Who we are:
The Theatre Shed is an exciting, inclusive theatre company based in the heart of Chesham. We were founded in 2005 and previously known as Shed at The Park.
Neither ‘mainstream’ nor ‘disability’, our inclusivity offers an inspiring alternative theatre made up of an all-encompassing cross section of the community.
It is a place where young people from every walk of life, background and ability come together to use the power of drama, music and dance to have fun, build confidence and develop their creativity.
We believe that theatre should be for everyone who’d like to participate, regardless of personal circumstances or background. There are no auditions, everyone has a part to play, just come along, have some serious fun and make friends at the same time.
The Artistic Team:
Viv Berry – Artistic Director
Having trained as an actor Viv graduated with a First Class Musical Theatre & Acting degree from Mountview Academy. Viv has worked professionally as a performer for several years for companies such as Theatre Centre and The Coventry Belgrade Theatre.
Viv became Artistic Director of Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation in 2003 and since then has directed numerous productions, commissioned new works and established and run all sorts of workshops for all sorts of people! She has been involved in National events at Theatre Festivals and created pieces of work that have won national acclaim: SHANK a play on knife crime at Tate Britain and RUBBISH PIRATES in Irelands Spraoi Festival. More recently Viv won best family show at the Brighton Fringe with BrightonSheds production of The Secret Garden and directed ‘Something Inside So Strong’ at The Arcola Theatre as part of the prestiogious Grimborne season.
In her spare time (!) Viv is also Associate Director at Printers Playhouse, Eastbournes community Arts hub.
Viv is thrilled to be back at Theatre Shed as its Artistic Director
Sally Barnard – Specialist Practitioner and Movement Director
Sally has been working in both theatre and education for nearly 15 years. She studied Dramaturgy/Theatre originally at Leeds University, then went on to train as an actor, with specialist in Physical Theatre, Movement and theatre for young people, completing intensive training with Hope Street Ltd in Liverpool.
Sally holds a Masters Degree from Royal Holloway, University of London in Physical Theatre as well as training in dance, puppetry & object manipulation, holds certificates in teaching post compulsory education and British Sign Language (L3).
As a professional performer, Sally has a wide range of experience working with companies including Action Transport, Twisting Yarn and The Unity Theatre in Liverpool. Performance styles include childrens’ theatre, classical theatre, large-scale puppetry, dance pieces, numerous physical theatre collaborations as well as contemporary drama.
Sally also works as a freelance theatre director, especially on new writing. As a teacher She facilitates for various community groups and schools/colleges around London.
Alice Connor – Artistic Practitioner
Alice started volunteering as a mentor for The Theatre Shed in 2009. Her main reason for this was to use her experience as an actor to encourage and support the members of her local theatre group. Following in her grandfathers (Kenneth Connor) footsteps, she grew up in the Film and Television industry in front of the camera.
Over her years as a mentor, Alice began to develop a passion for Shed’s ethos of inclusivity, so much so that she went on to gain a 1st Class Honours degree in Psychology specialising in Educational Psychology.
The Theatre Shed welcomed Alice into the Artistic Team in 2016 where she now works as a Practitioner, putting her knowledge and experience into developing the performance and social skills of our young people as well as facilitating the growth of the company itself.
Alice, continues to pursue her acting career in film and television and aspires to be in a position to facilitate the change in society that Shed achieves with ease every week. No boundaries, an open door for all where anything and everything is possible!
Fiona Watson – Lead Practitioner
Fiona started her journey back in 6th form where her passion for drama started. She studied Drama at Chesham Park Community College then went on to do a HND Course which finished with a BA HONS in Drama and English Literature. Fiona is now working as a Learning Support Assistant and is enjoying it very much as she loves to work with children (and secretly she is a child at heart!).
Fiona has been with Shed for 9 years! She started as a young member, went on to be a youth Practitioner and then joined the Artistic team. She has never looked back since!
Sally Alford trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and went to perform as an actress and as a contemporary dancer. She fell into teaching and found that she loved it. Sally, taught in London and Buckinghamshire, directing numerous productions with casts of over 100 young people, some who have gone to do marvellous things. She also ran a successful Theatre in Education project.
Sally is a great believer in Community Drama and has been involved with local productions over many years notably, as a co–director of The Amersham Martyrs Plays. She was lucky enough to teach with Irene Perrin, the founder of Shed@The Park now The Theatre Shed, who suggested she joined the Board of Trustees in the year that Shed@The Park was created because of her Drama specialism…the rest is history.
‘I so admire the inclusive, innovative, imaginative style of work that Shed produces; who could not be swept away by the wonderful members of the Company, the amazing Artistic Team and the outstanding work that they produce. I always tell people that if you cut me in half I would have SHED written through me, just like a stick of rock. I simply LOVE SHED and all that it achieves’
Thomas Connor is a professional actor-musician who trained both at Sylvia Young Theatre School and the Bournemouth Arts University. His talents have taken him around the country with numerous actor-musician productions and he won a British Pantomime Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ in 2016 for his roll in Beauty and the Beast at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool.
“It is of great importance for our young people to have spaces in which they can express themselves and work together as equals. So much of their development is based around a strict curriculum of targets set to achieve a uniform standard. There are important disciplines to learn within that system, but The Theatre Shed offers them the opportunity to take ownership of something outside of that environment. To develop all that is unique to them as an individual and apply that to a creative process.
Having worked with them as a tutor in the past I have seen how trans-formative it can be for everyone within that creative space. It is a luxury that not all have access too. It must be nurtured, protected and when necessary provided for to ensure it is there for the young people involved and future generations.”