Our people

None of Coram SSF's impact would be possible without our creative and committed team. Please do email or phone us - we're always happy to talk about our work and answer questions - we love hearing from you!

Leadership

  • Ruth Brock

    Managing Director

    Prior to becoming Managing Director of Coram SSF, Ruth was a teacher in Tower Hamlets. Her class performed in the 2013 Festival and the impact on her children was so fundamental, Ruth was determined to work for SSF. Before teaching, Ruth relaunched a small inclusive theatre charity and spent six years working in as a parliamentary researcher, media manager and senior press officer for the former Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. Ruth has an English degree from Cambridge.

    What Shakespeare character you would be? Because of her love of feisty, independent people, Ruth aspires to be Beatrice.

    ceo@shakespeareschools.org

  • Chris Stead

    Director of Finance

    In his role as Director of Finance, Chris is responsible for leading the Finance Department and directing the financial strategy of the business. Previously he was Managing Director of a global market research business and has also held senior financial roles at Taylor Nelson Sofres (now part of WPP) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Chris is a qualified Chartered Accountant with the ICAEW and has an MBA from Kingston University.

    What Shakespeare character you would be? Prospero - just, fair and a wizard with numbers.

    chris@shakespeareschools.org

  • Mike Tucker

    Director of Operations

    After four years working the higher education sector Mike joined the Festival Team at SSF. Passionate about the power of stories to bring together people and communities, Mike works with the theatres and theatremakers who support schools through their Festival journey. He also works to measure the impact of SSF's work. Mike originally moved to London from South Wales to study law and philosophy, and still ponders why there are rules. Mike aims to be like Horatio because he's friendly, dependable and alive at the end.

    What Shakespeare character you would be? Horatio

    mike@shakespeareschools.org

Festival team

  • Mike Tucker

    Director of Operations

    After four years working the higher education sector Mike joined the Festival Team at SSF. Passionate about the power of stories to bring together people and communities, Mike works with the theatres and theatremakers who support schools through their Festival journey. He also works to measure the impact of SSF's work. Mike originally moved to London from South Wales to study law and philosophy, and still ponders why there are rules. Mike aims to be like Horatio because he's friendly, dependable and alive at the end.

    What Shakespeare character you would be? Horatio

    mike@shakespeareschools.org

  • Francesca Ellis

    Head of Creative

    Five years ago Francesca was thrilled to discover she could work for SSF and stop being embarassed about loving Shakespeare. Every day since, she has been inspired by teachers who go the extra mile for their pupils, and by young people for whom the sheer joy of stepping onto a stage is life-changing. She has played Rosalind, from As You Like It, and aspires to her bravery and determination.

    What Shakespeare character you would be? Rosalind

    francesca@shakespeareschools.org

  • Jonathan Beaumont

    Festival Manager (Operations)
    Jonathan has worked in theatre for 8 years before joining SSF. He has a degree in English & American Literature and Drama from the University of Kent. Jonathan has joined SSF as a self confessed Shakespeare novice and is enjoying being educated by all the eclectic performances that make up the festival.
    What Shakespeare character you would be? Jonathan took a quiz and got Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing because he is "wise, funny and willing to risk everything!"

    jonathan@shakespeareschools.org

  • Maddie Short

    Schools and Resources Manager

    Maddie trained as an actress at Mountview Academy before qualifying as a teacher and teaching for six years in North London and Hertfordshire. Joining Shakespeare Schools Foundation in 2015 brought together her passion for Shakespeare in performance and inspiring a love of learning. Maddie feels strongly that Shakespeare is for everyone and her role at SSF, overseeing the work with schools and developing resources to support teachers, gives her the exciting opportunity to tap into its relevance for young people. She feels especially passionate about using Shakespeare when working with disengaged learners and is very proud of the work SSF does with students in Pupil Referral Units.    

    What Shakespeare character you would be? Viola

    maddie@shakespeareschools.org

  • Emma Connor

    Senior Festival Coordinator

    Emma has a degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Lancaster University, and spent her second year studying in New York. During this year she discovered the powerful impact Shakespeare's words have on our understanding of the world. 

    Prior to joining Shakespeare Schools Foundation, Emma began her career as a drama teacher in Liverpool, participating in the Festival as a Teacher Director in 2013. Emma relocated to London in 2018 and was thrilled to be given the opportunity to work for SSF. She is a firm believer that a child's involvement in the arts allows them to gain the skills they need to be successful in life. 

    Which Shakespeare character you would be? Because of his fun-loving humour and mischievousness, Emma would be Puck.

    emmac@shakespeareschools.org

  • Alistair Foylan

    Senior Festival Coordinator

    Prior to joining SSF Alistair created and produced theatre, devising shows inspired by the location and architecture of its performance space. He has also worked in market research, managing projects for public and private sector organisations, and has worked on various youth and outreach programmes across the UK. Alistair is proud to work for SSF and is passionate about the power theatre and the arts have to build relationships and create communities.

    What Shakespeare character you would be? A quiz said Alistair would be Falstaff – although he doesn’t necessarily think of himself as vain, cowardly and fat he isn’t one to question the integrity of a BuzzFeed quiz.

    alistair@shakespeareschools.org 

  • Jessica Moffat

    Senior Festival Coordinator

    Jess has a degree in Theatre, Film and Television from the University of Bristol. It was here she realised that the arts could be used as a powerful tool for social change. After graduating University Jess began her career as a participant of Charityworks (a graduate scheme for the non-profit sector). Since then she has dedicated her time to improving opportunities for young people by working and volunteering for charities such as Young Devon, NCS The Challenge, Young Minds and Disability Arts.

    Jess feels very privileged to work for SSF, where she can marry her love of supporting young people’s wellbeing with her passion for the arts. She is proud to Coordinate the region for the North West, where she grew up.

    What Shakespeare character you would be? Cordelia - She is honest, and will always fight for justice.

    jessica@shakespeareschools.org

  • Bethany Appleton

    Festival Coordinator

    Bethany has always been passionate about Shakespeare and the power of literature, and recently graduated from the University of Oxford with a Master's degree in English. She has run educational charity events for the European Youth Parliament UK for a number of years alongside studying, before coming to Shakespeare Schools Foundation as a Schools Outreach Officer. 

    Which Shakespeare character would you be? If Bethany were a Shakespeare character, she would be Beatrice, because she's independent, loyal to her friends and has great chat. 

    bethany@shakespeareschools.org

  • Louise De Froment

    Workshop Officer

    Louise began her career working for the Studio and Learning Department at Theatre Royal Newcastle where a passion was ignited for theatre with a social impact. This led her to London where she completed an MA in Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths College. Following this Louise threw herself into the freelance arts world working on diverse educational and community projects with charities, theatres, museums and galleries across the capital. Louise joined SSF in 2018 and is delighted to work for a charity so dedicated to giving young people the best start in life. When she is not raving about SSF's work Louise can be found Singing, Swing Dancing, Acting in Community Theatre projects or attending a Zumba Class.

    What Shakespeare character would you be? Viola

    louise@shakespeareschools.org

Income Generation and Communications team

  • Francis Christeller

    Development Consultant
    Francis was born in New Zealand but is proud to have lived and worked in the UK as an EU migrant for the last 8 years. He has a passion for all things theatrical, having trained in contemporary dance at university and spent a good part of his professional career on the stages and screens of New Zealand, the UK and Europe. In 2015 Francis joined the team at LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) where he began to explore the wonderful world of fundraising. He joined the Shakespeare Schools Foundation team as Fundraising Manager in mid 2019 and enjoys working closely with others in the team on attracting funding from Trusts, Foundations and individuals.
    What Shakespeare character you would be? Benvolio - because Francis is chilled out, super loyal and hopefully will survive right to the end.

    francis@shakespeareschools.org

  • Alex Swain

    Development Officer

    Alex was initially drawn to Shakespeare by Twelfth Night which blew away his misconceptions of Shakespeare as a boring, serious playwright, and he’s been a fan ever since. He is immensely proud of the work Shakespeare Schools Foundation does and has made it one of his favourite pastimes to tell anyone who’ll listen about some of the inspiring stories he has seen unfold as part of the Festival.

    Which Shakespeare character would you be? King Lear

    alex@shakespeareschools.org

Support team

  • Chris Stead

    Director of Finance

    In his role as Director of Finance, Chris is responsible for leading the Finance Department and directing the financial strategy of the business. Previously he was Managing Director of a global market research business and has also held senior financial roles at Taylor Nelson Sofres (now part of WPP) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Chris is a qualified Chartered Accountant with the ICAEW and has an MBA from Kingston University.

    What Shakespeare character you would be? Prospero - just, fair and a wizard with numbers.

    chris@shakespeareschools.org

  • James Fell

    Finance Officer

    James joined SSF at the start of 2016 and works in the Finance Team. He studied Economics at the University of Birmingham and is training to become a qualified accountant. Outside of work, he has a keen interest in sport and spends most of his free time playing cricket and golf. James thoroughly enjoys working at SSF and is looking forward to seeing more performances in future Festivals.

    james@shakespeareschools.org

96%
of teachers said that their students were resilient as a result of the Festival

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instill curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
96%
of teachers reported that their students were better able to empathise with each other

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instill curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
98%
of teachers said that their students increased in confidence

Every year we help thousands of young people from across the UK become better at teamwork, more confident and more ambitious.

About our impact
98%
of teachers agreed that their students were better at working together as a team

Every year we help thousands of young people from across the UK become better at teamwork, more confident and more ambitious.

About our impact
86%
of teachers say their students improve academically

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instill curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
More than
300,000
young people have taken part in the Festival

Our flagship project is the Festival - the world’s largest youth drama festival.

About our impact

Coram SSF is a cultural education charity that exists to instil curiosity and empathy, aspiration and self-esteem, literacy and teamwork - giving young people the confidence to see that all the world is their stage.

Learn more about us