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Forest Forge Team Biographies
Kirstie graduated in English, Drama, Film and Television from St John’s College in York and went to London to set up a production company to bring new Irish, Scottish and Welsh plays to the capital. She also became various Directors’ assistant and directed at Drama Schools. For 2 years she was part of the team, which set up LAMDA in Kenya, and during this time she also worked with teenagers in New Jersey, USA. On return to the UK she freelanced as a director on touring productions around Europe and as Literary Director at the Playhouse Theatre in Charing Cross. Her first encounter with Forest Forge was as Youth Theatre Director at Salisbury Playhouse where she directed 10 productions and helped produce the new writing programme in the Salberg Studio. She left the Playhouse to go to the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith and from there she became Associate Director at the Watford Palace Theatre for 6 years where she became Acting Artistic Director with Joyce Branagh. From Watford she went to the Cheltenham Everyman where she was responsible for programming the Studio and overseeing the Creative Learning and new writing programme as well as the professional mentoring strand of work.
She has been with Forest Forge Theatre Company as CEO and Artistic Director since January 2009.
Contact Kirstie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicola studied Theatre and Performance Studies at Warwick University. During this time she started producing student productions at the Warwick Arts Centre. At University Nicola took part in a two week course at the Royal Opera House to learn about producing and production management.
On leaving University Nicola started working for Creation Theatre Company in Oxford as their Group Sales Co-ordinator. She progressed to the role of Marketing Co-ordinator and then Deputy Producer. In 2009 she became the Producer and Operations Manager for the company and ran the company when the Artistic Director lived in Norway for a year. For several crazy summers Nicky biked between three different venues overseeing three outdoor shows in very wet weather! After working on 24 shows in 9 unique venues Nicola waved good bye to Creation in March 2011 to try something different. Nicola then trained to teach English as Foreign Language and taught at Kings Colleges in Oxford. She then completed a PGCE in Primary School teaching. Nicky loved being with the children and teachers but the pull of theatre was too much.
In November 2012 Nicola joined Forest Forge as the General Manager. Her responsibilities include financial management, marketing, fundraising, tour booking, managing the office and working with Kirstie and the team to plan for the future! Nicola is delighted to be back in theatre surrounded by a wonderful, committed team for a company that is truly loved by its many followers.
Contact Nicola at email@example.com
David’s interest in theatre began when taking a gap year before university. He got involved with a community theatre company in York and soon found himself writing, stage managing and performing in a big community project about the great York Races. As his imagination was caught, the gap year stretched into two and he worked on Mystery Plays, pop videos and music theatre productions at the ICA. Thinking his future lay in Stage Management, David studied at Rose Bruford College on the Technical Theatre Arts course but soon realised he preferred Design. He specialised in Design and then went on to do the postgraduate Motley Theatre Design Course under the tutelage of Margaret (Percy) Harris.
Leaving London after a year of profit shares with little profit and a lot of assistant designing and scene painting jobs, David took the first full time job he could find and moved to Salisbury Playhouse as Scenic Artist and Resident Designer. He spent three great years at Salisbury, where he worked with many Designers and also met his future wife, Jane, who was the Stage Manager there. After a brief stint at Colchester Mercury David returned to the South West and worked as freelance Designer at Forest Forge in 1994, becoming a full time member of staff in 1997. Over the years David’s role at Forest Forge has transformed.
Although he still designs some shows for the company, his emphasis has shifted towards writing and directing. Recent directing credits include Molly Sweeney, The Gamekeeper, To the Marrow, A Clearing and various Christmas Shows. He also works with students and has been responsible for the Arts and Health programme at Salisbury Hospice where he runs weekly workshops with patients, carers and staff. David lives in Salisbury with his wife and their son, Frankie.
Contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lucy finished her degree in Performing Arts and English at Cheltenham and arrived at the company as a trainee 12 years ago, working her way up to the dizzy heights of Creative Learning Director managing the Outreach Team of core staff and freelancers. On her way she has created, planned and delivered countless projects and workshops with a huge variety of participants. A huge part of her work is the Youth Theatre, which has tripled in capacity since she arrived. Working with and developing the Youth Theatre to perform in our base and site-specific street theatre pieces and shows has ensured the Youth Theatre stays a vibrant and vital part of the Company. Past Youth Theatre Shows include – Marat/Sade, The Three Musketeers, Metamorphoses, Faust, and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. She has also directed two professional shows for the Company, The Mouse and the King of the Elephants, which toured to Key Stage 1 and 2, and Maybe Baby, which toured to Care homes.
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Dom came to us from the Royal Theatre in Northampton where he trained to be a touring community SM. He has worked at Forest Forge since 2003, full time since 2005, encompassing 26 main touring productions. In his time here he has designed the lights for all our touring shows, prepared the sound, had his own percussion corner, played the guitar, appeared on stage, met his future wife, had a baby, and directed Youth Theatre shows. Not to mention savouring the wonderful cakes and hospitality of the surrounding shires and beyond.
Contact Dom at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa studied Drama, Theatre and Television at King Alfred’s College, Winchester and then went onto to a postgraduate diploma in Theatre for Development at King Alfred’s/Southampton University. Lisa has over 15 years experience working in drama and community arts, both in the UK and Zimbabwe, and is passionate about the role that drama can play in people’s personal, social and political development. Lisa joined Forest Forge Theatre Company 4 years ago, and during that time has developed projects, shows and DVDs with a diverse range of community groups. She is a founding member of Theatre in a Bag, Southampton Story Club and Southampton Storytelling Festival, and would describe herself as a facilitator, street performer and storyteller.
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Although both of her parents are English, Jemma was lucky enough to grow up in New Zealand. After graduating from Auckland University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2006, with a specialism in contemporary visual art, she left NZ on a 6 month flying visit to the UK and has yet to leave.
Since arriving in the England, she has spent time in various arts settings, including touring with an environmentally-friendly family and music festival, working in a front-of-house role at the Salisbury Arts Centre and as Projects Manager with youth arts specialist Ruth Jones. She has been involved in several youth and community arts projects and continues to take courses to widen her artistic skills – recently in printmaking and silversmith jewellery.
Jemma joined Forest Forge in November 2010 and has enjoyed becoming part of the Forest Forge team.
Contact Jemma at firstname.lastname@example.org