John McMahon

Creative Director

John is an Actor with 20 years experience in Theatre, Television, Film and Radio. Credits include (Film) I Am Nasarine, Brilliant Love(Theatre) Mistero Buffo, Knives in Hens, and Alcmeon of Corinth, Blue Remembered Hills. As a writer Director John co-wrote Alpha Mail, winner of Dojo Films 48 hour short film competition 2005. As a writer/Director he produced the Short Film Talking Crap Shown at the Portobello Film Festival 2008 and in 2014 he co-founded One ForAll Productions. Project managing their Heritage Lottery funded “Holes in Tights”with women from the North East coalfield communities he devised wrote and directed the play 84 a play about those women involved in the 1984 Miners Strike .

John has worked as a lecturer of Performing Arts Course’s at both at Newcastle and Gateshead College and as assistant Drama facilitator with Live Youth Theatre. He is an experienced mentor with Northumberland coalition against crime. and has developed and facilitated drama workshops within the criminal justice system and led workshops with the long term unemployed.

Outside of the Arts John has worked as a Manager and Trainer in both the Private and Public sector.

Dave Cave

Director of Film and Media

Filmmaker David Cave graduated from film school in 2000 returning to his native North-East to forge a career in film production. David has worked on a number of both British and International feature films including The One and Only (Dir. Simon Cellan-Jones) and The Skulls (Dir. Rob Cohen), television productions including BBC Zenith North’s Byker Grove and ITV’s Wire In The Blood as well as many commercials and short films.

David has written, produced and directed a number of no-budget and financed short films.  Two of David’s short screenplays were commissioned by Northern Film & Media/UK Film Council to be produced through their digital shorts film scheme. David’s work has been screened at many International Film Festivals around the world where his films have received numerous awards. His 2011 short film, Dystopia St., was selected for screening at over 140 film festivals around the world, picking up 18 awards during the process. A retrospective of David’s short film work was presented in July 2018 at the event, Nova Nights: Progressive Transgressive & Underground cinema, in London, UK. 

Donna Tonkinson

Associate Director

Donna is a freelance participatory arts practitioner and qualified teacher who has worked in both sectors for over 25 years. She has also worked as an actor, tutor, director, facilitator, writer and producer in the creative sector. With an MA in participatory practice and a degree in Creative Arts (Drama Major).  Donna has extensive experience in working in Applied Theatre contexts; exploring the work of Augusto Boal and Dorothy Heathcote. Also experienced at working practically and holistically with different groups in community settings, including: schools, secure hospitals, prisons, colleges, old people’s homes, nurseries, museums, arts festivals and theatres.

As well as continuing a career in Applied Theatre practice she has engaged in research and community projects that have explored issues on what it means to be human in today’s society, exploring culture, identity, class, gender and race. Having also taught in statutory secondary, primary, FE and HE settings teaching A Level, GCSE and Degree Specifications.  Donna has remained fascinated by the therapeutic power of theatre. She is currently in her second-year of training at the London Centre for Psychodrama as a UKCP registered psychodrama psychotherapist. This allows her to practice as a student and begin to explore how theatre can help people communicate individual and collective issues.

Rachel Shenton

Associate Production Manager

Rachel is a freelance video editor and post production specialist from County Durham. Over the course of her varied professional career, Rachel has worked as an editor in the drama, live event, commercial, music video and corporate sectors, as well as writing, producing and animating her own short film ‘A Rabbit’s Tale’ which landed a Best Film nomination at Middlesbrough International Film Festival.

Visual, emotive storytelling is at the heart of every project Rachel works on, regardless of genre. Her work has been screened at a large number of film festivals including BFI Flare, and in independent cinemas around the world. 
Her background in Art History, as well as her deep love of all things theatre and film, enables her to bring a fresh perspective on visual media and storytelling. 

Sean McMahon

Digital Content & Marketing

Sean is a writer for stage and screen with professional experience in online media, theatre, music and events. Born in Newcastle, Sean is currently based on Manchester.

After studying for his degree in Film & Moving Image Production at the Northern Film School,  Sean went on to work at Newcastle based production company, Tall Tree Productions and as an online content creator for various companies. After studying for a Masters in Writing for Performance and Publication from the University of Leeds – Sean worked in the Artistic Planning Department at Leeds Playhouse between 2018 and 2019.

Sean’s work has been featured as part of Rift New Writing Festival in collaboration with Leeds Playhouse and Tyneside Cinema’s Initiate program. Outside of his creative career, Sean is an experienced digital marketing professional and has worked for organisations including British Library.

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