Ingestre_hall@sandwell.gov.uk 
"Creative learning at its best" 
01889 270225 

RICHARD POYNTON 

Richard has a BA in English with Theatre and Performance from the University of Plymouth and an MA in Drama and Performance from the University of Wolverhampton. He had never studied drama whilst in secondary school (as it wasn’t offered as an option) however he has been involved in theatre from a young age by taking part in local youth theatre companies and school productions. 
 
Since graduating, Richard has worked as a freelance theatre director for various theatre companies, in venues across the country, and has extensive experience of creating performances with young people. He spent seven years as a Youth Theatre Leader at Stafford Gatehouse Youth Theatre and across those years he created and directed over 25 productions with them, including taking a production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2012.  Most recently, he worked as writer and director for Buffalo Boy at Epic Arts Centre in Cambodia. 
 
Richard joined the team at Ingestre in 2006 and works with the students to devise and develop an original piece of theatre, to be performed at the end of their visit.  He firmly believes that the greatest classroom resources are the brains and personalities of his students, and he loves utilising young people’s imaginations to generate ideas to be brought to life on stage. Richard views himself as the facilitator that develops and shapes the children’s ideas and work, rather than creating it for them, as this gives the participants ownership of their work, which in turns helps to develop a sense of confidence in themselves and their creative potential. 

HEATHER HIGGINS  

Heather studied for her B. Ed (Hons) in the middle of Yorkshire Sculpture Park at Bretton Hall (Leeds Uni) and eventually moved back to the Midlands to become a teacher. 
After teaching for 22 years, Heather feels that her most-loved subjects of Art and Literature are inextricably linked - she loves to use stories as a stimulus for her artwork, often with texts playing a large role. Heather finds introducing new media to children exciting and loves to share her skills. 
 
Feeling that every child has the potential to be creative and produce artwork they are proud of, it is Heather’s aim to give them ‘top tips’ for success and methods which assist them to achieve simple and effective pieces of art to treasure. 
 
Outside working at Ingestre, Heather produces signage and artwork for brides and interior designers - having lovely handwriting has its advantages! Her dream is to have a “she-shed” workshop in her garden where she can close the door on the mess and pretend it doesn’t exist... 

OLLIE CASH  

After achieving a 2:1 BA (hons) degree in Music Production at Leeds College of Music, Ollie has gone on to freelance for multiple international companies, bands and artists as well as working with Newave Education and Ingestre Arts. 
 
Ollie first became interested in music from a very young age, playing classical guitar for multiple guitar ensembles within the Birmingham area. Ollie also played guitar and bass in other bands which allowed him to play at venues such as the Nation Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham's O2 Academy, Symphony Hall and many more. However, it was when Ollie first started recording in studios that he found a love for music production and sound engineering. 
 
Ollie is very passionate about music and technology and always loves to integrate technological wizardry into his workshops to show young people that there is more to music than notes and sound. Calling himself a Music Producer showcases Ollie as an individual that works with students to create and develop their own musical sound and style and strives for student led work. 
 
However, Ollie’s most important workshop rule is to have fun. As a day without laughter, is a day wasted! 

TARA POOLE 

Tara has a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies with Dance Foundation and an MA by Research in Performance and Philosophy. After graduating from University Tara had ideas about writing academic books and teaching University students. Instead, Tara found her path working as a dancer for various choreographers and began teaching Performing Arts at a local college. Whilst working in Further Education, Tara gained her teaching degree, managed a large department and directed and choreographed over 80 student performances; including a production for Shell Connections National Youth Theatre, which was performed at the regional finals of the competition. 
 
Since having children of her own, Tara has become more interested in children's education and performance. She worked in Children's Centres with pre-school children and their parents, encouraging literacy skills through creative activity. Tara has also been involved in the development of five productions aimed at young children and has designed education and outreach programmes to work alongside these performances. Tara feels incredibly privileged to work at Ingestre Hall and especially enjoys helping every child to realise their own creative potential in dance and physical performance work. 
 
In her spare time Tara sometimes works for an exam board marking students in dance, she enjoys crafts and face painting but mostly works as a taxi service for her own children, who are both keen dancers. 
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