East - Committee
Tracy SortwellREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District E01)
Richard FittREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District E02)
Brought up in Bedford, where his father taught at Bedford School he had his first acting role in the school play playing the Devil in Marlowe's Doctor Faustaus in (he thinks?)1967, Richard was drawn back into Am Dram proper almost decade later, when he lived in New Ash Green in Kent and, after one too many beers one night was asked to play the baddy in a Panto, which had been written by a close friend. He was bitten and has been acting in and directing plays and musicals ever since, and after 28 years in Kent moved back to the Bedford / St Neots Area in 2002 and, apart from a brief sabbatical has been the Chairman of St Neots Players since 2006. He started covering the odd review here and there for Don McKay, when Don was the area 1 rep, until he was asked to cover district 2 because of the untimely death of the previous rep, Keith Pendle becoming the full time District 2 rep in 2015. And the rest as they say is yet to make history.
Nova HorleyREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District E03)
I started dancing classes at 2½ in Hastings, winning a scholarship to the Arts Educational School in Tring when I was 10. When I was 12 I was part of the junior chorus in a production of “Dick Whittington” at the Watford Palace Theatre, where Jimmy Perry was writer/director, I then worked professionally as a singer and dancer doing mainly summer seasons and pantomimes – including Butlins hotels for 2 summers in the revue company and pantomime at the New Theatre, Oxford. Later I did semi-pro cabaret work, whilst working as a dispenser’s assistant in a chemist. I met my husband John in 1968 when we both appeared in a production of “The New Moon” for High Wycombe Operatic Society, and we married in 1970. I worked for the same sales promotion company for 32 years until my retirement in 2015. I became a NODA Rep in 2002, and also review amateur shows for the Luton News. I have two children (both are married) and two granddaughters I love performing in shows either as a principal or in the chorus, and have also choreographed numerous pantomimes, revues and musicals. My main interests outside the theatre are my husband, family, home and books. I love seeing and reviewing shows, and never get tired of going to the theatre – both amateur and professional.
Leslie JuddREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District E04N)
Julie PetrucciREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE / MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY (District E04S)
Susan DupontREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District E05)
Following a lack-lustre (tall and awkward) performance in back-row chorus in Bedfordshire, it was suggested ‘go backstage and try all disciplines to see where to fit in’, the best advice ever received: scenery, lighting, properties, some costume, the chance to work with other groups backstage, trips to Waterford. A move back to Norfolk with job as research scientist and looking for a group (temporarily in a make-up team) and found mid-sized company covering genres musical, play, pantomime. How fortunate that new director (professional theatre stage director and Anglia TV floor manager) was looking for an assistant to train as stage director (combo stage manager/ production secretary), what an opportunity. Also guesting with other Norfolk groups as needed backstage. Encouragement to attend NODA Operatic Summer School at Ripon with a chance to work with the 3 professional directors as Stage Manager Excerpts, a link with crew and classes for about ten years. As Regional Rep. District 5 (28 societies) cover a wide area mostly rural with centre at Norwich: ‘rooms’ or village halls through smaller theatres up to professional Theatre Royal; so many differing skills and disciplines, talents abounding in unlikely venues, and so many friends. With societies now frequently doing more than one production per year, continuing stage crew but timing means no longer stage management. Add 2 days a month as volunteer guide for Sainsbury Centre Arts at UEA. In 2014 received NODA President’s Cup as a Regional Rep, and 2016 saw NODA Gold (50 years) and the award Hon. NODA Member for 25 years as a Regional Rep.
Terry RymerREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District E06)
Forty odd years have flown by...from Widow Twankey in 1977 for Lowestoft Players to President Roosevelt in 'Annie' last year. Too many roles to mention but favourite was as Captain Andy in 'Showboat' for HAODS (Henley Amateur Operatic Soc) for whom I was Chairman for ten years at the Kenton Theatre. Had been with Dockyard Review Players in Plymouth...have written directed and acted in many Pantos including Gorleston Pavilion Theatre. In the 1980s, as Sen Res Tutor at ' Marjon' College ran their new state of the art Theatre for students. Also Head of Student Advisory Services at Bucks Chilterns Universty for last ten working years. Now back in Lowestoft as Regional Rep and enjoying reviewing shows in the 'far East' Anglia Coastal and surrounding areas. Also Public Gov at James Paget Univ Hospital for last 8years. It's been quite a journey... Long may it continue! (but not too many lines please!!)
Decia RangerREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District E07)
A life-long love of theatre eventually brought me to my local musical theatre company with the intention of just singing in the chorus. It wasn’t long before I was Membership Secretary and then Secretary. I have also been involved with publicity and marketing, programme and poster design, helping to run the box office, and was Production Secretary/Co-ordinator for several shows as well as being on stage.
I became an Assistant Rep in 2015 and took over from my predecessor as the Regional Rep at the beginning of 2016.
In a former life I was a Secretary for many years before taking time out to bring up my two children, one of whom now lives in Sydney. In more recent years I worked as a GP Receptionist. I am married to a very busy man and although his diary is always full to overflowing, he too is a theatre lover and enjoys accompanying me when I review shows.
My other hobby is gardening. I read all the books and then do it my way, which I find usually works!
Christine DavidsonREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District E08)
Christine has been involved with NODA since starting Danbury Players over 20 years ago. She has performed on stage at many theatres including The Old Court, The Headgate and The Mercury. Christine has directed many NODA award winning productions and theatre is one of her great loves. She goes regularly to NODA Theatre Summer School and loved the new venue this year where she took the course Devising Drama with the fabulous tutor Sarah Osborne.
Vicki AveryREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District E09)
I was born in Peterborough, just round the corner from the old NODA H.Q but we wont go into that!!!!
My mother had a hairdressing business and my father was a part time female impersonator doing the circuit at nights and working with my mother during the day. I suppose my love for the theatre was in-bread. My great Aunt Tassy was a music hall singer and dancer, my grandfather played the bones and was a song and dance man and my grandmother was a Bluebell Girl at the Windmill in London.
When I was 4 years old my parents decided to move to the beautiful Island of Jersey and it was there I lived until at 18 years of age I came to England to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The degree course I followed allowed me to teach as well as perform and I became a Licentiate and an Associate by the time I was 21. It was whilst studying in London I had my first professional contract playing Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof. As well as the degree course I also won a music scholarship and was given singing lessons at the Guildhall at no extra cost.
However, during this time I also met and married my husband John. A professional life on stage for me was not going to suit us so I made the decision to teach Theatre Arts and continue my love for the stage and performance to the am-dram world.
This I have done for the past 41 years, juggling teaching, performing, directing and bringing up a family all at the same time. That’s called multi-tasking the things you love and making it work.
I have been fortunate, in that volunteering as a rep’ for NODA, I have been privileged to witness some outstanding good practice throughout my district and continue to learn more whenever I represent the association. Thank you.
Tessa DaviesREGIONAL TREASURER / REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District E10)
Tessa was, originally, a performer; spending 4 years working summer shows, pantomimes and variety shows as a young adult. Having decided that full time performing was not going to make a decent living, she gave it up and switched to amateur theatre as a hobby whilst she pursued a career in Sales and Customer Service.
For the past 40plus years she has performed in many shows, taking lead roles and smaller character roles. She started directing in 1992 with She Loves Me and has been directing musical shows ever since.
She has directed many productions for various Amateur Companies across the South East. Her sole directing credits include Grease, The Wiz, The Likes Of Us, The Wizard of Oz, Lionel Bart’s Blitz! & Oliver! Anything Goes, Singin In The Rain and many more.
She is one third of the creative team behind The Players Theatre Company. The Players most recent productions, with which Tessa has been fully involved, are Oklahoma (Oct 2018) Priscilla Queen of the Desert (June 2018) Curtains (November 2017) Hans Christian Andersen (December 2016). Earlier Players productions include Copacabana, White Christmas, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Acorn Antiques and many more. The Players Theatre Company was set up in 1999 and Tessa has been part of the creative team from the start.
She runs 3 Stagecoach Performing Arts Schools, in Brentwood, Wickford and Leigh-on-Sea. The schools have an annual showcase which Tessa plans, and directs. She is a licensed chaperone and has worked with the National Youth Music Theatre, the BBC and a number of TV production companies.
Hazel HoleREGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE (District E11)
Robert BristowAssistant Regional Rep (District E01)
DeeDee DokeAWARDS SECRETARY / Assistant Regional Rep (District E04S)
Appointed Assistant Representative - East District 4S in 2016. I manage publicity/marketing for two very different musical theatre societies in Cambridge, and have the great honour of performing in both musicals and plays. The daughter of a theatre director, I'm a lifelong participant in and student of theatre, and have performed on stages in Germany, the US and Thailand -- as well as here. By day, I'm a content creative (editor/writer) and BSI [the British Standards Institute]'s Emerging Standards Maker 2016. Met husband Steve in a production of "The Crucible". He later ran a theatre my father had founded when I was a child.
Martyn RolfeAssistant Regional Rep (District E05)
Amanda GreenAssistant Regional Rep (District E07)
Katherine TokleyAssistant Regional Rep (District E08)
Richard LovelockAssistant Regional Rep (District E09)
Jess PetherAssistant Regional Rep (District E10)
Catherine DixeyREGIONAL SECRETARY / Assistant Regional Rep (District E12)
Catherine has been involved with amateur theatre for more years than she cares to remember. She appeared in numerous pantos, musicals and plays, ( some of which were NODA award winners) with local Societies before hanging up her dancing shoes. She has also been involved with a variety of jobs on the production side of theatre, and has directed pantos for her local Society for several years.
She joined the NODA committee about 8 years ago as Membership Secretary and is currently their Minute Secretary.
She is married to Derek who was also a local amateur actor; has 2 grown up married children and 2 lovely grandchildren. When not busy with all her theatre work she loves walking and does wedding flowers for friends and family.
Alexandra BerrimanYOUTH ADVISER / Youth
Even before Alex was on stage, she organised a talent show at her primary school called ‘Perform for Bosnia’ when she was 10! Alex did ballet dancing from the age of 3 to 20 and performed in lots of shows as part of the dance school. Alex has been involved in amateur dramatics since she was 13, and took the role of the boxing granny in Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations! From then on Alex was involved in many productions at school and in her free time, taking on both principal and ensemble roles. Alex started directing at a young age, when the youth group she started in was threatened with closure due to the lack of volunteers. In 2009, Alex founded KYDS Youth Drama Society, a group in Tiptree for 11-18 year olds. KYDS has grown year on year and recently became a registered charity. As well as producing 2 shows a year with KYDS, Alex spends a lot of her free time helping backstage with other shows. As well as amateur theatre, Alex has worked in professional theatre as a theatre manager, front of house and box office manager for a couple of years; Alex is currently the manager of a Creative Learning and Talent department. Alex also has a background in event management; producing events such as carnivals, charity concerts, wedding fayres etc. Alex is trained in technical theatre, business management and event management. Alex is Youth Adviser. Alex is also a member of the NODA Theatre Summer School committee; and attends as a student every year. She is a huge ambassador for the summer school and says she counts down to it every year! Recently, after being inspired at Summer School, Alex took a course in film making, and has since produced some promotional videos and is hoping to work on more in the future. In her spare time, Alex enjoys going to theatre (unsurprisingly!), baking, and dancing.
Tina DoyleYOUTH ADVISER / Youth
Tina first trained as a ballet teacher and then went on to study Drama. She paid for her training by singing in local bands so it naturally followed that a musical career would follow. Tina became a professional actress appearing in the West End and touring extensively throughout the UK and abroad playing lead roles such as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar, Roxie Hart in Chicago, Sally in Me & My Girl and Peter in Peter Pan. Straight plays followed and soon she took on directing. Tina has directed numerous productions and has also built an excellent reputation as a Speech and Drama teacher/examiner travelling throughout the country and abroad, running workshops for all ages. Tina has been involved with a number of community projects and worked with specialists in many different areas writing, choreographing and directing tailor made productions. She is a voice over artist and thoroughly enjoys working in recording studios. Tina has held a position of Director of Creative Arts for over 10 years. She has two children and is grandmother to one!
She is delighted to be a Youth Advisor and is looking forward to an exciting future.
Tina trained in dance and drama and qualified as a teacher 20 years ago. Her varied career has encompassed professional work as an actress, director, singer, choreographer, writer, teacher and voice-over artist. She has appeared in the West End, toured throughout the UK and abroad in many lead roles - Her teaching experience ranges from pre-school age to adults and she has been involved in many community-based projects that involve drama, music and dance.
June ForwayWEBSITE EDITOR
June became the Webmaster many moons ago when she attended the AGM which was held in Ely and her husband decided to propose her as web master without her knowledge. The web was in its very early days at that time and has gone on to become bigger and better social media.
She has been involved in amateur theatre for many years in every aspect of several societies, committee, chairman, secretary, front of house, prompt, stage management and directing many shows of all varieties
She has a large family, several of whom are following her into a theatrical background. Her husband is also always there waiting in the background to be told what his next job will be. (Just like a faithful dog!!)
Zelda RolfeYOUTH ADVISER / Youth
Julia RymerMagazine Editor