We believe that it is important for young people to be given as many opportunities as possible to work with a variety of professionals and experiences the many different facets of the performing world. Where possible Imagine Theatre will seek to connect young people with existing directors, performers and those who make their living within the creative arts. We hope to open opportunities for paid work, auditions, work experience and being mentored. The following professionals have agreed to run workshops for 'Imagine Theatre' over the next few years. We're very excited to welcome them on board.
John is a Bristol based performer with over twenty years of stage experience. He is the leading actor in Britain's only improvised soap opera 'Closer Each Day' and teaches improvisation to adults who want to improve their performance skills, including casual and corporate clients. John also writes for the stage and radio and is an accomplished comedian as well as straight actor. John can be seen in numerous short films, has a back catalogue of stage productions almost as large as he is and has worked alongside James on stage for the last eight years as an improviser. John and James have an excellent on-stage partnership and Imagine Theatre is pleased that 'Big John' will be teaching the complex systems of improvisation as well as offering advice from his twenty years of performing and directing.
Whanita La Boucharderie
Whanita is the founder and principal of Danceworks in Cheltenham. She trained at the Royal Ballet School White Lodge and was a junior ballet scholar for the British Ballet Organisation. She has advanced qualifications in Ballet, Tap and Jazz; and has an Associate qualification (Teachers diploma level 4) that means she is accredited to teach many dance styles to the highest standard and does work as an examiner. She currently runs Danceworks Studios in Cheltenham which opened in 1999 has grown to have over 600 pupils of all ages. It is hoped that the Imagine Theatre and the Danceworks school will establish creative links and have a relationship that is of mutual benefit to both. James has worked alongside Whanita for many years and the two have an excellent working relationship that has seen the creation of some innovative contemporary dance and drama combination pieces.
Film and Television
Ross is currently a teacher of English, Media and film at Wycliffe College in Stroud. He is a graduate of English Media and Politics (Nottingham) and has a Masters degree in Film and TV production (Bristol). He currently teaches A-level Media and Film. Ross is the Company director of Breakwater Media and Film and a founding member of the Gloucestershire Showcase Short Film Festival. Ross has produced numerous short films and is an experienced director and teacher. He is pleased to be offering his expertise and will be working with students on filming techniques as well as opening up opportunities for selected students to write, direct, shoot and edit their own short films.
Opera and Voice
Guy Withers is Cardiff University graduate (Music BMus hons.) and an award winning Light-Lyric Tenor, studying with some of the UK's top singing teachers from the Royal Academy of Music. Guy is very experienced in vocal performance of a varied repertoire, including song, lied, opera, operetta and oratorio. He regularly works as a soloist for a number of opera companies nationwide and has great experience as a recital and choral society soloist. As well as in performance, Guy also has experience in musical leadership, conducting, composition and arranging. He has held a number of posts as a musical leader and conducting for a number of ensembles from barbershop to full chamber choir and opera chorus. He is also a musical innovator setting up a production company (Indomitable Productions), university operatic society and vocal ensemble. His debut opera 'Pride & Prejudice' premiered in March 2013 to critical acclaim, and his vocal arrangement of 'Gangnam Style (Cardiff Style)' has found its way across the world via Youtube supported by Cardiff University.
Joseph Wallace is a film and theatre director based in Bristol. His short films have won awards and been screened at festivals internationally and he has created animations for film, theatre and television. His live-action work ranges from fiction pieces to dance and documentary films. Animation credits include 'The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling' which has screened at more than 25 international festivals, was nominated for a BAFTA Cymru in 2012 and has won awards including Best up and coming talent award at Canterbury Anifest 2011, and animated sections for 'Love Struck', BBC Wales. Joe will be working with Imagine students on the role of puppetry having just finished work with Handspring Theatre company and their recent production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Bristol Old Vic. Joe has also been a teacher at the Bristol Old Vic youth theatre and Imagine are very pleased to welcome him to the team.
Tom is professional fight director and stage combat instructor recognized by Equity and accredited by the Academy of Performance Combat and the BADC Over the last few years he has taught at various theatre institutions including the RSC, Royal Welsh, Guildford and his freelance credits include Elfie Hopkins and the Gammons starring Ray and Jaime Winston. He also runs training days and independent courses in the Gloucestershire area which Imagine Theatre students may wish to join. Tom will be putting our students through their paces with unarmed combat workshops and working closely with Imagine Theatre to help our students to 'skill up' in this very vital aspect of theatre and film performance.
Voice and Broadcasting
Rachel is an experienced voice over artist, actress and writer with nearly 20 years in the business. She has worked for the BBC. ITV, Channel 5 and British Forces TV. You can currently hear her on Sky Arts 1 HD where she is the Continuity Announcer/Writer. She is an experienced stage actress and has also appeared in corporate training films, was the lead in a series of adverts for Comet in 2012 and numerous voice over work on adverts and promos. She is also a writer and recently wrote The Gloucester Mystery Plays starring Jeremy Irons as God. Rachel is currently based in Cheltenham and is looking forward to starting work with Imagine Theatre and to help our students discover more about their voices.