Who Are imagine if?
Chesca Joy – Founder & Artistic Director
Chesca is the Founding Artistic Director of imagine if as well being a writer, social change maker, performer and producer. Chesca founded Imagine If in 2014 and has grown the company from its initial inception to a fully operational theatre company and registered charity raising over £500,000 in funds. Chesca has worked in theatres, prisons and within disadvantaged communities across the UK, in India and America. Through Chesca’s working class roots, exposure to the care system and abuse on her doorstep, she uses her first-hand experience to inform the excellent theatre and prison interventions that imagine if creates and she is passionate about working with those underrepresented in the arts.
David Jane – Strategic Development Director
David is a motivated, loyal and tenacious theatre professional with 22 years’ experience of strategic leadership and management with a commitment to developing internal and external partnerships to successfully deliver artistic ambitions. David has worked in UK theatres: Northampton’s Royal & Derngate, Belgrade Theatre in Coventry and Rosehill Theatre in Whitehaven, West Cumbria. He has a particular interest in working with community and outreach programmes and in using drama as a way of bringing about change.
Mark Catley – Dramaturg
Mark is a BAFTA winning writer/producer. He worked as Story Consultant and writer for Eastenders and as a Series Executive Consultant and writer for Casualty for which he won BAFTA, NTA and x2 RTS awards. Other TV writing credits include: BBC – Call the Midwife series 2, the Interceptor, Holby City and Doctors, E4 – My Mad Fat Diary and Youngers. Stage credits: Sherlock Holmes- the Best Kept Secret, Angus Thongs and even more Snogging, Scuffer, Crap Dad and Sunbeam Terrace. Mark has been with imagine if since our inception having worked with Chesca since 2013. Mark Dramaturgs on all of our productions.
Errol White & Davina Givan – Associate Movement Directors
As choreographers, performers and teachers Errol and Davina have over 25 years of experience, including five years as Rehearsal Director’s performers and choreographers with Scottish Dance Theatre. White & Givan’s productions include the successful and critically acclaimed works Three Works (2009), IAM (2012) and Breathe (2014). White & Givan were invited to work with Francesca Joy and imagine if for the first regional tour of You Forgot the Mince in 2016 followed by re-joining them in 2017 for the revamped national tour and Edinburgh Fringe run of You Forgot the Mince. This was followed by working with them throughout 2019 on Jadek. More recently White & Givan came back to Leeds for imagine if’s 2021 production My Old Man as well as participating in their away days and artistic development.
Lee Affen – Associate Sound Designer
Lee began working with imagine if in 2018 on their research and development stage of Jadek and he returned to work with us in 2019 on the UK premier tour of Jadek followed by working with us in 2021 on My Old Man. Lee is a composer and sound designer based in Sheffield who works with theatre, dance and film. His recent work includes composition and sound design for ‘Fallen Angels’ collaboration with Birmingham Royal Ballet for the show ‘The War Within’. He’s also composed original live scores for silent films Metropolis, Nosferatu and The Passion of Joan of Arc. Alongside working with imagine if, Lee also runs music workshops in composition and sound design and is an associate artist at The Dukes Theatre and The Bare Project.
Kate Horsfield – Arts Administrator
Kate is an experienced administrator having previously worked for the Civil Service for over 17 years. She has also worked in administration and Front of House roles with Interplay Theatre, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Impact Community Theatre and Leeds Light Night, and is delighted to be back working in arts administration. Kate has a BA (Hons) in Humanities/Social Studies from Manchester Polytechnic and an MA in Arts Administration from Anglia Ruskin University and is keen to combine her interests in the arts and social issues in her role with imagine if. In her spare time, Kate enjoys going to see a range of theatre productions, tap dancing and spending time with her husband, two daughters and cat.
Sara Sherwood – PR Consultant
Sara is a freelance communications consultant from Leeds. Sara was a Publicist at London-based arts PR company The Corner Shop PR, before moving home to Yorkshire to work for Creative Scene as Communications and Audience Development Manager. In her spare time, Sara writes fiction and holds an MA in Creative Writing from the Manchester Writing School.
Kathryn Sullivan – Trustee (Chair)
Kathryn is a governance professional specialising in the educational charity sector. Her company provides “wonderful governance, organisational leadership and development” to charities of all shapes and sizes across the UK. A keen amateur performer and director, Kathryn strongly believes in the power of the arts to change people’s lives and brings 11 years’ experience of being a trustee, including 4 as chair, as well as learnings from her time as a primary school governor to imagine if’s board.
Andrew Salthouse – Trustee
Andrew has had a long career in financial services both customer facing and back office. He holds qualifications in Banking from the Institute of Financial Services and in Project Management from Prince2. Whilst principally running his Business Support Consultancy, Andrew also works regularly as a Supporting Artist for Film and TV. Having always had a passion for performing arts and also a strong sense of social justice, being a Trustee of imagine if represents a perfect meeting of the two things close to his heart.
Hannah Tookey – Trustee
Hannah is a freelance theatre and film producer focused on making work that tackles social and political issues. In 2016, she was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to travel to the USA and India to research how the arts can effectively combat and raise awareness about issues of social injustice. She is an alumni of The Clore Emerging Leaders course, Stage One, and Raindance. Theatre credits include: Dry Land (Jermyn Street Theatre, Damsel Productions); All The Little Lights (UK Tour, Fifth Word); Eggs (Vault Festival, Orphee Productions) and Astronauts of Hartlepool (Vault Festival, Tim Foley). Film credits include: Broken Meats (Robin Linde Productions); and the London Calling funded short Wargames (working title).
Deborah Dickinson – Trustee
Deborah has been with imagine if since its inception and has supported us every step of the way. Deborah is a freelance Creative Theatre Producer and works as Producer at Mind the Gap, previously as Assistant Producer at the Octagon Bolton. She has 20 years of experience in production including management of large-scale projects and budgets. Deborah has worked for a number of theatre companies including Full Body and the Voice (now Dark Horse), a theatre company for adults with learning difficulties where she produced five national touring shows. She joined Freedom Studios in 2009 as Creative Producer and took over as Chief Executive in 2011, producing a range of ambitious and exciting large scale, site specific theatre events for the company. Deborah has also worked as a television researcher and producer on one-off documentaries, drama and series at the BBC and as a freelancer. She had her own production company Foxy Films whilst living in France which specialised in documentaries about warfare.
Susan Burns – Independent Adviser
Susan Burns is the CEO/Creative Producer of Chol Theatre, which specialises in cultural education and community theatre projects. She has worked for the Arvon Foundation, Short Stay Young Homeless Project, Alone in London Service and the National Association of Writers in Education. She has an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam and a degree in English and History from Leeds University. Originally from Liverpool, she now lives in Hebden Bridge.