Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival benefits from the knowledge and expertise of a diverse set of individuals who comprise our Festival board.
KEN GOUGE, CHAIR
Ken is an arts development consultant, writer, director and freelance trainer with over 30 years’ experience working in the performing arts in England and Scotland. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1999. He founded three youth theatres, each writing, devising and performing original productions by and for young people. Somewhere Resting, a play he devised and directed with Wigan Young Peoples’ Theatre, won a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival. He was chair of the Drama panel for Arts Council England North West for four years and an adviser to the Drama Panel of Arts Council England. His experience of touring theatre includes hosting the Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre’s first three national tours; managing venues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; designing and overseeing a new venue to receive small scale touring theatres and funding a professional touring company Pit Prop Theatre. He was the first national coordinator for Specialist Music Colleges for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and wrote Drama in Schools – Second Edition, Arts Council England’s currant guidance on the teaching of drama for young people from five to 19. He currently moderates the Arts Award across Scotland and England, a post he has held since its inception ten years ago, and sits on the board of Youth Theatre Arts Scotland.
WILL ADAM, HONORARY SECRETARY
For some 45 years, Will was in private practice as a
solicitor, firstly in Fort William and from 1988 in Dalbeattie. He now
lives in retirement in Dalry. Although much of his professional life was
spent as a Court practitioner, he also did commercial work, which involved
Company Law. He is on the Board of both this Company and the Glenkens
Community & Arts Trust, of which he is Finance Director.
DANNY MCGRAIN, HONORARY TREASURER
Mark has worked in theatres from Aberdeen to Arnhem doing every job from general manager to ice cream seller for the last 40 years. He trained as an actor at The Drama Studio, London, after a degree in English and Theatre from Lancaster University. After 10 years as an actor, Mark joined commercial manager Charles Vance as production manager and later general manager of Harlow Playhouse. Mark has directed, designed lights and occasionally sets for many shows and is an enthusiastic veteran of over 50 pantomimes. Recently Mark was general manager of the Lowther Pavilion in Lytham St Annes and is co-director of a small-scale touring theatre company with his actress/director/writer partner Sue McCormick. Mark is currently Director of the Theatre Royal Dumfries.
Anne is an events management professional with ten years’ experience in the industry since qualifying with a BA Degree in Events and Entertainment Management from Glasgow Caledonian University. She is currently Operational Director for Wigtown Festival Company and an active volunteer within her community. Anne is a member of the Rotary Club of Newton Stewart; chair of Dumfries & Galloway Relay For Life – Cancer Research UK; and Guide Leader for the 1st Wigtown Guides.
Rebecca has a range of experience in arts and project management, producing, marketing, programming and audience development across a range of artforms/creative industries. She began her career in rural arts development and rural touring, moving to Scotland over six years ago. Since being in Scotland she has worked for Craft Scotland and Puppet Animation Scotland managing Audience Development and Festival programmes. She is currently the Producer at Stellar Quines where she has worked since 2010 producing six plays including the award winning Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy. Rebecca has over five years’ experience in mentoring, having mentored for Federation of Scottish Theatre, Volunteer Edinburgh, Arts Marketing Association and Creative Edinburgh. She is East Scotland Member Rep for the Arts Marketing Association.
Alan has been a journalist working across Dumfries and Galloway for more than 20 years and is now the editor of the Stranraer and Wigtownshire Free Press newspaper and Our Wigtownshire magazine. Producing both publications simultaneously with a small but dedicated staff, he has strong organisational, management and IT skills, combined with creativity and an eye for detail. He enjoys meeting new people, discovering new experiences and positively promoting all that the region has to offer.
Lee Medd is the Business Development Manager with Dumfries & Galloway Chamber of Commerce. He has 16 years’ experience in retail training, development and management with some of the UK’s top companies including Signet Group, Woolworths, Safeway Stores, Morrisons, Poundland and Sports Direct.
He has experience in promotions, marketing and advertising as well as event management. In addition to his full time job he hosts the breakfast show on Alive 107.3, Monday -Thursday between 7-9am and has done since May 2013. Prior to that he hosted Sunday breakfast as well as news & current events programme “Lee Medd Live” in addition to co-hosting the arts programme ‘Curtain Up’ and Saturday sports show ‘Alive & Kicking’. Since 2012 Lee has co-compered the Stranraer ParkFest music weekend, raising money for the Stranraer Inshore Lifeboat Fund. Alongside Andrea Thompson, he has anchored live radio coverage of the Big Burns Supper since 2012 and the pair have hosted the Big Burns Supper web shows in 2015 and 2016. Lee sits on the management team of Alive 107.3, is a trustee with Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival and is a member of Dumfries Rotary Club.
Robyn Stapleton performs the traditional songs of her Scottish and Irish heritage in the Scots, English and Gaelic language. In 2014, she became BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician and in the years since has become one of Scotland’s most respected folk singers. She has performed with leading ensembles such as the RSNO and the BBC SSO and is regularly accompanied by award-winning folk musicians: Aaron Jones, Kristan Harvey and Patsy Reid.
Andrea is the award-winning editor of the multi award-winning Dumfries & Galloway Life (current Scottish Magazine of the Year).
A journalist for more than 20 years, she is also a presenter with the Dumfries-based volunteer-run community radio station, Alive 107.3, and has also broadcast for television.
Andrea is passionate about the arts and is proud to be a member of the board of Scotland’s longest-running performing arts festival: the flagship Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival.
She is an active member of The Theatre Royal Guild of Players, as a performer, in PR and having also a served year on the Guild Council. Andrea is also a director of DG Chamber of Commerce, is a double-award- winning advisor with Young Enterprise Scotland, and is involved with and supports numerous local organisations in a voluntary capacity, for which she was recognised by MSP Oliver Mundell, who named her his Local Hero last year.