Meet the Team!


Marie Kelsall (director / drama)

I have been running theatre groups and workshops, acting in and directing performances professionally for more than 10 years - notably in schools and at the Barnfield Theatre with Green Banana Drama. Also in the Honiton Beehive Centre and Exeter with Theatre Kidz, I regularly perform in Devon with various theatre companies including Quirk Theatre. I'm thrilled to be invited to direct Hairspray, and have loved directing Addams family and now Blaze. There’s a great future ahead for ACTiv8!

Fiona Bartlett (choreography / costume)

I was thrilled to be asked to choreograph some of the musical numbers in Annie Jr.   It is years (well actually decades but let’s not go there) since I played a ‘Daughter’ in a long forgotten musical called ‘Mothers and Daughters’ I had conveniently erased the memory of what a challenge it is to sing and dance at the same time! My everyday life revolves around my three Children,one Husband, two Spaniels and my Dance Studio, The Marisa Wood School of Dance at Falster Studios, where I have been teaching  Children and Grown Ups various types of dance since I graduated from London College of Dance in 1989.. I specialise in Cecchetti Classical Ballet and am a Royal Academy of Dance Silver Swans Teacher. ACTiv8 Theatre Group is a really fun, happy place to spend a Sunday afternoon.  I am impressed with the professionalism of everyone involved and feel priviledged to be a small part of it.

Alan Boxer (music, producer)

Alan has been a professional musician and musical director since his late teens, and worked it in alongside his other career as a teacher and headteacher. After studying conducting, piano, bassoon and singing at the Royal College of Music in London he has performed with and conducted professional, youth and amateur orchestras, musically directed choirs and musical theatre, and has acted in many plays and shows. In the last 10 years he has returned to full time musical direction, composing, conducting and performance. His passion is in opening doors to quality singing, music and theatre for children, teens and adults, and he loves ACTiv8!

Chris Speyer (design / props maker)

I have been writing with and for children and young people since the mid 70s. My work includes many plays, musicals, song cycles and, more recently, novels (Devil's Rock, published 2009 and Forest of Lies. I have been Artistic Director of two touring theatre companies. In partnership with Alan we have created two musicals with school children, an oratorio for Exeter Cathedral, song cycles with children, songs for VoiceWorx Community Choir, and several youth theatre productions. I have been production designer for many recent Kenarts and ACTiv8 productions including Good Night Mister Tom, Scrooge, Annie, Blood Brothers, Elf, Hairspray, Addams Family and now Blaze.


Niki France (registration / chaperone)

Drama and music have been a big part of my life ever since I qualified as a Primary School Teacher 24 years ago. I have a passion for the Arts and helping children grow in confidence to perform and learn new skills both on the stage and behind the scenes. I directed the annual Nativity at school each year making sure that every child had a part to play in the final production and giving each child the chance to shine in their own unique way. I have performed on stage myself as part of the Kentisbeare Players and as a member of the Voiceworx choir. I am a qualified chaperone, and I looked after and supervised the children taking part in three pantomimes at Kentisbeare Village Hall. I have just joined the ACTiv8 family and I am looking forward to helping in any way I can.

Caitlin Pilcher (drama / sound)

Caitlin is a primary school teacher and has produced many shows and performances. She is a talented singer and actor and loves taking part in the local community choir - VoiceWorx. She also has many other theatre skills and has helped with casting, costume, sound and stage management, drama and music direction.

Corinne Parnall (stage manager / props)

Having not done any acting since I was at primary school I got a minor role in scrooge a few years ago. Following that Activ8 was set up and having enjoyed working with many of the children in the scrooge production I offered my services to the team helping with rehearsals and back stage on the productions. I love to see the children grow into the new characters and the enjoyment they get from doing a performance. 


Genevieve Frost (pianist / treasurer)

Having ditched a 15 year career in finance and analytics to return to full time music, I am now a piano and violin teacher and have run my own ‘Nimble Fingers Music Studio’ based in Willand for the last 6 years.  Originally from Dorset, I am a Music and French graduate from Exeter University, where I performed as part of various groups including jazz orchestra, chamber orchestra, Gilbert and Sullivan and a Footlights production of Oklahoma, starring the then unknown Will Young.  I can currently be found performing with the Devon Philharmonic Orchestra.  Having grown up absolutely loving being part of numerous dance shows, concerts and school productions, I am delighted to be able to help out with Activ8. I really enjoy seeing the budding performers grow in confidence. 

Gemma Shere (coaching assistant)

Gemma was a member of ACTiv8 Theatre herself, having several leading roles. Now she’s back helping with all aspects of show making from coaching, acting and singing to leading warm ups and helping back stage and with costumes and make up!

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