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The team

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CLAIRE VINCENT

Artistic Director

Claire graduated from University of West of England with a First Class Drama Degree. She formed Bristol Academy of Drama to introduce children to all genres of performance. She has a wealth of theatre experience, both professional and non professional, both on and off stage. She is an award winning actress and has enjoyed critical success as a director and producer. She has worked as a Key Stage 3 Drama Teacher as well as a freelance LAMDA teacher at Bristol Grammar School prior to starting BAD.
 
What are you most excited about in working for BAD?
Well, as I founded it then pretty much everything. It is an wonderful to see the joy that children get from performing. They overcome their fears, they make new friends and really benefit from all the skills that drama brings them. It really is such a powerful tool in their development.
 
What is your favourite drama game?
It has to be "Why are you late" ... a brilliant game involving improvisation, teamwork, creativity and communication skills. I have hooted with laughter so many times watching everyone try to act out ridiculous reasons for being late!  
 
Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why?
Oh this is a tough one. So many wonderful pieces of theatre, some of them are just memorable moments within a play, some are a brilliant portrayal and some are wonderful writing but the one that encapsulates them all for me is Emelia by Morgan Lloyd Malcom.

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JO BYRON

Facilitator & Administrator

Jo is a Creative Producer and Workshop Facilitator based in Bristol. Jo is Founder and Artistic Director of Contemporary Performance Collective UTA Arts CIC, and Associate Producer for Bath Spa Productions. Jo has more than ten years of experience as a Facilitator with adults as well as young people of all ages in a wide variety of environments including Bristol Shakespeare Festival, Stagecoach Performing Arts Schools and Shambala Festival. Jo is passionate about creating bold, punchy, contemporary theatre, and is most excited by experiments, creative risks and new challenges.

What are you most excited about in working for BAD? Laughing and jumping around a lot whilst having so much fun making amazing things happen!

What is your favourite drama game? Werewolves (if you don't know it ask me it's fab!)

Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why? Matilda because of the music and physical theatre! Also Mrs Trunchbull!

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MADDIE HARRISON-BELL

Assistant Facilitator

Maddie is an Assistant Facilitator currently studying Theatre and Film at the University of Bristol. Her strong passion for Theatre started and carried through school, during her first year at university and, of course, has led her to pursue her
work at B.A.D.

What are you most excited about in working for B.A.D.?
I’m excited to start working in B.A.D. and encourage younger children to partake in a range of different drama games and activities to better their confidence and
communication skills – as well as have fun!

What is your favourite drama game?
I really like the ‘One-Word Story’ drama game. In this game, one person starts the story off by saying one word, and the others follow this word with another, however
funny or silly it sounds in a sentence. This allows you to be as creative as you want and write a story with random words within the group.

Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why?
I recently studied Pina Bausch, and in particular her movement techniques within rehearsal, which correlated to her actors’ performances onstage e.g., Rite of Spring. I liked how serious her strategies were in engaging the performers to throw all of their troubles out of the window and focus on the task at hand to produce the most impressive performance they possibly could, incorporating music and dance, but also more direct movement sequences and underlying text work.

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YURI FURTADO

Assistant Facilitator

Yuri is a Brazilian actor, theatre maker, musician and sound designer. He is a graduate of the BA Acting and Physical Theatre course at East 15, where he developed his skills as a deviser, physical performer and facilitator as well as acting. He is the Artistic Director of Double Jinx Theatre, a Bristol-based physical theatre company that explores

fantasy storytelling on stage.

 

What are you most excited about in working for BAD?

Witnessing a group of young people who didn't know each other become an ensemble, working together and helping one another to create and perform exciting shows.

 

What is your favourite drama game?

The most freeing game there is: "Find the game, play the game, accept that the game is over, find a new game". When a group of people can play this effectively, listening to one another and making interesting offers; creativity and playfulness soar in the room.

 

Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why?

Counting Sheep, by the Belarus Free Theatre. It was a fantastic piece of immersive theatre, taking the audience through the thick of the Ukrainian Revolution in 2014. It's one of the most vivid memories I have of watching theatre.

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JOE GIBSON

Assistant Facilitator

Joe is an aspiring performer and writer currently in his final year of studying Theatre & Film at the Univeristy of Bristol. Over the last couple of years, he's performed, directed, and written for a number of student productions, including 'Pinocchio: The Panto!' and 'Panto She Wrote' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He's particularly interested in creating theatre that prioritises an open and inclusive rehearsal environment and believes the above all else, performing should be a tool for sparking joy, creativity, and collaboration for everyone involved in the process.

 

What are you most excited about in working for BAD?

I'm by far the most excited about meeting all of our kids, and making sure that everyone feels included and excited about taking part in our classes. Doing youth theatre groups was one of the most formative and rewarding things I was able to do growing up, so I want to make sure that everyone at BAD can get a similar joy out of their experience.

 

What is your favourite drama game?

I'm rarely ever a competitive person but nothing gets me on my feet and fired up as much as a good old game of 'Splat!', no matter how many times I've played it.

 

What piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why?

I think within recent memory, a piece of theatre I've not been able to stop thinking about is 'Crap Ballet' at this year's Edinburgh Fringe. It's by far one of the funniest and most unique performances I've ever seen, and a great example of how theatre doesn't necessarily have to take itself too seriously to still have a significant emotional impact on its audience.

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JUJU WOLSELEY

Assistant Facilitator

Juju is in her final year of her Theatre and Performance Studies degree at the University of Bristol. She absolutely loves theatre and has been doing drama productions since primary school. At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, she acted in ‘Panto She Wrote’ and ‘All shook up’. She has a passion for creating performances that captivates the audience and empowering children to discover their confidence on the theatrical stage. 

 

What are you most excited about in working for BAD? 

I’m excited to help make amazing shows and watch the children gain confidence in their acting abilities.  

 

What is your favourite drama game? 

My favourite drama game is Zip, Zap, Boing  

 

Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why? 

One piece of theatre that inspired me was the play ‘Pride and Prejudice: Sort Of’ at the Bristol Old Vic because it took a story that has been told many, many times and made it into a ridiculously hilarious, engaging, and entertaining performance with a fresh feel to it. 

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ADAM ELMS

Writer in Residence

Adam Elms read Drama and English Literature at UWE, where he was awarded the Drama Prize. He is an Associate Artist of Blueprint Theatre in London and Schoolhouse Productions in Bristol, and was an Associate at acclaimed site-specific company, Theatre Mill, for four years. 

 

He has over fifty credits in theatre as an actor around the UK and abroad, appearing in everything from Shakespeare to Pinter, farce to Agatha Christie, and panto to Jacobean tragedy, via Dario Fo, Oscar Wilde, Mike Leigh, and many more. His work as an actor in premières of new writing include, recently: 'Legacy' (Blueprint/Rich Mix); 'Libby's Eyes' (The Bunker); D'Eon (Hope Mill, Manchester); and 'Love & Death' (SKINT/Unforced Errors). Adam will play Off-Broadway in Alan Ayckbourn's 'Absurd Person Singular' in December. 

 

His playwriting credits include work for the Old Red Lion, Park Theatre, Drayton Arms, SKINT Festival in Bristol and Wireless Theatre Company. Having worked in young people's theatre regularly as an actor, writer, and workshop leader, Adam is very passionate about the role the arts can play in a child's development and is delighted to be part of the team at the wonderful BAD. 

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BELLA FINLAYSON

Cover Facilitator

Bella is a theatre-maker, actor and facilitator. She graduated in Drama from the University of Exeter and has since trained in the International ACT Residency and the National Youth Theatre. In 2022, she performed as the White Rabbit on a tour of Alice In Wonderland with the Common Players; and at the Tobacco Factory and Revel Puck with Devilish Theatre. 
 
What are you most excited about in working for BAD?
I am really excited about discovering and devising new stories with our students. 
 
What is your favourite drama game?
My favourite drama game is Hee Haa Hoo!

Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why?
A piece of theatre that really inspired me was called ‘Move Until Dusk’. It was a movement piece performed in a forest, with tea, brownies, and pillows. The entire experience felt so playful, warm and rooted in nature.

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OONA CHANFI

Cover Assistant Facilitator

Oona is an actor and assistant facilitator based in Bristol. She trained at the Identity School of Acting and National Youth theatre. She currently works across theatre and film.

What are you most excited about in working for BAD?

I am most excited about working with and getting to know the young people. I want to create a safe space where they feel they can learn and grow.

What is your favourite drama game?

My favourite drama game right now would be zip zap boing.

Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why?

A piece of theatre that has really stuck with me is Wonder Boy it was just incredible in so many ways and made me excited to see the future of theatre.

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JOSHUA COOPER

Facilitator

Josh is an award-winning Actor and Director who has been teaching Performing Arts at City of Bristol College for over a decade. He has trained with numerous theatre companies including Gecko, Kneehigh, Vamos, New International Encounter and Frantic Assembly and he has a particular interest in physical and visual theatre and devising new and unusual work which combines a range of techniques and styles. He has directed work at the Edinburgh Fringe and also has experience of Mask work and Improvisation. His daughter has been attending Bristol Academy of Drama for four years so he is excited to be joining her as part of the gang!

What are you most excited about in working for BAD?
I love sharing games and activities and the thrill of seeing students do unexpected things with them.

What is your favourite drama game?
It’s hard to beat the old favourites like Bang (also known as Splat) for drama and tension – and also getting everyone to focus and be silent! 

Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why?
It’s a long time ago now, but when I studied for my A Levels we saw Complicite’s The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol and it introduced me to physical and devised theatre. It blew my mind! 

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SUSANNAH GREENOW

Facilitator

Susannah is an actor, theatre maker, writer, and singer from Worcester. She graduated Arts University Bournemouth with a first-class degree in Acting. She is a member of the National Youth Theatre and has completed drama education courses with them, including earning a place on their Young Facilitators course in 2022. Susannah is particularly interested in theatre for children, imaginative devising play and musicality. She always brings a sense of fun and creative play into any rehearsal space, connecting all of her work to her inner child.
 
What are you most excited about in working for BAD?
I’m looking forward to meeting another group of excitable and imaginative children, who I hope will inspire me. I’m excited to build their confidence and instil a love for drama
 
What is your favourite drama game?
A singy-song game called “two aubergines”. It takes more explaining than just a few words. But trust me, it’s a good’n!
 
Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why?
The Grinning Man at Trafalgar Studio- gorgeous puppetry with a dark and moving musical score. So good I had to see it twice!

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VIRIDIAN JOSEPH

Assistant Facilitator

Viridian is currently a student at SGS college studying biology, chemistry and mathematics A levels. Growing up between the UK and St. Lucia (Caribbean) with an appreciation for arts, drama has always been an interest of hers. 

What are you most excited about in working for B.A.D.?
The privilege to witness the growth of confidence and freedom in each individual! I'm also excited to join in on the fun and be part of a loving team with such an important mission. 

What is your favourite drama game?
I love "Yes, and!" because its so funny to hear how ridiculous stories can get just by accepting the previous statement. 

Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why?
Without a doubt it's a local play from St. Lucia called "The masquerade", which detailed the history of the characters in the traditional street performance. I watched it for the first time at our local cultural center and was entranced by the colourful costumes and the hilarious storyline which educated me on the spectacle that masquerade is in St. Lucia. In moving back to the UK permanently, it reminds me of my rich culture and the importance of expression. 

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BLYTHE WHITE

Assistant Facilitator

Blythe is a final year Theatre and English student at the University of Bristol. Despite being only 21, he has almost 5 years of experience working with children in a theatre setting. He enjoys inspiring creativity in children and offering a nurturing environment for their fun, and often bonkers, ideas.

 

What are you most excited about in working for BAD?

I'm most excited to see the kids get really stuck into the classes and gain a welcome escape through drama. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing a child get genuinely invested in an activity or show and seeing how much joy it brings them.

 

What is your favourite drama game?

I'd have to say that my favourite drama game is Freeze Improv. It just lets the kids' minds run wild and always leads to giggles from their peers.

 

Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why?

One that particularly sticks out to me is Ram of God by Theodora van der Beek. I'm a sucker for absurdist theatre and the piece used really clever immersive storytelling tactics and was subversive and funny throughout. I adored it!

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CJ Chopin

Assistant Facilitator

CJ is a Theatre and Performance student, in their final year at Bristol University. Their love of theatre started at a young age, but it was only in secondary school where it began to flourish. Throughout their time at uni, they have directed, written, and produced many student productions, including ‘Pinocchio: The Panto!’, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They have a passion for providing inclusive, safe spaces, where everyone, no matter what, gets a chance to be a star. 

 

What are you most excited about in working for BAD?

I am most excited about seeing confidence grow within children and young people. I am a big believer in how theatre and performance helps you to find your voice and discover more about yourself, and it is inspiring when you see this come true. Being able to help build their confidence through providing a safe space for them to explore and develop their ideas is something which I really enjoy being able to do, so it is a privilege being able to do it with BAD. 

 

What is your favourite drama game?

My favourite drama game has to be the park bench game. I love improv and the scenarios that get created when playing this are always hilarious.

 

Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why?

I adored watching the Lion King. The music was incredible, but what stood out to me was the design of the puppets and how the actors controlled them so skilfully. It was a powerful performance which has had a massive positive impact on me as a performance maker. 

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BEATRICE VINCENT

Writer in Residence

Having gained an English Literature degree from Durham University, Bea graduated from Actor Training at Fourth Monkey in London and now works as an Actor/ Writer/Director in London. She is currently working part of the Core Company for Arrows and Traps Theatre Company  She loves to adapt and update classic literature as well as producing new writing and has recently written and performed a One Woman Show for Cobalt Theatre to critical acclaim. Her recently performed works include an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and a new play "Twisted Fairytales" which was perform to sell out audiences in Edinburgh.

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CHARLIE LIMM

Cover Facilitator

Charlie Limm, is a British stage Actor, Musician, Composer and Facilitator who graduated from Royal Holloway University in 2011. Charlie has worked extensively in theatre as both a performer, childrens entertainer (starting life as a Christmas Elf at Hamley's Toyshop in London!), Stage Manager and as a Facilitator with young people. She has worked with many theatres and companies over the years  including The Watermill Theatre, The Old Vic, Battersea Arts Centre, Polka Theatre and Shakespeares Globe to name a few. Charlie also previously was Co-Director of her own devising and new writing theatre company Pen & Rose Productions.

As a musician, Charlie performs live as a solo folk artist and as part of the duo Patchwork Skies and has performed at various prestigious venues and festivals across the country after the release of her first solo EP in 2019 entitled 'Heart to Shore.'  She brings haunting vocals, guitar and flute to the mix infused with classic 70's folk vibes and is described as having "...a high delicate voice with a talent for storytelling, Charlie charms everyone in the place." (Downend Folk Club 2019) Charlie also works extensively in theatre as an Actor - Musician and has composed the music to two theatre shows.

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STELLA FASS

Cover Facilitator

Stella is a theatre maker and dancer, she graduated from the University of Exeter, with a
First Class Drama Degree. She is trained in contemporary dance, puppetry and
eurythmy. Whilst also being a founding member and dancer for the MUD Collective. She
has a range of experience working with children of all ages and loves helping children
discover theatre.
 
What are you most excited about in working for BAD?
I am most excited about helping children tap into their wild imaginations and help them
express their creativity and gain confidence in theatre and in life in general
 
What is your favourite drama game?
My favourite game is: In The Manner Of The Word.
It encourages silliness and collaboration. And really helps establish a fun and safe
space.
 
Which piece of theatre or performance has most inspired you and why?
Pina Bausch's Rites of Spring is an inspiring performance. I love that her choreography
rejected traditional conventions of dance. I found it a very moving and beautiful piece
despite the fact that the dancers were not moving to be beautiful. The movements were
often abstract and authentic, and the ensemble moved in such a united and connected
way. What really spoke to me was the authenticity of the piece and the subversion of
what is expected from physical theatre.

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