About

Artistic Director

Since graduating from Goldsmith’s College, University of London, with a BA (Hons) in English and Theatre Studies, Melanie has worked with young people in a diverse range of fields including for 8.5 years at the Royal Shakespeare Company and currently for the National Theatre for whom she oversees regional learning partnerships on a part-time basis for both War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

In April 2013, she bought a derelict warehouse in Blackpool and is currently in the process of turning it into a family home. She has a Post Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Shakespeare as well as a Chartered Institute of Marketing Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing. She was an Educational Consultant for Touring Consortium Theatre Company, produced and directed Blackpool Grand Theatre’s NT Connections Youth Theatre two-years running and continues to manage participation projects for organisations such as The LowryLeftCoastTameside Borough Council and Fleetwood Festival of Transport.

Board Director

After achieving a 2:1 in Drama and Education from the University of Chester, Rachael started her career as a Community Arts Practitioner with notable early commissions from Barnardo’s and Styal Women’s Prison. Subsequently, she went on to complete her PGCE specialising in Post Compulsory and Adult Education. With twenty years experience of multi-disciplinary working within communities in Blackpool and the Fylde Coast. Rachael now leads on NCS delivery across Cumbria and Lancashire for Inspira, a multi-award-winning personal and career development organisation.   

Board Director

Stephen joined us in December 2018. He is an ICAEW chartered accountant and works as Director of Resources at Blackpool Coastal Housing. He has a Masters in Public Administration from the Open University. His involvement in arts includes volunteering with LeftCoast and AltBlackpool, and attending TEPS’s playwriting course. His other interests include natural history and he regularly surveys oceans for whales and dolphins with the Marinelife charity.

Board Director

Laura is the Chief Officer of the Magic Club, a youth charity in Claremont, Blackpool. Experienced in Community Development and with a keen interest in socially engaged arts practice, she loves working with communities to support them to make the changes they want to see. She is really passionate about Blackpool and is delighted to be joining the BOD with TESP. 

Board Director

Stephanie became a TESP Board member in January 2020, was born in Wigan and had an interest in arts from an early age; studying theatre at GSCE and A-level before graduating from Leeds with a BA (Hons) in Art & Performance. She moved to Blackpool; working in compliance for a finance company and gaining her PGCE, teaching Performance. She was subsequently offered a studentship PhD in Art & Design which she is currently undertaking. Working alongside In Certain Places and Uclan University, the PhD addresses notions of place and how artists interact with the environment. In addition, she works part-time as a development worker, coaching and mentoring socially isolated members of the community for mental health charity Making Space and is a trustee for CVS Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

Board Director

Paula has over 20 years experience in spiritual leadership, mentoring and pastoral guidance in High School settings (11-16) I enjoy cooking, DIY and decorating, Pilates and informal dance classes and, last year, became a member of one of TESC playwriting groups, I love live music and nights out. I am the proud mother of a 20 year old daughter who is currently in her 3rd year of an MA (Hons) Joint Degree at the University of Glasgow and admit to getting just a little twitchy over the 3rd Year results now. I love working with young people and am responsible for running lots of extra curricular groups to enrich the curriculum; such as Social Justice, Fairtrade, Gardening and Climate Change balancing practical activity with social activism. I have a busy time balancing my school,  Council and Ward work along with a newly independent social life, so it’s just as well I have bags of energy. 

House of Wingz offer Classes, Training, representation and career opportunities. Their programme includes Hip-Hop and Street Dance, Breakdance, Beatboxin’, Graffiti, Physical Theatre, Spoken word, Music production, Emcee and DJ-ing.

Urban Organic logo

Urban Organic (UK) CIC was started in 2014 to help a wide range of people using Gardening and Beekeeping as therapeutic tools. From their community garden base at N-Vision (Princess Alexandra Blind Home) they operate across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre delivering activity sessions, workshops and other services.

Think Forward Logo

Think Forward C.I.C. was established with the aim to support and realise personal and professional development for those working with young people and communities and leadership development for young adults. They do this through providing; workforce development, training, educational and creative learning programmes, specific projects and initiatives, resource development and promoting international opportunities. Think Forward are leading on Blackpool City of Learning an online learning and recognition platform for the Fylde Coast.

*In 1879, Blackpool became the first municipality in the world to have electric street lighting – they called it ‘Electric Sunshine’. We are inspired by this ambition and seek to influence a new narrative about Britain’s best loved seaside town through innovative attitudes to arts.

Header image courtesy of CJGriffiths Photography.