OUR TEAM

Vicky and Kate, who met at drama school, share a passion for creating theatre and working with children. Having completed their MAs they continued to work in schools and drama clubs. They both felt that children came up with the best possible ideas and wanted to create a company that encouraged this thought process. Inspired by Sir Ken Robson’s theory on divergent thinking they founded Divergent Drama - a way for children to explore, expand and experience their own learning.

Victoria Sheldon

Founder

Having graduated from drama school with an MA in professional acting in 2013, Victoria currently splits her working time between acting and teaching drama. Before deciding to tread the boards she gained a BA in English Literature from Bristol University with a view to becoming a full time teacher. Victoria has always enjoyed teaching - gaining early experience in the field as a swimming teacher and as an Assistant Director for a Youth Theatre School (Daydreamer) - not to mention taking part in numerous theatre in education shows, fringe and professional theatre shows post graduation.

Victoria is excited to have co-founded a company where she is lucky enough to combine her two loves: teaching and drama.

Kate Gwynn

Founder

Kate’s passion for teaching began from a young age, having assisted her mother as a primary school teacher - she attended university to study Drama and Performance. During her BA she specialised in community theatre and worked at local youth theatres  and schools. She made the decision to continue her studies and went on to complete an MA in professional acting. Kate has worked and toured with various educational companies and theatres in education and fringe shows.

Jessica Alade

Facilitator

Jess trained as an actor at the Guildford School of Acting graduating with a first class BA Honours degree in 2017. Her work with young people began at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, where she assisted with term-time acting classes and school holiday activities. The Lyric is where Jess began her journey as a performer, which is why she enjoys her work there with young people who are finding themselves on a similar path. She also works with Youth Music Theatre UK as a manager of the pastoral team on residential musical theatre projects around the country. 

Nicola Bland

Facilitator

Nicola began professionally acting from a young age with her first lead role in the film “Yellow” starring alongside Ray Winstone, shortly followed by Eponine in Les Miserables at The Palace Theatre. Nicola trained at E15 Acting School has been working professionally for the last 15 years with roles in The Bill, Casualty, ITV Drama “Pickles”, BBC period drama "Messiah" many adverts, short films and Plays at The Soho Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, Criterion Theatre, Barbican Cockpit and Royal Court Theatre. Recently finishing a two month transfer of "Fight Club" in Hong Kong. Nicola has extensive teaching experience currently working with many schools and academy's across Essex and East London.

Amy Gallagher

Facilitator

Amy trained as a professional actress at Drama Studio London having already gained a BA Hons degree at Brunel University in Modern Drama Studies. It was here her passion for working with children through the arts grew and she has experience within theatre in Education as well as a children’s party Entertainer. She enjoys watching children’s confidence &  imaginations come to life through drama & performance. Amy splits her time between acting professionally including film, TV and theatre and teaching drama.She is also a Radio DJ at her local Hospital.

Lerato Islam

Facilitator

Lerato Islam is a freelance youth drama practitioner and director. After completing her studies at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, she now works with various youth theatre groups across London, at venues such as the Kiln Theatre, the Arcola and Theatre Peckham. Lerato delivers fun, high energy classes focussed on confidence and self-expression, and specialises in devising plays alongside her groups.

Becky Black

Facilitator

Becky trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts on the BA Acting course graduating with a first class honours. Becky has worked as an actor in regional theatres, fringe production, corporate work, independent film productions and tours of the UK. Becky has been teaching performing arts for over six years, for students aged from 3 to 18. She has taught day long workshops, after school clubs, exam/audition preparations, and one to one classes - making her a versatile and experienced teacher who continues to thoroughly enjoy inspiring and emboldening young people through Drama.

Callan Durrant

Facilitator

Callan trained at Derby Theatre, the National Youth Theatre and The Actors Class. He has toured multiple times across the UK appearing at theatres such as New Vic Theatre, Derby Theatre and the Create Theatre. He has also performed for Dreamworks and Sky. He is also the Artistic Director of Reflex Theatre and as a Facilitator, he has worked extensively with emerging artists, children with special needs, vulnerable young people and has supported a diverse range of communities across the country through drama learning initiatives.

Suzie Correya

Facilitator

Suzie is an actor, playwright and private tutor, gaining most of her experience from teaching Drama and Music in primary and secondary schools as well as weekend stage schools, and directing amateur productions for both children and adults within local communities across the UK.

Hayley Evenett

Facilitator

Hayley is a working professional actor, specialising in Shakespeare, Physical Theatre and Children’s Theatre. Since graduating from the University of Kent with a Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies, Hayley has been acting in touring theatre, film and voice over projects across the UK, Ireland and as far as Australia.

Hayley has a passion for teaching and training young people in the skills she has learnt through working within the industry over the last 15 years. Hayley has extensive experience in Children’s Theatre and Theatre in Education and began teaching Acting and Musical Theatre to 4-18 year olds at NTA Workshops and Cally Davis Drama shortly after graduating, before moving to Norfolk and joining Triple Threat Stage School and Limelight Studios, Norwich. She now delivers workshops in everything from Science to Creative writing, Shakespeare to women's roles in WWI.

Hayley loves working for Divergent, travelling to schools across the country and delivering workshops.  She likes to keep lessons fun and accessible, while focusing on building valuable skills and confidence.

Michelle Crane

Facilitator

Michelle studied Childhood Education at The University of Central Lancashire and after graduating went onto study acting at The London School of Dramatic Art.
During her BA she specialised in early years and primary education and continues to work within different educational settings, combining her love drama and teaching - working as a nanny, teacher, and workshop facilitator.

Michelle has toured the UK working on various theatre in educations productions. Inspired by seeing the positive effects of drama within education, she established her own weekend music and drama school - Evergreen Music and Drama, which has been running in Finsbury Park since 2016.

Taryn Taylor

Facilitator

Taryn trained professionally at the Birmingham School of Acting (now the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) gaining a BA Hons Acting, before going on to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for her MA in Musical Theatre. She has worked on various projects since graduating, specialising in Pantomime, Children's Theatre and Theatre in Education - and she has experience with all age groups from nursery all the way up to sixth form! Taryn strongly advocates creative learning and listening to the individual voice of each child, unlocking their potential through the joy of storytelling, and allowing them the freedom to express themselves. She finds it rewarding, different everyday, and feels privileged to get the chance to encourage young people to learn, create and discover - hopefully picking up valuable life skills along the way!

Vanessa Rose

Facilitator

Vanessa Rose is a professionally trained performer and graduate of Rose Bruford Drama School. She has a true passion for children’s theatre and entertainment. Vanessa has an extensive amount of experience touring theatre and facilitating workshops around the world including; Italy,Germany, China, Australia and Japan. She loves storytelling and exploring different characters through voice and physicality. Vanessa also holds a CELTA qualification and has had years of experience combining her performing skills with her teaching qualification to make learning fun and enjoyable. Vanessa aims to inspire, educate and entertain others through her passion for performance.

Katie Dalzell

Facilitator

Katie trained as an Actor at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts on the BA Acting course. In her youth, Katie was a member of The National Youth Theatre. As a performer, Katie has been in shows at the Edinburgh and Camden Fringe Festivals and worked as a voice-over artist. Even though Katie trained as an Actor, she loves to sing and does so regularly in a musical theatre quartet called Behind The Mask at various venues including Keswick's Theatre by the Lake.

Performing is not the only passion of Katie's. Since graduating, Katie has worked as a Nanny and as a Teacher for Stagecoach Performing Arts. She loves seeing the children progress and encouraging their confidence to blossom through creative learning. Yes, Katie is the teacher/child minder, but she finds herself learning from the children too! Their imaginations and the way they see the World is truly inspiring.

Catriona Mckenna

Facilitator

Catriona studied Drama at The University of Northampton and developed a passion for the importance of Drama in education. She has since worked in children’s theatre, pantomime and will soon be training with Trestle Theatre Company in mask theatre. Catriona has also spent time working in education and in the community with young adults with special needs and assisted in the running of special needs Drama groups.

Chloe Oliver

Facilitator

Over the past 12 years Chloe has toured with well respected companies throughout the U.K., Europe and Internationally in a wide range of theatrical productions as an actor, singer, dancer and puppeteer. Last year, Chloe performed as a soloist in west end award winning concert; ‘Twisted’ at Trafalgar Studios. Swiftly followed by starring in multiple award winning short horror film project; ‘An Unrequited Haunting’ (early last year) - created in collaboration with Monsteers Artistry. Most recently, in December 2020, Chloe played the role of ‘Jingles’ in immersive theatre production -‘Lapland U.K.’ and can currently be seen in Marvellously Modern Film and Theatre Companies Shakespeare project; ‘That Rockin’ Bard’, which is currently available on Facebook, IGTV and YouTube. Chloe is also a poet and recently was selected as one of the top ten poets for WordSpoken Podcast (@wordspokenpodcast) episode; #TakeTheMic. Her work can also be seen featured at Off The Chest Poetry (@offthe_chest).

Chloe very much enjoys working in arts education which is reflected in her several years of experience as a facilitator working on a number of theatre in education shows and workshops. Chloe also worked as a facilitator and storyteller at Discover Children’s Storytelling Centre in Stratford, London, prior to the pandemic.

Chloe is very pleased to be a part of the Divergent Drama team and looks forward to future projects.

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Sarah Lidstone

Facilitator

Sarah is a professional actor and workshop leader with extensive knowledge and experience of working with children and young people of all levels. Graduating in 2010, Sarah trained at East 15 Acting School, where she later went on to lead and manage the Children’s Workshops there for many years. Since then Sarah has worked in a number of schools and theatres across the country becoming specialised in working with SEND and Mental Health needs.