted with huge critical acclaim. He went on to write his epic environmental poems Whale Nation, Autogeddon, and Sacred Elephant (Jonathan Cape). As a playwright, Heathcote’s first full length play, AC/DC, won a hat trick of prestigious awards: the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Play, the George Devine Award and the John Whiting Award. AC/DC was chosen as part of the Royal Court’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2006. As a long term campaigner for human rights and environmental issues – Heathcote was most recently involved with the Jericho Living Heritage Trust http://www.jlht.org/heathcote-williams. His lastest book ‘Brexit Boris form Mayor to Nightmare’ has been published by Thin Man Press.
Niall Drennan –
Company Associate Originally worked as a Probation Officer in Hackney and then later in Mental Health and with people dealing with substance abuse issues in West London. Later he developed a business in Southern India (Kerala) and ran free workshops on Screenwriting and Poetry in Brighton. An occasional performer and writer who has had several short stories published.
All our trustees are also company directors, Roy Hutchins also acts as company secretary and artistic director.