Here are our AppleShed Practitioners during their training at the famous Chickenshed Theatre in London. The team spent three days with the Chickenshed team and with teams from TramShed and Shed Helsinki. The training was inspiring, helping us to understand how Inclusive Theatre works and how to lead and develop our own members in their journey through the performing arts.
Jan ThomsonChair of Trustees
I'm a primary school headteacher and love my job! I have always been passionate about the creative arts and am delighted to be chair of trustees for AppleShed . I am excited about this venture and I know it will be an important new venture for our local community. Being part of an Inclusive theatre company will give any young person or adult the chance to shine and to have their story told through music dance and drama.
My name is Matt Thomson and I am a Trustee of AppleShed Theatre Company. Along with my wife Jan I am passionate about Inclusive Theatre, having been involved with Chickenshed Theatre Company for the last 15 years. I am keen to support AppleShed as I truly believe that this is a fantastic way to help enable people of all backgrounds and abilities to come together and produce inspiring pieces of theatre.
My name is Charlotte Polledri and I have been involved with Appleshed as a trustee from the beginning. It has been an exciting journey. I have a background in working with children in schools that support children with additional needs and I also volunteer with local children’s groups. I am passionate about the inclusive theatre process and I enjoy seeing the community work together in this way.
I’m Stella Wilson and I have two grandchildren with additional needs, so I know how much impact there can be on family life, for parents, siblings and friends. I’m pleased to be an AppleShed Trustee because I strongly believe that if we can increase wider public awareness and understanding of disability, the world will be a better place for everyone.
My name is Richard Yates and I am the Treasurer and a Trustee of AppleShed. I was delighted to be approached to join such a great team, working to enable and encourage inclusivity in our local communities. Having worked and studies in the performing arts, as well as having worked in senior management roles in the private sector, I enjoy bringing my business and financial skills to help with steering the strategic direction of the charity.
Becky MitchellArt Practitioner
My name is Becky Mitchell and I am one of the Art's Practitioners at AppleShed. In July 2014 I completed a three year Trinity accredited level 6 diploma in professional musical theatre at WAC Arts in London where I trained to be a triple threat performer who is strong in all three disciplines. Since leaving training I have worked consistently in the professional performing industry and have worked in film, television and theatre throughout my life. I have been in a couple of films as a supporting artiste and have performed regularly in nationwide TIE acting tours delivering creative workshops and seminars. I have taught dance and drama subjects for numerous years to a variety of students of all ages and abilities (both adults and children). I also have significant experience in special needs education and care/ personal support and have been working in such environments for the past 12 years. I have been involved in AppleShed since the beginning and am delighted to be a part of such an important project with a great ethos at the heart; theatre is for everyone and can be accessed by everyone.
Andrew TyrrellArt Practitioner
I am one of the Arts Practitioners at AppleShed. After studying percussion at Guildhall School of Music and Drama I continued studies in composition and conducting as part of a BA Hons. I have always had a keen interest in working with music for dance and drama, and this deepened during my years as principal percussionist with Rambert dance company. Rambert’s outreach work also made a big impact on me — my first experience of working with adults and children with additional needs. A commission from Rambert, for a dance piece premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, led to an increased emphasis on composition in my work. My music has been performed on TV and radio, on three continents, to audiences of thousands in the Royal Albert Hall and Millennium Dome, and to an audience of seven and a dog in Denmark. I have been heavily involved in working with young people for many years, in the classroom (teaching A-level Music and Music Technology) and as director of youth and community ensembles and choirs in the region. This work is hugely rewarding. Making music, as performer or composer, is such a valuable outlet for our individual creativity (with all the health and social benefits this brings) that to be an enabler of it within a community feels like a privilege and a treat. No career is without its embarrassments, though. At the age of ten I appeared in a terrible film with the then third-most-popular pop band in the UK. In the 1980s I won a gold disc as part of a terrible one-hit-wonder novelty panpipe group. I’m delighted to be involved with AppleShed. AppleShed is definitely A Good Thing, and I’m pleased and proud to be part of it.