This page is being updated…more names to meet soon…
Miranda Shirnia MBA PCertLam – Chair for the RWB Arts Festival
After working for 12 years as a marketing professional in the Computing Industry, I changed my career to become a Speech and Drama Teacher.
I have been a LAMDA teacher for 5 years now and teach at three local schools as well as privately in the evenings and at the weekend.
My qualifications include a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA). I have also passed my LAMDA Acting and Speaking of Verse and Prose Qualifications to Grade 8 and gained a PCertLAM.
Sandra McDowell LGSM., ALAM., Bronze, Silver & Gold Medallist – Chair for Speech and Drama at RWBAF
I have always loved literature and the spoken word. I commenced my own Studio of Speech and Drama in 1982, having qualified long before that, originally working in schools. I have been a Committee Member of the Mid-Somerset Festival in Bath for over 30 years, and subsequently was Chair of the Speech & Drama Section for five years. Together with a small team I helped to create the Wootton Bassett Arts Festival in 2009, which very swiftly became affiliated to BIFF. In 2014 we were given the honour of the title of Royal. I have been an Examiner for LAMDA since 2000, travelling all over the UK. My joy is seeing young people achieve and excel, to help their self-esteem and confidence, and to enrich them for a valuable future.
Lucy Barbour LLAM and ALAM, LAMDA Acting Diploma and LAMDA Teaching Diploma Qualified
I have experience in running drama workshops and I have assisted on the Mid-Somerset Festival committee previously. Having enjoyed Speech and Drama throughout my childhood, gaining the highest qualifications and performing in festivals from the age of 6, I am enthusiastic to be a part of the RWF Arts Festival committee and help this wonderful festival be enjoyed by all.
Lara Farahar BSC Honours PGCE
I have been a primary school teacher for eighteen years and have always tried to hard to incorporate speech and drama in to my teaching. I am passionate about international education and have taught in different countries, always encouraging the use of the creative arts. I run my own business teaching Speech and Drama and I am currently training to be a LAMDA examiner.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be involved in the Royal Wootton Bassett Festival which I believe has such a positive impact on children.
Jackie Lawrence BA
Having spent many years working as a broadcast journalist and public relations specialist, I decided to change my career and use my experience and love of drama to help children build confidence in presenting themselves in public. I am now a speech and drama teacher and work with children both in schools and privately. I have a degree in English and Drama from Goldsmith’s College, University of London, A level Drama and I am currently working towards the LAMDA PCertLAM. Growing up, I spent much of my youth rehearsing for plays, preparing for speech and drama exams and entering festivals! I learned so much through my own experience that I am absolutely delighted to be helping with the RWB Arts Festival.
Dr. Liz Howells OBE
I am a clinical psychologist, and the highlight of my career has been the implementation of an innovative service model to help improve the mental health processes within and around Swindon: for which I was honoured to receive an OBE. I have been a long-serving member of the RWB Arts Festival committee and I am very interested in the arts.
As my mother was a director for local theatrical productions, I grew up loving drama and the spoken word. I achieved LAMDA Gold Medals in both the Speaking of Verse & Prose and Acting examinations, and then became a member of the British Actors’ Equity Association. As a professional actress, I toured with several Theatre-in-Education companies, most notably Interplay Theatre Company, playing Pegeen Mike in Synge’s ‘The Playboy of the Western World.’
I teach privately and i also teach the LAMDA syllabus in a local school. I am proud to be a part of the Committee for the RWBAF, and am always very happy to see how my pupils enjoy and benefit from entering each year. I look forward to watching the Festival develop even further in the future.
I began Speech & Drama lessons many moons ago, with our very own Sandra McDowell, completing my Acting Qualifications to Grade 8 and performing at the Festival myself. I pursued my other passions of English Literature and History at university, and my work now involves delivering engaging communications and presentations to audiences around the UK.
I am currently working towards my final Speaking of Verse and Prose Qualification (Grade 8) as well as my PCertLAM, prompting a career change that will help me to inspire others to get involved with Speech, Drama and Communication, through private lessons and workshops in schools and businesses.
Madeleine Emerald Thiele MA
I am an art historian by nature and profession, with a passion and a background in English Literature, and Speech and Drama. I undertook many exams in LAMDA in my youth, and competed in the Longwell Green Eisteddfod and the Mid-Somerset Festival where I was variously successful. Having undertaken a BA many years ago, where I focused on Jacobean theatre, and watched many a play, I am now delighted to return more formally to Speech and Drama to assist in the ongoing creation of this wonderful Festival.
Lisa Williams LTCL (Mus Ed)
I have been the Festival’s Safeguarding Officer for 2 years, and I am responsible for ensuring child safeguarding at all RWBAF events and I’m NSPCC trained in Child Protection. I am also a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, a first study pianist, and choir director. I am currently studying for an MA in Music Therapy at the University of the West of England.
I’m a professional drama teacher with experience in festivals and exams, both as a student and as a teacher. I teach in performing arts schools working with students of varying ages and run my own school holiday musical theatre workshops. As a child I worked professionally in stage and television, and in my adult working life I have numerous years of experience in Special Education. I am passionate about the arts and bringing out every child’s potential through the skills gained in drama and performance.