Who we are
Founded in 1984 by Clifford Oliver and Carole Pluckrose, Arc has built a strong core Management and Associate team bringing together an exceptional range of creative skills, educational experience and business and social expertise. The Company is governed by an equally diverse and committed Board of Management.
We also benefit from a first-class pool of highly-skilled, trained actors, storytellers, facilitators, workshop leaders, production managers and designers who are individually hand-picked to suit each programme or bespoke project.
Clifford Oliver (Olly)
Clifford is a writer, director, workshop leader and facilitator with over thirty years' experience of working with young people and adults in education, the community, business and the public sector.
Clifford has written in excess of forty plays, some of which are published and all of which have been performed. He is best known for his work on issues around social and criminal justice and equality, specifically for young people. His work has been nominated for a 'Raspberry Ripple' award for positive portrayal of disability, and a 'Race in the Media' award.
In 1984, along with Carole Pluckrose he co-founded Arc Theatre. Prior to this, with Actorshop at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, he was part of the team that developed the style of Forum Theatre that has now become the industry standard in the UK.
At Arc, Clifford worked as a storyteller and actor before becoming resident writer, creative director and lead facilitator. He has trained many of Arc’s workshop leaders and developed the style and format with which Arc has worked very successfully with young people and in the community.
In 2013, Clifford was appointed Artistic Director of the Company, working closely with its leadership team and non-executive Board to ensure its continued success.
General Manager and Company Secretary
Nita worked in domestic banking for a decade before joining Arc in 1991. As General Manager, Nita plays a vital role in the Company's Management Team and deals with all financial, contractual, personnel and business issues. Nita is responsible for the overall fine-tuning of the organisation and oversees the smooth running of Arc's administration and project co-ordination.
Natalie joined Arc in 1992. She has performed in over 30 of the Company's productions, having played everything from a tooth fairy to a police officer! Most recently Natalie has devised, developed and facilitated Arc’s Broadcast programme, raising awareness about 'sexting' and cyberbullying.
Natalie both performs in, and facilitates Forum Theatre and training workshops for both adults and young people, and has spent much of the last four years leading Arc's groundbreaking new multi-media projects for girls at risk - Girls Have Their Say (funded by the Home Office CAGGK), Finding the Words and Raised Voices (both funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation).
With daughters attending Arc's Drama Holiday Workshops since their launch in 1993, Theresa became a Company member in 1995, having previously worked in independent radio and international film production. Theresa has booked and coordinated many of Arc's local and national tours over the years, and also looks after the Company's branding, design, print, press, educational materials, reports, evaluations and events. Theresa's design work includes producing much of the Company's in-house creative resources including photography, costumes, set, publicity and resource materials. She also manages Arc's website - so if you find any problems, please contact her!
Andrew Barry (formerly Rogers)
Andy is a freelance theatre director. He joined Arc in 2003, first as Community Education Officer before becoming Assistant Artistic Director from 2008-09. At Arc, Andy specialised in creating storytelling programmes to develop emotional literacy for five to seven-year-olds. He also directed Barking & Dagenham Youth Theatre in productions of Our Day Out, A Midsummer Night's Dream and several of his own original scripts. In 2009, Andy directed the community play Trading Stories by Clifford Oliver, which premiered at the LIFT, and also ten professional touring productions. In 2011, he graduated from Birkbeck College with an MFA in Theatre Directing including a secondment to The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester as an Assistant Director, where he has since been employed as Education Associate, Young People's Theatre Director, and Associate Director on Rats' Tales by Carol Ann Duffy, directed and dramatised by Melly Still.
Pradeep is an actor, director and communication and leadership skills trainer. Pradeep joined Arc in 2005 and regularly works on projects exploring a diverse range of subjects, including forced marriage, knife possession, situational leadership and teamwork. Pradeep is also the co-Artistic Director of the theatre company A Monkey with Cymbals and a Trustee at The Space, an arts centre in East London.
Grace graduated from Warwick University in 2009 with a degree in Philosophy and Literature. Since graduating, she has developed her own freelance practice in documenting and evaluating arts projects on film and in written formats. She has worked for Black Bull Films, The Documentary Film Group and Mosaic Films, as well as undertaking projects for Arc including Girls Have Their Say, Finding the Words and Raised Voices media projects. Grace can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Ainsworth - Independent Criminal Justice Consultant
Chair of Arc's Board, Mike joined the Prison Service as a Prison Officer at HMP Lincoln in 1980. During the next 18 years he had a variety of roles including running the Lifer Unit in HMP Wormwood Scrubs, Head of Staff Discipline and Deputy Governor at HMP Holloway.
Mike left Holloway to head up a team organising the evacuation of refugees from Macedonia. On returning to the UK, Mike worked for the Home Office in the Police Personnel Unit with responsibility for police pay and setting targets for the recruitment, retention and progression of Black and Asian Police Officers. From 2000, Mike spent three years with The Prince's Trust heading a programme to assist young offenders on release from custody.
Mike worked in the CJS Race Unit from 2003-11, with responsibility for developing policy to decrease the disproportionate use of Stop and Search and to increase minority communities' confidence in the Police and Prison Services. Since leaving the public sector, Mike has worked as a consultant with a number of public, private and voluntary sector organisations specialising in issues relating to diversity and the Criminal Justice System. Mike is currently the chair of the Ministry of Justice's Hate Crime Independent Advisory Group.
Graham is a Governor at Hockerill Anglo-European College in Bishop's Stortford. For many years he has also acted as Director of a business management consultancy working with both the public and private sectors. This follows a successful career in Local Government at senior level, initially in the technical and surveying field before moving into social housing. Graham then set up and developed an 'Arms Length Housing Management Company' in the capacity of Interim Chief Executive.
Graham brings to the Board considerable experience in governance, committee arrangements, partnerships, project management, and offers a pragmatic approach to strategic planning and financial management.
Bill Lovelock - Project Manager, Secure Training Group Ltd
Bill is a fully accredited Six Sigma Black Belt Project Manager with a 36-year background in financial services. Having held senior management positions within HSBC Bank plc, within Branch, Regional Operations and Corporate Banking, Bill brings a wealth of experience to the Arc Board. Bill is a longstanding supporter of the Company and has been a member of the Board of Management for over 18 years.
Yvette Williams MBE - Equality and Diversity Manger, CPS London
Yvette is the Policy Advisor for Equality, Diversity and Community Engagement at CPS London. She has represented CPS London on a number of boards and committees. Yvette also acted as independent facilitator to Alif-Aleph UK - a forum committed to developing positive contact and dialogue between Britain's Muslim and Jewish communities.
Prior to joining the CPS, Yvette was active in community and policy work on issues affecting Black and Minority Ethnic Communities, working with the Mangrove Trust and the 1990 Trust. Between 1994-97 Yvette sat on a number of committees including the National Assembly Against Racism, National Black Alliance, Operation Black Vote and The Tabernacle Trust. She served tenure as the Chairperson for Mangrove First Base - a hostel developed for black female ex-offenders in Notting Hill.
A former primary school teacher, Yvette is a BA (Hons) Post-Graduate and MSc Graduate and was educated at University of London (Goldsmiths and Birkbeck Colleges). In 2012, Yvette was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her work in establishing effective and creative networks between the CPS, the Police and key sections of London's diverse communities, and feeding local communities' priorities and concerns into the prosecution process.
Colleen Amos - CEO, The Amos Bursary
Colleen is a communications specialist who has worked in the media, food, insurance, education and charity sectors. She is currently CEO of The Amos Bursary - a charity she set up in 2008, which helps academically able British young men of African and Caribbean heritage, from London's inner city schools, to access professional careers. The Bursary prepares students for top universities, the world of work, and to become future leaders.
Her previous roles include Head of Communication and Marketing for The Learning Trust, the UK's first private, not-for-profit company set up in 2002 to run education services for the London Borough of Hackney, Head of Internal Communications for AXA Insurance and Corporate Communications Manager for the UK's largest dairy company, Dairy Crest. For over nine years, Colleen worked in Zimbabwe as a TV presenter and Head of PR and Advertising for Dairibord.
A qualified teacher, Colleen is an accredited executive coach and mentor and Facet 5 personality model user. She is also a Trustee for the Campaign for Learning.
Dolores Altaras - Altaras Architecture / The Flavasum Trust
Trustee of the Flavasum Trust, Dolores was born in Romania in 1954. She emigrated to Israel in 1972, where she completed her studies in architecture. She arrived in the UK in 1978 and joined a large commercial architectural practice, where she took part in important design competitions, such as the redevelopment of Covent Garden, Westminster pier, and The National Gallery Extension. In 1983 she joined a multi-ethnic team of professionals employed by Haringey Council to regenerate the Broadwater Farm Estate after the 1985 riots. In 1988 she became a single mother and continued to work and bring up her son. With the encouragement of Peter, her new partner, she formed her own practice in 1995. Her main architectural interests now lie in environmental design and eco-friendly homes.
In 2006, her only son Tom was killed in an unprovoked knife attack, and following his death, she, her partner and Tom's friends formed The Flavasum Trust, which aims to raise awareness of the consequences of knife and gun crime by using creative means to engage disaffected young prople.
We are delighted to welcome Lin to Arc's Board, having been a champion and ambassador for the Company for many years. An active and committed member of the Barking & Dagenham community, having been resident in the Borough for over 30 years, Lin participates in a range of community initiatives, first working with Arc in 1999 on the Company's original series of annual Community Plays directed by Joss Bennathan. Having embraced her talent for all things theatre and music, Lin has continued to take a major role in every Community Play since!
With a long working history in property in the West End and the City, followed by Centre Management at Kingsley Community Hall, Lin brings a wealth of local knowledge and history to the Board - as well as enthusiastic children and grandchildren participating along the way!
Shamus Kenny - Head of Secretariat, Transport for London
Shamus is the Head of Secretariat at Transport for London. He was previously Board Secretary for the Office of Rail Regulation and Senior Secretariat Office for the Disability Rights Commission. He has also worked for the London Boroughs of Redbridge and Islington and the London North East Community Foundation in committee secretary roles. Shamus has serviced Arc Board meetings as Minutes Secretary since 1989. He provides advice and supports the effective operation of the Board.