Brendon Burns- Head of Discipline
An experienced director, lecturer and facilitator, Brendon has led major participatory and educational theatre projects in the UK, Europe and in West Africa. He trained as an actor at the Arts Educational School, London and later completed a postgraduate research degree in Theatre in Education at the University of Middlesex. Previous posts include Solent Peoples Theatre (Artistic Director) The Haymarket, Basingstoke (Associate Director), Proteus Theatre (Associate Director), Indefinite Article (Artistic Director) and First Draft Theatre (Artistic Director). Research interests include the work of the Citizen Artist, Theatre for Democracy and Jungian approaches to drama facilitator training.
Main teaching areas: Directing, Facilitation, Theatre for Democracy, Theatre in Education, Theatre for Social and Political Purpose
Emma specialises in the use of drama and creative inquiry practice for education. As a facilitator, deviser, director and qualified teacher, Emma has worked in a wide range of community and educational settings using and training others in the practice of dramatic inquiry pedagogy. Previous posts include Educational Action Zones (Performing Arts Worker), Creative Partnerships (Creative Agent and Practitioner) and Youth Councils (Drama Youth Officer).
Main teaching areas: Drama in Education, Theatre in Education, Contextual Studies
Before coming to LIPA 11 years ago Mike was Technical Director at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. He has over 40 years experience working as a Theatre Production Manager mostly working in Regional Rep Theatre. He has also has extensive experience as a Lighting Designer. Freelance work has included Theatre Consultancy and work as a Props Supervisor and Construction Manager on music videos and for TV light entertainment programmes.
Main teaching areas: Stage Craft and Production
Originally from Manchester, Laura trained at East15 Acting School after which she worked as an actor. She later trained as a voice coach at Central School of Speech and Drama and has been working with actors in theatres and drama school in and around London for the past 5 years. Laura joined LIPA as a Lecturer in Acting (Voice) in 2013.
Main teaching areas: Voice and Speech
Gillian’s teaching experience and expertise is in devised theatre and performance, collaborative processes, theatre histories and oral testimony. She trained at MMU Cheshire in Drama and English and Performance studies at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, Leeds University. She is a founder member of Pigeon Theatre which specialise in experimental and interactive works.
Main teaching areas: Origins: Ritual, Myth and Mask, Creating Devised Theatre, Contemporary Policy and Practice
Over the last two decades Sharon has worked extensively in both formal and informal educational contexts using theatre as a tool for empowerment to promote learning and advocacy. As a facilitator she has undertaken major projects for a number of statutory agencies, theatre companies and NGOs including The Office of the Children’s Commissioner-England, BBC Raw Stories, Hampshire County Council and the Hampton Trust. This work has involved working in a wide range of community settings including: Prisons, Young Offender Institutions, Pupil Referral Units, Areas of Urban Deprivation, Mental Health Units, Sheltered Accommodation and Teenage Mother and Baby Units. An experienced lecturer, Sharon has also taught in a number of HE institutions including the University of Winchester, University of Portsmouth and Edgehill University.
Main teaching areas: Intersecting Worlds, Community Performance as Counter Narrative, Theatre for Democracy
Lisi has worked as a dance artist, since 1989. She is Artistic Director of COLLISION and most recent commissions include European Capital of Culture 2008, and Big Dance as part of the Olympiad celebrations, 2012. She has worked with and for many different choreographers and companies including Scottish Dance Theatre, Motionhouse Dance Theatre and Jasmin Vardimon. She has directed and choreographed work in many diverse contexts; in theatres and non-theatre spaces, large- scale projects on beaches, in museums, police stations and parks with a range of performers from Community groups & professional companies to JCB diggers & City Orchestras.
Main teaching areas: Movement, Core Competencies
Beth trained initially as an opera singer at the Royal Scottish Academy. Having gained her degree she continued training as a Music Therapist and Voice Specialist, gaining an MA in Voice in 2000. She co-founded and performed with the successful children’s music theatre company ‘The Happy Gang’, which involved intensive stage touring, studio recording and the filming of three series of programmes for the BBC. More recently, she has been a voice coach with various performing arts companies, including large scale community shows at the Lowry Theatre, and small scale dance and circus companies, Collision and Stumble. She was Creative Leader for Lancashire’s Sing Up initiative for four years and is now Head of Voice for the Lancashire Music Hub, as well as a Voice Coach at LIPA.
Main teaching areas: Singing
Nick early working life was as a performing arts practitioner with some of the 70s/80’s companies working on early experiments to find a ‘total’ theatre and to develop site-specific performance. Since then, he has been creative producer and director of many events and festivals, chief exec of community arts/regeneration companies, and still works occasionally as a theatre maker and voice over artist. Based in Liverpool, he project managed several programmes for the year of Capital of Culture, including Opening and Finale events, a series of site specific shows with Walk The Plank and Cheshire Dance for the Cultural Olympiad 2012, and is currently Cultural Programme Co-ordinator for the International Festival for Business which will take place in Liverpool in the summer of 2014. His current theatre project is The Judgement of Hakim, a solo show examining the fine line between interrogation and torture, which will next be performed in late January 2014 at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool.
Main teaching areas: Project Management; Professional Development
Brainne has trained under improvisers such as Neil Mullarkey (Comedy Store Players, London), Mick Napier (Annoyance Theater, Chicago) Larry Arrick (UCLA), Various Tutors Second City, Chicago, Keith Johnstone, and Dick Chudnow (ComedySportz Founder). She has currently performed (and taught) improvisation in fourteen different states in the USA, as well as all over the UK and Ireland. Brainne has recently been published in the Intellect Books - Comedy Studies Vol 1, with a paper entitled Comedy Improvisation on Television - Does it Work?. She has a First Class Honours Degree in Media and Performance from Salford University and a Masters Of Art in Film and Video from The Surrey Institute of Art and Design. Brainne founded the UK division of the International Improvised show ComedySportz in 2001.
Main teaching areas: Improvisation and Acting
Dr. Neil Foxlee
A Cambridge graduate in Modern Languages (French and German), Neil is an Honorary Research Fellow at Lancaster University and a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, where his teaching has included modules on debating politics, rhetoric and (at MA level) political rhetoric and the rhetoric of narrative and image. He has also worked in journalism (for Songlines world music magazine), publishing (as a freelance copy-editor and proof-reader for Rough Guides) and local and community radio (as a specialist music presenter). Based on his PhD thesis, his book Albert Camus’s ‘The New Mediterranean Culture’: A Text and Its Contexts – a study of a 1937 political speech by Camus – was shortlisted for the prestigious R.H. Gapper prize. His other publications include a study of the presidential campaign rhetoric of Barack Obama.
Main teaching areas: Rhetoric
Janet studied the violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London and qualified in 1975. Her musical training, followed by four years' experience teaching the violin in schools, led her to realise the importance of posture and relaxation while playing. Since qualifying to teach Alexander Technique in 1986, she has worked mainly at her Chester Alexander Technique Studio and has taught hundreds of pupils from Cheshire, Wirral, and North Wales. She recently started teaching in Liverpool. She enjoys working with children and teenagers as well as with adults, is experienced with groups and individuals, and has taught the Technique at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
Main teaching areas: Alexander Technique
Mark trained at Liverpool John Moore’s University (1993-1997), and undertook further training at Hope St. Ltd (1997-1998) in Children and Young people’s theatre and Physical theatre, during this period of time he worked with some of the country’s foremost theatre practitioners/companies such as Paul Hunter, Jos Houben, Andrew Dawson and Trestle Theatre amongst many notable others. Mark has been teaching regionally, nationally and internationally for the past thirteen years. He has taught at a variety of Institutions such as Hope University, Bradford University, LJMU, Exeter University and The Hothouse (Los Angeles). Mark is also currently Artistic Director of Spike Theatre and has devised or directed all of their theatre shows to date.
Main teaching areas: Mask and Commedia