OUR TEAM

Meet the people who work for you

Laura

Laura has been teaching Dance and Theatre for over 15 years in a variety of settings including specialist dance/performing arts schools as well as in formal education settings across all key stages. 

She has a wealth of performance experience, which she is also able to bring to her teaching. Laura prides herself on the belief that anyone can perform and encourages her young people to express themselves and tell their stories regardless of their ability. 

In her early teaching years Laura worked as a Children’s Movement and Acting Coach for several professional touring companies on shows such as ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and ‘The Wiz’.

As a Choreographer Laura has an extensive list of credits and achievements. Most recently Laura worked with Luton’s NPO Tangled Feet on ‘Factory Reset’ for the reopening of The Hat Factory. Laura also collaborated with Tangled Feet on ‘Mirror Sky’, for the finale of The Imagine Luton Festival. 
Laura was commissioned to create a piece for Luton’s People Power Passion Event in 2019. In 2020 Laura created ‘Social Dis’dancing’, a piece for BBC 3 Counties Radio which received over 44k views. Laura has also taken the lead and contributed to Creative projects with The Charity Signposts, The Level Trust, Pirton Hill Primary School, The BBC, Fashion Show Live, Motus Dance Festival, The Big Dance at the Love Luton Festival, Cancer Research UK’s Relay for Life and a fundraiser for Keech Hospice.

Since becoming a Mum (to what is now 3 little ones) Laura, alongside her husband David, established ‘Taleshakers’. As Resident storyteller and DJ, Laura has performed to 1000’s of babies, toddlers, little ones and their families across the UK and around the Globe.

With David, Laura co-devised the award winning youth theatre piece ‘RIP NED’, ‘The Butterfly Catcher’ (Winner of the Brighton Fringe Award for Outstanding Theatre), ‘In Doing Nothing I Found Me’ and ‘Laced Within Our Borders’ as well as the critically acclaimed Dance Theatre pieces ‘The Little Things’, ‘Love for Dummies’, ‘Pity Party’ and ‘What She Said’.

Many of Laura’s students have gone on to further training or directly into the industry where they have performed professionally on both Stage and Screen.

Most memorable theatrical experience:
Watching Company Chameleon perform ‘Push’ at Pirton Hill Primary School in Luton as part of our ‘Up Our Street’ initiative. Seeing the faces of the young people who were there was absolutely priceless. So many of them had never seen anything like this before and is was a totally breathtaking moment.

My local hidden gem/hero:
All the young people who attend NGYT. I know this sounds cliché but honestly every young person that we work with has something so special. It is an honour to know them, see them grow and watch them on their journey.

I can’t live without:
Coffee. Dance. Theatre. My family (Nuclear and NGYT)

NGYT Laura

Laura lloyd (BA HONS)

Founder / C0-Artistic Director / Choreographer

David

David has been teaching Drama/Theatre for over 15 years in a vast range of settings. Having taught at various private Theatre Arts Schools for over 6 years, David then went on to work as a Drama Specialist at Richmond Hill Special Needs School in Luton. Prior to achieving his QTS, David gained much experience working in EBD schools and Higher Education as a Cover teacher. David then went on to become Head of Drama at Ashcroft High School in Luton for 6 years before returning to his other passion, teaching special needs children. David now works at Richmond Hill SEN School in Luton where he is Head of the school's Creative Curriculum, Expressive Arts and School Council.

David trained at The Prestigious East 15 Acting School and gained his MA in Acting for TV, Film and Radio. Upon graduation David was signed by an agency and spent over 2 years working as an actor in Theatre, TV, Film and Radio. As a Director, David has worked on a number of student plays, devised pieces and musical theatre productions, most notably ‘Home Can Be Anywhere’, ‘That Night Follows Day’, ‘Hairspray’ and ‘We Will Rock You’.

Since NGYT began David has written and directed the award winning theatre pieces ‘RIP NED’, ‘The Butterfly Catcher’, ‘In Doing Nothing I Found Me’ and 'Laced Within Our Borders' as well as the critically acclaimed dance/theatre pieces ‘The Little Things’, ‘The Pity Party’, and ‘What She Said’. David has been commissioned to write pieces to be performed throughout the community such as, 'Activhate' for Beds Police, 'Easily You' for The NHS and 'My Home, My Kingdom, My Castle' for Signposts, to name a few.

David has also been nominated for The South of England Best New Writing Award in 2015 and was also commissioned to write The First Ever Theatre Piece for the re-opening of Wardown Museum.

David believes every young person is creative and waxes lyrical about the life transforming power of the arts.
At the heart of David's teaching and work with young people there is a passion and commitment to ensuring young people are valued and given space to express their ideas and thoughts and feelings about their world.

Most memorable theatrical experience:
It’s a battle between Jack Thorne’s ‘When you cure me’ or The Musical ‘Matilda’ (what can I say I have eclectic taste)

My local hidden gem/hero:
The Bear Club...If you haven't been....why not? It is a fantastic, welcoming and high quality venue and Luton is lucky to have it

I can’t live without:
Liverpool FC and Sky sports news. And don’t get me started about transfer deadline day.
I also have a real issue with chocolate consumption....
Oh yeah and my gorgeous wife and Co-Founder Laura and three beautiful children.

NGYT Laura

David Lloyd (BA HONS MA QTS)

Founder / Co-Artistic Director / Writer

Lauren

Lauren is a Freelance Dance Artist from Luton and began her professional dance training at Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds. In 2009 she continued her studies at University of Surrey and graduated in 2012 with a First class BA (hons) in Dance and Culture.

In pursuit of her Master’s degree at University of Chichester, Lauren performed for Mapdance Company in their 2013 UK Tour and also secured jobs performing for Sheron Wray and Drake Music.

In February 2014 Lauren worked with Rosemary Lee as part of her professional team leading 'Under the Vaulted Sky', a 6 month intergenerational community project culminating in performances with a 100-strong community cast for IF Festival Milton Keynes in July that year. This inspired Lauren to continue to facilitate community outreach projects which she pursues now with NGYT in Luton.

Lauren has worked as an Assistant to the Directors of Tangled Feet, Mimbre and NGYT for the Imagine Luton Festivals in 2017 and 2018. Lauren most recently collaborated with German artist Markus Hansen, Helen Parlor for Motus HERStory and performs and acts as Rehearsal Director for NGYT's Dance Company.
Lauren will soon be performing with Hannah Pickett Dance's Wellbeing and Dance Library Performance Project in 2021

Lauren has been teaching for NGYT since September 2014 and leads a range of the groups. Lauren is the Project Manager of our Up Our Street Programme and also the Assistant Director for the NGYT Dance Company.

Lauren also delivers NGYT curriculum, club and enrichment sessions in Pirton Hill, Someries Infants, St Matthew's Next Steps, St Martin De Porres, Whitefield Primary, William Austin Juniors and Woodlands schools as part of our outreach team and is a Community Governor at Chantry Primary School. 

Lauren believes that collaboration (of different areas in the arts) and the encouragement of ownership of material is the key to creating unique and rich arts experiences for young people. That is why she focuses her practice around expression, creativity, and improvisation- and of course fun!

Lauren Co-Directs and performs with her own dance theatre company - Sonder Dance Theatre. NGYT are delighted to support them as one of our legacy companies and associate artists.

My most memorable theatrical experience: It’s a toss up between watching Laila Diallo’s ‘sense of self’ one of the early dance theatre pieces that made my jaw drop. And also being front row centre of a broadway cast performance of ‘Hair’, being pulled onstage and Gavin Creel calling me ‘cute’ *swoon*

My Local hero: Those wonderful people at Bedfordshire Wildlife Rescue who do amazing things and help so many beautiful animals in the area.

I can’t live without: Chocolate.. Any kind and I think I’m addicted! & Pasta! I love carbs- what dancer doesn’t?!

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Lauren Segal (BA HONS, MA)

Creative Administrator / Project Manager Up Our Street : Pop Ups / Contemporary and Street Dance Teacher / Dance Co Assistant Director

Hannah

Hannah graduated from Bath Spa University with a 1:1 BA Hons Degree in Acting. She has since been working professionally, enjoying various roles such as Chloe in the play ‘Nightflyer’ and Amelia in the feature film ‘Devoid’. Hannah has been funded by the Arts Council England to put on an original piece ‘Mundane Blues’ for the Imagine Luton festival alongside two other Luton based artists. She has also been very fortunate to have taken part in various acting opportunies through NGYT such as Ryland Heath’s music video ‘Coming on to Me’ and a Theatre in Education piece, ‘Activhate’. Hannah is also a co-founder of the film production company Four Faced Films and is excited to create their first piece. Hannah is proud to be a part of the NGYT family and is passionate about Luton and it’s young people. She is constantly inspired by the creativity, commitment and energy of the young people and feels incredibly lucky to be a part of it. Hannah has directed various pieces for NGYT within the classes. She recently led the project ‘Rediscovered’, where she created historical pieces with three schools and one NGYT class. These pieces took place at Wardown Park Museum in a promenade theatre event as part of the re-opening. This has been one of Hannah’s most challenging and rewarding projects to date. She loves being a part of Next Generation Youth Theatre and is incredibly excited for what’s to come.

Hannah also co-directs and performs with her own theatre company - The Basement Bunch. NGYT are delighted to support them as one of our legacy companies and associate artists.

Most memorable theatrical experience:
“It’s definitely between ‘People, Places and Things’ and ‘Yerma’. Both pieces were very visceral and equally beautiful. Theatre should make you feel something, both plays went above and beyond!

My local hidden gem/hero:
My Nanny Kit. I’ve never met someone so kind and selfless. She also has a brilliant sense of humour, or ‘Irish Craic.’

I can’t live without…
Tea. Nothing beats a brew!

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Hannah Kelly (BA HONS)

NGYT Enquiries Administrator / Drama Teacher / iGen Theatre Company Director

Tanisha

Tanisha is a professional dancer from Luton and began her professional dance training for three years at Creative Academy in 2015-2018. Tanisha moved to London to pursue her dreams in dancing. Throughout her studies, Tanisha has performed in many places and taken part in workshops such as The Pack, Move It, Ideal Home Show, Slough, Upfront Dance event and was also selected to perform in Liverpool.

Tanisha’s trained in Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, ISTD Modern and Tap alongside other styles such as commercial, Dancehall, Bollywood, Dance Theatre. Release, Yoga, Pilates, Tumbling, hip hop improvisation and street. Tanisha’s dance background has always been contemporary and commercial but as she went onto training the love she has for performing became stronger. Tanisha has been in music videos and performed at festivals, plus been scouted in an audition for a dance agency (AMCK).

Tanisha has always wanted to be a choreographer so she had the chance to choreograph a piece of her own at Creative Academy’s end of year show

Most memorable theatrical experience?
For me it has to be when I went to watch Dream Girls the musical live in London. I was absolutely fascinated by the lighting, the back drops and the performance, it was amazing!! I literally felt like a little kid in a candy shop.

My Local gem/hero:
My family as they always support me and my dreams.

I can’t live without:
Sour sweets make my heart melt, music because I never stop dancing.

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Tanisha Daniel

iGen Street Dance Company Choreographer

Lori

Lori is a professional dancer who started her training at NGYT in 2014. Lori started by going to contemporary and street dance classes before joining the senior dance company in 2015. She then went on to continue her dance training for three years at Creative Academy where she graduated with a BA Honors in Dance in 2021.
Lori is trained in a variety of styles such as commercial, contemporary, jazz, ballet, hip hop, Bollywood and dancehall. Lori has a strong passion performing and has performed at places such as Trafalgar Square and the shaw theatre in London.

Most memorable theatrical experience?
I would say performing in my graduation showcase at the Shaw theatre. It was the first time we were able to perform properly to an audience since the pandemic had happened so it was a really special moment for everyone involved. It was a great reminder of why I love dance so much.

My local gem/hero:
My friends because they are my biggest supporters and push me to reach my goals.

I can’t live without:
Music because I listen to it every single day!

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Lori gregory

Dance Teacher (commercial/street & contemporary)

Tara

Tara has always had a passion for the arts and musical theatre and has taken part in a number of performances, she is currently at the uni of Hertfordshire studying to become a primary school teacher.

Most memorable theatrical experience?
Playing Annie in the show at school, it was my first lead role so I think it will always stay with me

My Local gem/hero:
David and Laura, I have known them for many years and they are always so supportive of me and I love what they do in Luton!

I can’t live without:
Singing, I sing every single day!

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Tara Treanor

Musical Theatre Company Singing Teacher

Sidney

Sidney is a writer and director, from Luton.

Sidney studied at Luton Sixth Form College and the University of Cambridge. She has a BA (Hons.) in History. At university, Sidney was hugely involved in student theatre: as a writer, director, producer, and stage manager. She was Outreach & Workshops Officer for a drama society – where she supported student writers. This included reviving an annual festival of new writing, ‘Smorgasbord’. Sidney co-produced the first African musical performed at Cambridge (‘Sophiatown’, ADC Theatre). In her final year, Sidney wrote and directed a full-length play – ‘Talking Out Loud’. The play was about the lives of four young people, set in Luton.

Sidney has written a variety of plays. She was previously commissioned for The Writer’s Watchlist: Vol. 1, writing ‘The Records’ – a magical realism-inspired short play about history. This was performed at Theatre Royal Stratford East (March 2018). Sidney’s full-length play ‘Wakes’ was performed at Bunker Theatre – co-headlining The Upsetters Takeover Week (February 2020). Sidney was commissioned by Burn Bright for the online event, Better in Person. She wrote a short play, set and performed live on a Zoom call – ‘Box of Bottles’ (August 2020).

Aside from writing, Sidney works as a director and facilitator. She enjoys working on community-focused projects, including devised performances. Sidney was an Associate Artist on People Power Passion. Her theatrical credits include: Assistant Director, ‘Riot Act’ (Luton Town Hall, July 2019); Dramaturg, ‘The Butterfly Effect’ (Hat Factory Arts Centre, December 2019).

Sidney believes that storytelling is powerful – and that art should be accessible to all. Sidney is especially interested in writing which focuses on lesser-told stories, and underrepresented communities.

Most memorable theatrical experience:
‘Bodas de Sangre’ ('Blood Wedding') by Federico García Lorca. In sixth form, our Spanish class went to London, to see a touring theatre company from Spain. It was amazing to experience the play in its original language. Also – in places where I couldn’t understand the dialogue, I could still follow the story: because of the movement, lighting/sound, and acting performances onstage. It was great.

My local hidden gem/hero:
Sometimes forgotten, when people think of Luton – but we have some wonderful green, natural spaces.

I can’t live without:
Going for walks. Football. A notepad & pen.

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Sidney belony (BA HONS)

workshop leader -
NGYT Writers' collective

shantÉ

Shanté is an emerging director, specialising in physical and musical theatre. A Luton native she grew up taking part in local community projects and school productions and went on to studying acting at the London School of Dramatic Art.

She has worked on projects at the Arcola, Theatre Royal Stratford, The Bunker, the Young Vic and even recently collaborated with RADA on their annual Beyond the Cannon showcase. Shanté is keen to work with the young people in Luton and pass on her own experiences and give them a taste of the industry, but also boost their confidence and hone their own identity within the arts and their surroundings.

Most memorable theatrical experience:
Seeing Blasted by Sarah Kane at the Lyric in school (don’t ask is why they chose that play) but it really showed me that performance isn’t always pretty.

My local hidden gem/hero:
The little red creative studios and Aimee Rix, always putting on lots of cool events and where I go for my weekly salsa class

I can’t live without…
Plantain, Salsa and my 5 year old daughter

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shantÉ campbell

NGYT Musical Theatre Company c0-director

LIZZY

Lizzy Fretwell is a freelance writer, performer and theatre maker based in Luton. 

She is a born and raised Lutonian, and has a First Class BA Hons Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Royal Holloway University where she also directed, devised and performed in extra-curricular productions.

She has been part of NGYT Theatre Co since 2018 and is a proud Associate Artist of Next Generation Youth Theatre.

NGYT has been a constant source of help and support since Lizzy moved back to Luton so she can't wait to be able to support and encourage the young people to tell their wonderful stories as an Assistant Director of the NGYT Theatre Company.

DIRECTING CREDITS:

- Assistant Director on 'Murmurations' written by Steve Waters in collaboration with Tangled Feet (2021)

- Assistant Director on 'Were You There?' by NGYT Theatre Company (2020)

-Assistant Director on Luton’s Pilot Year of Culture - People Power Passion (2019)

OTHER WORK:

Lizzy completed her first independent community project, ‘We’ve Chosen Here’, in June 2020: exploring places in Luton that spark memories of lost loved ones, culminating in a series of podcasts featuring the writing and voices of the local residents involved.

Lizzy is currently part of the first Heritage Impact Accelerator Cohort at the University of Bedfordshire exploring the relationship between Heritage, Community and Arts.

As a writer she has had a short story featured in the Luton Graphic Novel and had her work performed in Paines Plough’s Roundabout Theatre, as part of the 'Luton Presents' evening. 

Most memorable theatrical experience:Seeing 'The Night Alive' by Connor McPherson at The Donmar Warehouse on a Luton Sixth Form theatre trip! It inspired me to believe that the stories of ordinary people had a place on the stage. It also showed that hope can be found in the darkest of times. I think that's one of the best things theatre and the arts can do-inspire hope!!

My local hidden gem/hero:
Anywhere you can get a good bird's-eye view of Luton, it looks fab from above! Top 3: top of People's Park/Pope's Meadow, Stopsley Common and Warden Hills.

I can't live without:
Family, friends, theatre, films, books, TV and cake...definitely cake!

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lizzy fretwell (BA HONS)

NGYT theatre company assistant director