Jo Byron - Founder
Johanna Byron is a theatre practitioner and drama graduate with a deep-seated passion for performance. She is founder and producer of collaborative theatre company Up The Ante. Her freelance career includes working as stage manager for the Stars of Magic at the Redrgave, and as part of the Bristol Shakespeare Festival. She has worked to facilitate theatre workshops with adults and young people since 2011, working with Stagecoach Performing Arts Schools, Bigfoot Arts Education, and touring workshops to international language schools.
Kara Wheatley - Director & Actor
Kara is a versatile and intensely committed actor who graduated from Winchester University with a first Class BA Hons in Street Arts. Additionally, she studied for her FdA at Wessex Academy of Performing Arts with vigorous training in disciplines under numerous practitioners and genres. She is also the Artistic Director of Irrational Behaviour, an emerging company creating innovative work in Street Art and Theatre Performance.
Lucy Hannam - Composer & Vocal Coach
Lucy Hannam is a singer and composer who has a BMus Degree from Cardiff University. She studied classical singing and techniques. Lucy is the vocal coach for Up the Ante and incorporates voice techniques in the rehearsal processes. She focuses on safe technique to improve actor’s control and awareness of their own voices.
Leanda Mochrie - Actor
The arts captured Leanda’s imagination from young age. As a child she studied ballet, several musical instruments and never passed on an opportunity to act on stage. Whilst studying Drama and Theatre (BA) at Royal Holloway she became fascinated with site specific performance, dance theatre and the multidisciplinary approach. In Bristol she has explored dramatherapy, improvisation and physical theatre. In recent years she has pursued a variety of support work, engaging and encouraging vulnerable adults to have faith in their future. This has deepened a hunger to learn more about the therapeutic value of theatre and the arts as a tool for learning across cultures. Leanda feels privileged to work with Up the Ante and leave every rehearsal full of new questions and knowledge about the potential relationship with oneself, others and the world outside. ‘Theatre reminds us of the preciousness of the body, that we have CHOICE in our lives no matter how stuck we feel, and ultimately we are all just children that want to play games’.
Georgie Fenwick - Actor
Georgie is a versatile actor and writer with a penchant for the absurdist and satirical. After gaining a 2.1 BA in Drama and Criminology at UWE, Georgie has worked with several theatre companies across Bristol and Bath and has performed twice at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is determined to work in creative industries in any capacity and believes performing arts to be liberating and vital to society. Georgie is proud to be a part of the Ante team collaborating with a pool of talent that continues to inspire her.
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