Board of Directors

Miles Harrison – Chair

Miles works in leadership and organisation/governance development and is an independent meeting facilitator. He has particular expertise and experience in the not-for-profit and public sectors. Since 1990 he has designed and delivered bespoke governance and leadership development programmes for a range of not-for-profit and public sector organisations in the UK and abroad.

He previously worked for the leadership development organisation Common Purpose as Programme Director and for the Scottish Arts Council as Senior Development Officer (National Lottery), later running the Advancement Programme – a scheme to help organisations achieve lasting positive change. He is an accredited Action Learning Set facilitator and has run training programmes in coaching and mentoring.

Graham Main – Co-vice chair

Graham Main is a cultural producer specialising in performance, site-specific and community arts. He has been a key player in the transformation in Dumfries & Galloway’s cultural industries leading on policy development in Youth Arts, Emerging Artists and art form development of Performing Arts. He has worked across Europe in areas of cultural policy and production with major portfolio companies in a variety of producing roles including Dublin Fringe Festival, Dublin Opera, St Patricks Festival, Communidad Madrid and Dublin City Council. In 2014, he led on the Creative Place Award partnership bid for Dumfries.

As Executive Producer, he leads Electric Theatre Workshop’s portfolio which includes Big Burns Supper and Carlisle Fringe Festival, Dumfries Youth Theatre and Dumfries Community Choir, and the award winning Associate Artist programme which has supported over 35 young people in Dumfries & Galloway to develop pathways in the Creative Industries. In 2011, he worked in partnership with The Stove to create Make Performance, which formed part of the Rural Talent Development programme, with Bryony Kimmings and Selina Cartmell.

In 2004 he developed the first ever European interactive platform for performing arts which ran in 2005 and 2006 and brought together emerging artists from 20 different partner countries.
Graham trained at the George Street School of Art, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and at The Moscow Art Theatre in Directing. He is currently undertaking an MA with Queen Margaret University in Cultural Policy. His research area is the ecology cultural participation in Scotland’s rural communities.

Credits as a theatre maker include, Loaded, Red or Dead, Blood Orange and We Can Be Heroes. Most recently, Le Haggis was awarded Spirit of the Fringe at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe.

Marianne Maxwell – Co-vice chair

Marianne joined the National Theatre of Scotland in January 2006 as Marketing Manager, becoming Audience Development Manager in 2009. In 2012 Marianne became a Producer at NTS and has produced the award-winning Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, Dear Scotland and Let The Right One In.

Beginning her arts career with 7:84 Theatre Company, Marianne has a strong background in engaging with audiences and participants for touring theatre. Her role at the National Theatre of Scotland involves finding creative ways for new, diverse audiences to discover live theatre, connecting those audiences to the best artists in the world and building relationships that last.

Joining Scotland’s renowned ‘Theatre Without Walls’ at its formation, Marianne has played key roles in marketing, communication and social media campaigns, led the Company’s branding process, established its Audience Development function, pioneered work in access & equalities and created and delivered some of its most innovative projects. In 2011, she devised and delivered a totally original digital project called Five Minute Theatre.

In a bid to broaden access to the arts, Marianne has created a number of initiatives including First Nights which has made it possible for thousands of young people to go to the theatre for the first time; a national Deaf Theatre Club; a team of brand ambassadors called Champions; and established relaxed theatre performances for those with autism as an integral part of the NTS programme.

Marianne is actively involved in the cultural sector as a mentor, an advisor, panel member, public speaker and board member.

Simon Hodgson – Treasurer

Simon Hodgson has been Director of Carers Scotland since June 2011. He is a member of the Senior Management Team of Carers UK and is responsible for all aspects of the organisations work in Scotland. In the last four years this has included policy work on new legislation that impacts on carers’ lives, promoting the potential benefits of technology – telecare and telehealth – in assisting carers, and giving carers a voice through the first three Carers Parliaments.

He has a long career in the Scottish voluntary sector. His previous role was Director of Policy & Communications with Scottish Refugee Council managing a team whose prime purposes was to improve public understanding about why people seek refugee protection in Scotland and to ensure that policy and legislation in this area was based on accurate and up-to-date information.
The team was responsibility for research and policy development, external training, membership and external affairs, events and conferences, publications and information leaflets, arts development – including co-ordinating Refugee Week – and media, the website and other new media channels.

Prior to this he worked for Oxfam in Scotland for 15 years in a variety of roles, including a secondment to Croatia at the start of the Bosnian war and latterly as the Campaigns and Communication Manager. He was a founding board member of NIDOS, the Network of International Development Organisations in Scotland.

Michael Richardson

Michael is a theatre maker, arts educator and arts manager who has worked across theatre, musical theatre and opera.

Michael has had a significant impact in the youth theatre sector. In 1994 he founded Shrewsbury Youth Theatre and has been a Regional Development Worker for the National Association of Youth Theatres. From 2004 to 2010 he was Artistic Director of West Lothian Youth Theatre, and during the same period he was a founding Trustee and later Chair of Promote-YT, the umbrella organisation for youth theatre in Scotland. His book Youth Theatre – Drama for Life was published by Routledge in 2015.

Michael has been working increasingly with the Deaf community for several years, and in 2015 began a practice-based PhD at Heriot Watt University exploring the participation of Deaf people in theatre.

Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambaksh

ISPA Fellowship England 2017-2019

Touring theatre company leadership & management, and directing

Artistic Director (CEO) and Founder of ZENDEH, an award winning national touring Theatre Company “connecting the personal with the political” since 2004. Awarded an Amnesty International Commendation Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2005. ZENDEH is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation based in Newcastle, working nationally, internationally, and locally. Strategic and consultancy work includes: Facilitator and Founder Member of Creative Case NORTH since 2011.

Directing based roles in theatre buildings

Awarded an Arts Council England Trainee Directorship at the CURVE (Leicester Haymarket Theatre) in 2001 – 2002. Staff Director at Derby Theatres (Derby Playhouse) 2002-2003. Associate Director Theatre Workshop Edinburgh 2005 – 2007.

Performer/Actor includes:

Theatre Uncut (2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Summerhall); BLANK by Nassim Soleimanpour, Aurora Nova (2016, Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Summerhall); CINEMA by Steven Gaythorpe, ZENDEH (2015, Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Summerhall Northern Stage & Tour); Horizontal Collaboration by David Leddy, Fire Exit (2014, Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Traverse Theatre); Rabbit, Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour, Aurora Nova (2012, Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Summerhall).

Academic experience lecturing and directing

Visiting Lecturer, and Visiting Director of: Drama and Theatre Arts (Directing); Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh 2003 – 2007.

Education at graduate level

1999 BSc Hons in Media Technology from the University of the West of Scotland (University of Paisley).

Sonali Shah

Sonali Shah is Senior Research Fellow at Strathclyde Centre for Disability Research and the Institute of Health & Well Being at Glasgow University. Since getting a PhD in 2002 she has also done research concerned with social inclusion and social equity for disabled people – across different ages, genders and ethnicities – to ensure the voices of historically marginalised and oppressed populations are listened to and included in policies and practices that affect their well-being and participation in society. She uses theatrical methods to take the research to different audiences.

Sonali is the author of Career Success of Disabled High-Flyers (2005) and Young Disabled People: Choices, Aspirations & Constraints (2008), and co-author of Disability and Social Change: Private Lives & Public Policy (2011). She is Associate Editor of the new academic journal Frontiers for work around education and SEN, and the international disability history blog. She is convenor for the MSc Disabling Society course in the School of Social & Political Sciences at Glasgow University.

Sonali is a volunteer for Rape Crisis Scotland, particularly on their programme about sexual prevention in schools, She is an avid traveller, lover of theatre, and amateur actor. Sonali dabbles in songwriting and her work can be heard via her music website http://sonalishahmusic.wix.com/home. Her ultimate philosophy is ‘The Beauty of A Dream is Never Let It Go’

At the beginning of June 2017, our trustee and long-time friend, Sophie, sadly passed away. We all miss Sophie and think of her family and friends often. Rest well Pixie x

Sophie Partridge

Sophie is a creative practitioner living in London, who trained with Graeae Theatre Co. She has worked extensively since then, including her performance as Coral in the award winning Graeae play, Peeling. Other stage performance includes work with the David Glass Ensemble, TIE in Nottingham, Theatre Resource in Essex and Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh and performing her own solo piece with puppetry, Song of Semmersuaq. Her Media work also includes photo modelling, corporate video and radio, as well as a year co-presenting the Download for Disability Now, previously writing a bi-monthly column for Able magazine and regularly contributing to Disability Arts on Line. Sophie is also a campaigner for the right of all Disabled People to live truly independently!