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

Alan joined us in February 2018; he is passionate about gardening and beekeeping and started his social enterprise Urban Organic (UK) CIC in 2014 to bring outdoor therapeutic activities to a wider audience. He has an interest in the myriad solutions that communities find to improve their environment and is a RHS Britain in Bloom Finals judge visiting the best entries across the UK each year. Having trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens of both Kew and Edinburgh and with an M.Sc. in Plant Taxonomy he has a scientific background in the natural world. He delivers workshops for the ORA Network across Europe, working on outdoor projects with young people which combine art, gardening, sustainability and environmental issues.  

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

Barb worked for 34-years in the NHS as nurse, midwife and health visitor before following her lifetime love of theatre to UCLAN where she graduated with a first class BA Hons in Drama, Theatre & Screenwriting followed by an MA in Scriptwriting. Her relationship with performing started as a young Bluecoat at Pontins and she has been an active member of many Fylde Amateur Dramatic Societies but she found her true second home at Chorley Little Theatre where, over the last 30-years, she has played every role from chorus line to solo artist, set designer, house manager, producer, writer and director! Barbara was invited to take part in our New Views playwriting course and became a TESP Director, November 2019.

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 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.

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.