Alexis johnson, Course leader and trainer
Currently the Learning Director at Walk the Plank and an Associate Lecturer at London Southbank University, Alexis will be responsible for developing the Backstage to the Future training and leading modules in access, audience development, and artist liaison.
With over twenty years of experience in arts education, training, participatory arts and project management and programming, Alexis' past roles including Associate Lecturer at University of London, Head of Innovation at Westminster Kingsway College, and Head of Education at Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA). She runs a large range of youth programmes including annual youth theatre productions with Dream Arts, acting as Creative Director of ‘Blue Train’ in East Thames Foyers (2012); and working on the 2012 London Olympics Young Games-Maker programme for the Paralympics.
Alexis has previously worked alongside the British Council when she was commission to deliver Creative Environments in 2003-4, and on the Creative Cities project 2015-16 in Nigeria. She is currently developing the learning programme for Walk the Plank’s new capital project creative training and making hub.
Liz Pugh, trainer
Liz is the Co-Founder, Artistic Director and Creative Producer of Walk the Plank, formed part of Independent Street Arts Network’s Cultural Leadership Initiative, and sits on the board of Xtrax, NW Street Arts Agency, and Blackpool’s Creative People & Places project, Left Coast. She will be delivering training covering the topics of marketing and communications (with a focus on digital marketing), stage management, and an overview of the artistic content within technical production at Backstage to the Future.
For over thirty years Liz has been producing site-responsive theatre, one-off commissions and touring performances throughout the UK, including the UK’s only theatre ship’s national touring programme. Her work invites people to collaborate, connect, and celebrate in new ways, often in response to particular locations or special occasions. In the UK she has worked as a producer on events for cultural celebrations including Diwali, Chinese New Year, the Fifth of November, Hull’s Freedom Festival, and the Manchester Day Parade. Internationally, Liz has worked on the opening of Turku 2011 Capital of Culture, and is currently the Artistic Director for the opening show for Pafos 2017, European Capital of Culture.
Liz went to the Ukraine with the British Council as one of three Canny Creatives, exploring opportunities for UK companies to connect Ukrainian artists and organisations with expertise, and to develop new partnerships. Along with Alexis, she was also one of Walk the Plank’s trainers for the Creative Cities training in Nigeria.
You can follow Liz @LizPugh on Twitter.
Rob Hill, trainer
Rob works for Walk the Plank on the technical and production side, and in lighting as a freelance worker. He will be delivering training in lighting design and technical production at Backstage to the Future.
Beginning his career as a freelancer working in theatre and community arts projects, Rob specialised mainly in Youth Music Development and over time his broad interest in all aspects of Arts led him into technical and production management. He has spent the last twenty years developing work in this field, particularly in site specific, outdoor, spectacle and fire shows. Rob has worked internationally with companies in Portugal, India, Finland and Holland, and with UK companies including Welfate State International, Walk the Plank, External Combustion, Liverpool Lantern Company, DaDa Festival (disability arts), Pentabus, Foursight Theatre, The Fetch and Ham Fisted.
Recently, Rob has moved into set building and technical prop making, with a specialism in low-voltage lighting design and installation in costumes, props and sets. In his Production Management work, he has been concentrating more on event production design, particularly in outdoor and site-responsive contexts.
Anne-Marie reid cofie, Trainer
A Stage Manager with Walk the Plank, Anne-Marie will give stage management and technical production training at Backstage to the Future.
Anne-Marie has worked for over fifteen years as a Stage Manger specialising in community and youth shows and events. She has taught stage management and mentored young people from diverse backgrounds and needs with DreamArts, many of whom continued with Anne-Marie to stage manage professional shows including the Winter Festival; a community cohesion indoor festival (2009-12), and World Aids day at London Hippodrome (2014). She has also worked on the Caribbean Women Diplomats events (2013).
Currently, Anne-Marie stage managers dance, poetry, theatre, comedy and cabaret shows for Sheba Montserrat productions.