Rosanna Sloan, Founder & Director of Acting UP
Hello and welcome to Acting UP!
I’m Rosanna, and I run and teach most of the classes for Acting UP. Here is a little bit of information about me:
I am from Hampshire and, after working around the country, I decided I wanted to start drama classes on my doorstep, for my community, at affordable prices. Drama classes don’t need to be expensive to be engaging and fun while, at the same time, building imagination, confidence and skills. This is why we will keep our prices low, ensuring more people have access to high-quality, value-for-money drama classes.
I trained in European Theatre Arts at the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance in London, where I specialising in devising theatre, before performing internationally, winning “Outstanding Contribution to Theatre” in Bratislava, Slovakia.
I was commissioned to create “Cloak & Dagger”, a walking theatre performance in Prague, and worked on a number of other projects in the UK and abroad, such as puppeteering on an advert that has received more than one million YouTube hits. In 2013, I set up a theatre company called Unexpected Places, with the aim of making theatre accessible to everyone.
Since 2013, Unexpected Places has performed our puppetry production “From Scraps” at the Bristol Festival of Puppetry, the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre and the Prague Fringe Festival, as well as being involved with numerous other community projects.
Alongside my work as a director, and while teaching drama and directing youth, school and community groups, I have worked in arts marketing and administration for companies and venues in London, Eastleigh and Leicester, including the Barbican Centre, The Point, Frequency Festival, The Spark Arts for Children and Theatre Royal Winchester.
I love hearing from people, so if you have any comments, suggestions or questions, please do get in touch.
I look forward to meeting you soon!
Eloise Tong, Creative Producer and Administrator
Eloise spent five years studying drama at the University of Exeter. She graduated in January 2015 with a master’s degree in Theatre Practice. She has experience in acting, directing, creating theatre and running theatre workshops for children and young people. Her training has been largely grounded in site-specific performance that deals with place, identity, and issues surrounding social engagement and cohesion.
Outside of Acting UP, Eloise works for Pavilion Dance South West as the Creative Programmes Co-ordinator. In this role she helps to produce and commission exciting and unusual dance and performance projects across the South West. She also works closely with the Youth and Education Co-ordinator to create projects specifically for children and young people that allow them to address key issues and feel more at home within their communities.
Lara Howard, Assistant Drama Leader and Administrator
For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed singing and drama, so when it was time for me to go into further education, it was a no-brainer that I would do a degree in something related to the performing arts. In 2014, I did just that, graduating with a degree in Drama and Performance from the University of Portsmouth. After finishing my degree, I decided to pursue one of my ambitions and became a professional singer. Now I am able to pursue another of my passions: teaching drama. While I love all types of drama, musical theatre is my favourite genre, so often you will catch me singing some amazing show-stopping numbers.
The first performance I saw was by my sister in a school pantomime, which was something I looked forward to every year. I remember being in awe of the stage and I was eager to experience what it would be like to perform. In the following years, I took part in many amateur dramatic productions, playing a variety of roles. I also managed to do a lot of pantomimes, mainly taking on the principle boy roles such as Peter Pan!
If I could choose a dream role, it would have to be Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz”, or Puss in Boots. I think I see a theme here; obviously, for me it’s all about the fancy shoes when it comes to roles.
I enjoy working creatively and assisting children in developing their imaginations. I think the most rewarding thing about teaching is watching the children gain confidence and start to use the knowledge you have given them, as well as developing life skills. In this educating role I hope to grow and develop my teaching skills to help encourage children to develop the kind of passion for the arts that I have.
Nicole Greatrex, Marketing Co-ordinator
Coming to this role from a background in print media and live music promotion, I’m keen to help get the word out about Acting UP’s great-value drama classes for both children and adults.
While I’ve never trodden the boards before, I, like Sammy, was a very shy young girl and wish that I’d had access to classes like these when I was young, to help me boost my confidence and let my imagination fly.
I also do the same work for Rosanna’s theatre company, Unexpected Places, and outside of this I work as an exam invigilator for a Hampshire County Council school.