MEET THE TEAM

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 co-founded: Dreams In Action Performance Company (Avenues Community Association Charity) and Heightened Fitness.

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.

SHELBY HILLBACK

Chief Project 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 Chief Project Officer. Her role now is to coordinate and manage our Group Projects.

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.

ALISHEA CAMPBELL-DRUMMOND

Group Members Secretary & Dance 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 'dance project manager', and now 'member's secretary and dance tutor'. 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,

Dance is my 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 though, I'll most likely be editing, filming, and producing content! I also have the pleasure of regularly working with CBBC, on both live TV and online content, and Temple Street Productions, in Canada. 

My goal is to one day have produced an entire stage show, or musical production. I would love to see that process through from start to finish. A dream though, would be being casted in a prominent on-screen role, or even produce my own screen project, whether that be a television show or movie, as I have a strong passion for videography, production, and editing. 

SADIE ALLEN

HR & Administrator

Sadie is a wonderful personality loved by colleagues and customers. She is responsible for looking after all of our customers experience; from payment, to making sure our young stars are supported. Sadie deals with any questions customers may have, so has a great knowledge of all elements of The Thespian Arts Group. Sadie now manages our group Customer Experience Advisors.

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...)

CHARLOTTE ORTON

Dance Tutor (Walsall)

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 our most popular class 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.

KAITIE BROWN

Vocal Tutor (Walsall)

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.

CARA JACKSON

Assistant Vocal Tutor (Walsall)

Cara joined our organisation to specifically help with the vocal tuition for our musical theatre project. Cara has many years of performance experience and is highly graded in singing. She is currently studying Music Performance and Community Practice at the University of Wolverhampton. We are excited to see Cara develop in her first tutoring role.

I have had a huge passion for music, in particular Singing, from a young age. I am now working to turn that passion into a successful career in Music and Community Practice.  I have obtained by Grade 5 in Singing. 

 

I enjoy Singing and performing because you can be yourself, and have a laugh with other performers and your audience. When Singing to an audience, you can create a beautiful atmosphere and let the music take the audience to a different place.

 

When I’m not teaching I am studying for my BA Hons in Music and Community Practice at the University of Wolverhampton. I am always Singing and when I want to relax, you will find me playing my Guitar. 

 

My goal is to be a music teacher after I get my degree at university.

LUCY CHILTON

Dance Tutor (Rugeley)

Lucy joined our organisation in February 2020 after achieving her BA Hons Degree in Contemporary Creative Practice: Theatre Arts and Dance. She was given the task of assisting with setting up & leading our Rugeley dance group, specialising in contemporary & acrobatics. Lucy has many years of teaching experience and we are glad to be working with her.

I have multiple qualifications including: Level 3,4&5 Performing Arts: Dance, a First Class Honours Degree in BA (Hons) Contemporary Practice: Dance and Theatre Arts, BBO Registered Teacher, and I am Progressing Ballet Technique Qualified.

 

I teach dance to allow my students the opportunity to express themselves, and to be taught important life skills as they continue to grow as creative individuals.

 

When I’m not teaching, I’m training myself. It’s important to keep up your own skills. But if I'm not doing that, you’ll probably find me playing with my dog! 

 

I was the 2018 OneDanceUK ambassador, 2018 Dance Consortium Future Leader, and a Graduate Agency signed dancer. I also have my RAD Classical Ballet Awards.

 

One of my goals is to keep pushing myself to develop my training and knowledge, to be able to transfer this to all my students. My dream is to keep performing and create professional work for the stage.

DANNIELLE HARRISON

Piano Tutor (Walsall)

Danielle joined our organisation in January 2021 to help set up and establish our piano classes. Danni has extensive experience and qualifications in music. The Piano group is already proving to be a very successful project thanks to Danni's quality lessons. We look forward to watching the piano group, and its students, develop.

 

I am currently studying at the University of Wolverhampton, on the 'Music for Education and Community Practice' course. I also have my LCM grade 8 keyboard and Trinity grade 7 piano awards, and I am working towards my ‘ABRSM certificate for music educators’. .

 

I have a wealth of experience in planning community sessions and projects with a range of clients (a specials needs school, residential home(s), djembe drumming sessions with primary schools). I have also worked with a secondary school for the past year and a half delivering peripatetic keyboard lessons.

 

I have been playing the piano ever since I can remember. Being able to play a musical instrument is a pride and joy. I love how there is a widespread community that accompany the arts.

 

If I'm not teaching, I enjoy watching Netflix, and I also ski and swim! I actually have achieved some levels within skiing. 

 

In September I will start my primary PGCE trainee year which is the next step to becoming a teacher. When I am a few years into my teaching career I hope to start private instrumental lessons to all ages on the keyboard and piano.

KELSEY HARRISON

Piano Tutor (Walsall)

With lots of experience in performing and a huge passion for Piano, Kelsey was well positioned to join our organisation and help to set up our Piano group. The Piano group is already proving to be a very successful project thanks to Kelseys quality tuition. Kelsey will also be offering private piano sessions, giving our students the option to work towards grading. 

I am currently studying at the University of Wolverhampton, for my music education and community practice degree. I have just recently started private tuition for one to one piano lessons.

 

I have my grade 7 and grade 4 keyboard awards, and have vast experience playing in ensembles, jazz ensembles and choirs. I also have experience performing at different venues such as ‘national band concert’ and doing solo performances.

I like learning everyday about different aspects of music and learning new pieces on piano.

 

When I am not teaching I like to research my favourite aspects of the music industry, and I enjoy walks and skiing.

 

My goals for this year and the future, are to pass my grade 5 music theory, pass my grade 8 piano exam, and finish my degree, to then go on to a Early years foundation PGCE.

LEWIS MOORE

Drum Tutor (Walsall)

Lewis joined us to help set up and establish the Drum group. He has made a great start with us. The students are progressing well under his quality tuition. We look forward to watching the group grow. Lewis is determined to build on the great start he has made so far and we hope to be able to launch a group in our Rugeley branch very soon.

I have been drumming for 8 years now. I am self taught however, for the last 4 years I myself have been enrolled in lessons to continue to develop as a drummer and performer. 

 

Drumming has been a passion of mine, ever since I started secondary school. It’s helped me a lot mentally over the years as for me, it feels like an escape from stressful situations like education or work. I want other young people to embrace and develop their passion for the drums, like I have. They are so much fun to play also drumming is one of the most important roles in music, so it’s good to learn the history behind it! There is so much to learn when you start drumming such as rudiments, grooves, chops, songs and so much more! You’ll always have a topic to dive into and thats what I enjoy most - learning more.

 

Apart from drumming, and tutoring, I was a music students at Birmigham BIMM University, unfortunately due to the impact of Covid-19 I had to leave during my second year. I now have a job as a full time Labourer so that takes up a lot of my time now, but it keeps me occupied!

 

My current ambitions are to become a professional Roofer & to start my own business whilst developing as a drum teacher on the side.

Carole Russell

Mandy Boyes

Joshua Gethen

Zoe Spendlove-Russell

Amy

Jane