MEET THE TEAM

Owen Allen

OWEN ALLEN

Chief Executive Officer & Founder

Owen founded Thespian Arts in 2017, after 13-years of theatre experience, company management, project turnarounds and community work. Owen manages the general running of the organisation and is determined to grow the company so that we can accommodate more people who will benefit from our projects. 

Owen has previously founded: Dreams In Action Performance Company, Heightened Fitness, and Owen Allen Designs.

During my career in Performing Arts I have experienced all aspects of the arts, including performing on stages around the West Midlands in many productions such as: Annie, Wendy & Peter Pan and Blood Brothers. I have also played the lead role in short length feature films including ‘Me, Myself and Michael’.

My passion and dream for running a Performing Arts organisation started from the age of 15 when I co-founded The Dreams In Action Performance Project (Avenues Community Association Charity). The project went from strength to strength and won the Britain Has Spirit regional award, however, the project relied on funding, and as the need for funding grew, it became increasingly more difficult to obtain. This was when I knew things had to change.

I had to set up an enterprise which was self-sustained. That was where Thespian Arts was born - a self funded Community Interest Company.

 

As well as being Chief Executive Officer, I also teach the guitar and drama groups at Thespian Arts, where I can help improve our students’ mental health and develop their reading, writing, creativity, and confidence. I am a huge believer in confidence being a main contributor to a successful career.

For my work in Performing Arts and Community, I have been awarded ROCC’s Volunteer of the Year, Britain Has Spirit Regional Award, and Walsall’s Young Person of the year (Community Winner).

I aim to continue to create career opportunities in Performing Arts, and my dream is to grow Thespian Arts. I hope we can offer more projects, and branch out to other areas so more people can benefit from our services.

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ALISHEA CHANEL

Group Members Secretary & Dance and Musical Theatre Tutor

Alishea joined our organisation as a Dance Tutor after graduating from the University of Derby. Alishea's extensive performance experience and qualifications made her ideal for the role. Alishea's desire to have more responsibility and her personable nature lead to her being promoted to Group Members Secretary responsible for handling the registration and management of all our members.

I joined Thespian Arts in the summer of 2019, initially just to have involvement in their project for Pelsall Carnival! My experience with the company was brilliant, and I knew that the family environment, with children who were eager to learn, and showed so much potential, was something I wanted to permanently be a part of. Since then I have advanced in my role, from being a permanent 'dance tutor', to 'member's secretary and dance tutor', where I handle our social medias and all of the admin that goes with our members. I also teach the musical theatre group! I thoroughly enjoy having an important role at Thespian Arts, where I feel appreciated, trusted, and positively challenged.  

 

As well as my first class BA Hons degree in dance, I started dance when I was 7 and have my IDTA and MIDAA dance examination grades in ballet, tap, and modern. I also in 2016, received an 'Outstanding Media Contribution' award for my work on and off screen, in feature length movies with Midland's based company, Dialogue Media. I have a huge passion for acting, script writing, and producing media based content. I also loved taking part in all of my secondary school's musical productions when I was growing up, and developed a passion for musical theatre too.

Dance is my main passion because there's always something new to learn, whether it be a move, a skill, a style, or an interpretation. There are so many different artists, with so many different ways of dancing, that there really is something for everybody, and I love being able to push myself and my students, to being the best dancer they can be.

If I'm not teaching I'll be either editing and producing content for my own business, or be on your TV screens, as I also work in children's television!

My goal is to one day direct a musical production. I adore performing arts and I also adore the process of working with children to create something that not only entertains, but has allowed them to grow in the process. A dream of mine was also to land a prominent role within media, whether it be on screen or behind the camera, and now that I've done that I'd say my biggest dream is to buy a house!

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SHELBY ALLEN

Business Support Officer

Shelby joined our organisation and instantly made an impact. She started as a BSL Tutor where she was responsible for setting up private & group sessions. Shelby was always going above and beyond our expectations, for this reason, she was promoted to Business Support Officer. Her role now is to help develop the business and its services.

I joined Thespian Arts in June 2018 with a passion for the arts. I studied drama at sixth form and participated in many performances such as, Les Miserable, Bugsy Malone and a variety of showcases. I’ve had many amazing opportunities and experiences in tutoring Drama and I believe that this was the career path chosen for me, however, during my time of studying Drama I had a hiccup to which led me to having time away from the thing I loved most.

 

By the end of 2018, I had fallen in love with a language I came across in a Television program called ‘Switched at Birth’, where one of the main characters in the show was Deaf and used American Sign Language as a way to communicate. With further research into this I found that Britain had a similar language known as British Sign Language, to which I took on as a challenge to learn something new.

 

I attended two courses at Walsall Deaf Centre, where I obtained my level 1&2 in British Sign Language through the signature exam board. I later decided to carry this on to university where I have recently graduated and have obtained a BA(Hons) Degree in British Sign Language and Deaf Studies from the University Of Central Lancashire.

 

My goals for the future are to complete a PGCE and to undertake an NVQ level 6 British Sign Language and interpreting studies to be able to qualify as an interpreter and teacher. Once completing this, I would like to to merge my two passions together and be able to devise performances for both hearing and Deaf actors to be apart of, and for Deaf and hearing audiences to enjoy at Thespian Arts.

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KAITIE BROWN

Vocal & Musical Theatre Tutor and Workshop Coordinator 

Kaitie has extensive performance experience and has a first class degree in BMus Music Honours. She has also achieved an ABRSM Certificate of Music Education. Kaitie has made an immediate impact by taking on responsibilities and working hard to achieve the company objectives. She has been instrumental in the set up of group vocal sessions for adults. 

I have been a singer since I was 9 years old, and I have now achieved my Grade 8 singing Grade 5 Music Theory qualifications. Singing is my escape, and I have a real passion for encouraging children to pursue singing too.

 

When I am not teaching at Thespian Arts I am studying for my post grad teacher training qualification. I have always dreamt of being a music teacher and although I have waited until my 30s I am finally following my dreams. I have 3 young children of my own and most of my spare time is spent entertaining them. We like going for walks and playing board games together.

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CHARLOTTE ORTON

Dance & Drama Tutor 

Charlotte joined our organisation in February 2019 and was given the task of setting up & leading our dance group. Charlotte is highly graded in these styles and has many years of teaching experience. Our Dance Group has become one of our most popular classes thanks to her work. She is a wonderful personality loved by all Thespian students.

I have completed my graded levels in tap, modern, and ballet. Fuelled by my passion for dance, I’ve personally competed in many dance competitions, and even championships. I’ve also entered my own students into competitions, where they’ve done extremely well, and I was very proud of them.

When I’m not teaching I’m a postie! Otherwise, I’ll probably be exploring and camping.

I love the self expression, enjoyment, and progression that dance allows for, which is why it is a goal of mine to inspire other people, particularly my students. I love to see them develop.

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CATHERINE DAY

Musical Theatre & Drama Tutor 

Catherine is a highly knowledgeable professional with a passion for performing arts - she joined us to help the company put on high quality Musical Theatre productions. She is still an active performer and is excited to pass her knowledge and experience on to the next generation of performers. 

 

I have been doing performing arts my whole life and about a year ago I sort of fell into the opportunity to teach it! My passion just got stronger for performing arts & I'm so excited to be working at Thespian and teaching the next generation of performers!

 

I've got all my musical theatre grades up to Gold bar 2. I also have multiple dance qualifications ranging from Irish dance to ballet and tap! 

 

When I'm not working at Thespian Arts, I'm working my day job as a travel agent. I'm also normally singing show tunes at the top of my lungs, doing some sort of craft as I love to cross stitch and make my own cards, or I'm off on a muddy dog walk somewhere!

 

My goal is to make sure every single child is aware of how magical & fulfilling the arts can be!

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LAUREN HINDLEY

Dance & Drama Tutor 

Lauren joined us as an assistant dance tutor to help with our ever developing dance group. Lauren is an experienced dancer and performer with an ambition to teach dance to younger people. She has made a great start with us and we look forward to watching her develop in her role.

I am qualified to Grade 6 LAMDA, tour regularly with a dance company, and I have been dancing since the age of 2. 

 

I am currently undertaking my A Level studies in Performing Arts, Dance, Drama and English. I am also completing my LAMDA qualifications in solo acting grade 7, after receiving my previous grades all at distinction level.

 

During my spare time, I am part of Flexus Dance Collective: Sterran Touring Company, which involves touring around the Midlands in both schools and theatres.

 

My aspirations for the future consists of studying a degree in musical theatre, teaching at university, and subsequently gaining a career in the performing arts industry.

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ANTON GUTTRIDGE

Musical Instrument Tutor 

Anton is highly graded in Guitar, highly graded in Drums, and has several years of experience playing Piano to a very good standard. He was ideally suited to join our organisation as an Instrument Tutor with the ability of tutoring any of our instrument classes. We are confident that his knowledge and experience will help our organisation to grow our instrument groups and increase our school provision.

 

My name is Anton Guttridge and I am musically obsessed!

 

I first lay my hands on a pair of drumsticks at the age of twelve and have since been hooked. I am primarily a guitarist in which I am currently held at a grade seven standard, however, that takes nothing away from my love for drums! In which, I possess a London College of Music Grade 5.

 

I plan to take this much further, having being self taught, grades were not my priority.

 

The piano is also a great hobby of mine having played for four years.

 

I adore the theoretical aspect of music, holding GCSE, A Level, and BTEC qualifications in both music theory and performance. At the age of eighteen there is still a plethora of musical knowledge I am yet to obtain! However, I am passionate to share and pass on what I already understand with those who may benefit from it.

 

In my spare time I love to travel and play shows with my band! As well as relax with sports and spend time with friends and loved ones. I also enjoy working within a pit band for musicals beneath the stage!

 

My dream is to one day have a much more thorough understanding of theoretical music, with the ability to translate it seamlessly into sound, and to have encouraged countless young people into pursuing music!

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GEORGIA BURGESS

Musical Instrument Tutor 

Georgia has obtained the highest grade in Flute, Saxophone and Piano, is highly graded in Drums, and has many years of experience playing in band pits and on stage! She was ideally suited to join our organisation as an Instrument Tutor with the ability of tutoring most of our music sessions. We are confident that her knowledge and experience will help our organisation to grow our instrument groups and increase our school provision.

 

I am a musician who began playing the flute at the age of 7, followed by the piano at aged 9 and eventually taking up the saxophone at the age of 11, achieving three grade 8’s by the age of 17.

 

I now play a total of 11 instruments with a passion for the jazz and funk genres. In 2020, I graduated university with a First Class Honours Degree in Music as well as an ABRSM Certificate in Music Education and I then went on to graduate with Masters in Music in 2021.

 

When I am not teaching, I am performing at a range of different gigs spanning from weddings and events to musicals and operas. When I am not performing, I am usually singing and playing my saxophone on TikTok.

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SIANA MORGAN GARDNER

Musical Instrument Tutor 

Siana runs the peripatetic flute classes within school settings, each week.

I am a keen musician currently studying at the University of Wolverhampton where I aim to get a degree in Music for Education and Community Practice. I have completed my grade 6 on the flute and am working towards my grade 7, while also achieving a grade 5 in musical theory and beginning to learn piano and saxophone. I have also achieved a Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. I am passionate about working with young children as I love the idea that with my help, they will grow and develop into intelligent, creative young people! I have a valid DBS and, in school holidays, often volunteer at a local church where I arrange activities for children between the ages of 5-11 years old, along with providing them with a hot meal. I am a very approachable person and enjoy engaging with others as much as I can, offering my assistance when it is needed.

 

Another thing I am very passionate about is baking as I love to experiment with new recipes for my friends and family. Finally, I am a very keen reader, and I enjoy reading books such as the Harry Potter series, my favourite author being Jennifer Niven.

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HANNAH JOHNSON

Business Administration

Hannah is the first of our students to develop through the company and start working for us - we are super proud of her achievements. Hannah is a wonderful person with a huge personality. She is so easy to work with and the Thespian Students really bond well with her. Hannah is studying Fashion at college and has experience of Dress Making. We hope she uses these skills to make great costumes for our Drama Group.

 I first joined Thespian arts as a performer, after years of experience and learning in the singing group, I was asked to join the company as staff. After a few weeks of voluntary work I was given the role of Business Administrator and Costume Manager for Drama.

 

I enjoy singing and I performed with Thespian Arts for 4 years in many Christmas showcases and summer shows, and lots of public events (Pelsall Carnival, Walsall Town Show, Bloxwich Wakes festival and lots more). I joined the organisation at the age of 13 to build my confidence and learn to feel comfortable singing in front of other people. As well as gaining confidence at Thespian Arts, I have also made plenty of friends that believe in me and support me but also push me that extra mile out of my comfort zone.

As well as working at Thespian Arts, I also work at Starbucks and go to college full time. At college I study fashion, because of this I had an opportunity to help with costumes for Thespian Arts drama plays. I think watching children have fun doing something they enjoy and being a part of ensuring they make the most of their childhood is a dream of mine. I’ve always had a dream to work with children, and Thespian arts has given me the opportunity to get to know children of all ages and get to know what hobbies they enjoy and what makes them happy. Not only that but I am also able to be there for them as a friend if they need someone to talk to.

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FRIENDS OF THESPIAN COMMITTEE
(FUNDRAISING & MARKETING)

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CHLO BRIGDEN

PR & Marketing Manager and Chair of Committee

Chlo joined our organisation to help with spreading the word about Thespian Arts, allowing us to reach out to more young people who would benefit from our group sessions. In just over a month she has managed to get us featured on a local radio show, have an article in a magazine and has been the point of contact for all new enquiries, dealing with them with professionalism and friendliness.

 

I joined Thespian Arts in May 2021, where I am now the PR & Marketing Manager. I can’t wait to start planning the campaigns and releasing the leaflets, brochures and social media content.

 

I have a massive passion for marketing after working in various companies before starting with Thespian Arts where I was completing the marketing side of the business.

 

I’ve known Owen for a while as I went to school with him and I am very proud of everything he’s achieved and I am so glad I am able to be part of the journey with all the team and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Thespian Arts.

 

I have a passion for helping others and seeing them achieve their goals and I can’t wait to see all our children in our classes old and new and unleash the performer in them all.

 

Whilst I’m not working for Thespian Arts I have a huge passion on making TikTok videos and making a fool out of myself. So make sure you look out for me and all the team for our funny TikTok videos.

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SADIE ALLEN

Committee Member

Sadie is a wonderful personality, well respected by colleagues and our members. Sadie was our right-hand person when setting up Thespian Arts, even standing in the rain at our events, trying to grow the company and establish ourselves. Thespian Arts would not be what it is without her voluntary work.

I am like a permanent fixture to Thespian Arts, as I have been with the company from the setup (well, behind the kettle as a qualified tea maker!) 

 

I have a passion for helping others. It is for this reason I have volunteered for various charities for the last six years, which includes making the teas everywhere I go, as well as other things like PR, Marketing and Administration.

For my volunteering work, I was awarded the ROCC'S Volunteer of the Year Award (check me out...) 

 

It is my dream that Thespian Arts will increase in its audience, so many more people can benefit from the projects we offer. I know Thespian Arts will continue to help others for many years to come. I am very proud of what we have achieved so far (im just tagging along for the ride). I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Thespian Arts, watch this space...

 

When I am not working (if you class making the cuppas as work) at Thespian Arts, you will find me in a field surrounded by my 3 dogs (usually knee deep in mud, at least... i hope its mud...)