Interim Chair of NAYT
Steph is a Youth Theatre practitioner, advocate and project manager who has been involved in the sector since the age of 11 when, after attending an open day at the Chester Gateway Theatre, she joined their Youth Theatre and never looked back. Steph worked at the Gateway from leaving school in 2005 to its sad closure in 2007 and then began a freelance career as a practitioner working for a variety of organisations across the North West.
She set up Minerva Arts, her own organisation in 2009 with fellow artist Hayley Wood and took custodianship of the former Gateway Youth Theatre in 2011. From this original group, Minerva Arts now runs three Youth Theatres in Cheshire West and is hoping to grow that in the next few years. As well as the Youth Theatres, Minerva Arts runs a variety of projects with young people throughout Cheshire and beyond, engaging them heritage, social action and local issues through the arts.
Alongside her work with Minerva, Steph has worked in project management, research and evaluation for Blaze, Curious Minds and CapeUK (now IVE) and, since 2014, has been the Engagement Manager at Oldham based NPO Peshkar.
She is currently in the final throws of her PhD at the University of Chester which looks at the conceptualisation of Youth Theatre from a place of academic neglect.