Cardboard Citizens' staff are recruited from a variety of backgrounds in theatre, the arts and the social sector. Wherever possible, the Company employs ex-homeless people.
Trustees all contribute to particular areas of the company's strategy according to their interests and skills, and are recruited on a rolling basis.
Director of DevelopmentWhen I was young I didn’t really take well to growing up, so I'm not sure why the numerous career tests I took were encouraging me to become a fireman. I spent several evenings watching London’s Burning and straight away realised this wasn’t the career for me – way too much responsibility. Instead, I carried on with my studies, enjoying the freedom of being a student, free from the shackles of any real responsibility. Then I was catapulted to London and started a career in the arts, scarily some 10 years ago. I guess I was a bit of thespian in my younger days, growing up with three sisters was no excuse, but looking back it’s not that surprising I’ve ended up where I am. My first experience of Cardboard Citizens still resonates with me now, and I continue to be amazed and inspired by its work every day. It’s a challenging role, but incredibly rewarding, as with all the most enjoyable things in life.
Adrian Jackson MBE
Artistic Director & CEO
As a child, I think I wanted to be a naturalist – the only time I ever got any kind of careers advice at school, I was told I should be a museum attendant.
I started Cardboard Citizens - I was always drawn to people who had been homeless and I wanted to see the Theatre of the Oppressed into action.
I am a theatre director, translator, teacher and playwright. In 1991 I founded Cardboard Citizens, a theatre company that aims to change the lives of homeless people through the performing arts. Since then I have directed over 30 productions for the company, devising and writing many of them including Pericles and Timon (with RSC) The Beggar’s Opera (with ENO), The Lower Depths (with London Bubble), Mincemeat (winner of Evening Standard award). I directed my own play, A Few Man Fridays at Riverside Studios in 2012, and a new play by Kate Tempest, Glasshouse, in 2013 which is touring again nationally this year. Last year I wrote and performed an intervention in Elmgreen/Dragset’s installation Tomorrow at the V & A. Currently I’m working on a major season of works around the housing crisis. I also teach the Theatre of the Oppressed methodology all over the world.
Head of Programmes
Growing up, I wanted to be a disco dancer.... or an astronomer. I did an online test at school that told me I should be an embalmer. I decided not to pursue any of these lofty ambitions, well not professionally anyway.
I started working as an actress as a teenager and loved it, but felt I had a bit more to give and a bit more I wanted to do. After completing an Anthropology degree, I started working in secondary schools with students and families with special educational needs. My love of the arts got the better of me and I returned to school to complete my MA in Applied Theatre, and started volunteering with Cardboard Citz. And I’m delighted to now be working here, where I can combine many of my loves: playing, theatre making, facilitating, teaching, supporting people to get to where they want to be, meeting an extraordinary range of people with extraordinary stories..... and, the odd bit of disco dancing to boot.
Director of Social Change
Young Persons' Programme Manager
When I was at school I was advised to be a Probation Officer, quite difficult advice to take on when my passion already lay firmly with the arts. I like to think that the advice at that time was based more on the limited status of the job market in Northern Ireland, rather than any obvious lack of artistic talent!
I came to work at Cardboard Citizens after seeing a piece of Forum Theatre. I had never seen anything like it, and it altered the way I thought about homeless people from that moment onwards. In my current role as Executive Director I am responsible for driving strategy, facilitating good governance, overseeing development, programming, finance and operations - building the key relationships to match and gaining good friends along the way.
My working background before Citz has mainly been in events management and fundraising, as well as the management and running of organisations in the creative and charity sectors. I have a BA in Fine Art and an MA in Enterprise & Management for the Creative Arts. I completed the Clore Leadership short course, a one year course in Innovation in Management & Leadership in the cultural industries at the V&A, and a one year Arts Council funded course in Developing Cultural Sector Resilience .
When I was little I wanted to be a cowboy. I was born in Canberra, Australia and after living there for most of the first 8 years of my life moved to Cumbria where I went to secondary school in the nearby town of Lancaster.
I enjoy and believe in the importance of empowering marginalised and isolated people and in learning about and expressing life experiences through innovative performing arts.
I came to advice and support work at Cardboard Citizens via a circuitous route. I studied for a BA in Development and Peace Studies at Bradford University from 2002 to 2005 and specialised in sustainable development before moving to London to complete a Professional Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development at the consultancy/NGO Forum for The Future in 2005. After various jobs including brief stints working at a micro generation and a sustainability communications company, I worked for several years at the urban regeneration company Renaisi Ltd where I became acquainted with advising and supporting disadvantaged people in Islington through work for the EC1 New Deal for Communities Programme. I went on to become an Information, Advice and Guidance worker at the Islington charity Help On Your Doorstep where I completed my NVQ level 3 qualification in Information, Advice and Guidance. I was attracted to advice and guidance work because I enjoyed working with marginalised people directly and in supporting community development in a tangible and direct way.
I applied for the position of Membership Manager at Cardboard Citizens because I liked the idea of supporting and engaging homeless people through innovative theatre and in combining support and advice work with opportunities for creative expression and the telling of stories which might otherwise not be heard.
Trusts & Foundations Officer
When I was little, I really remember wanting to take on the profession ‘burglar'. Obviously a short-lived idea, I soon became fascinated with the arts and what they have to offer. As I’ve grown older I've worked for several different and diverse organisations that all have one thing in common: The Arts. Last year I took on the prestigious training program, Cause4's Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme Fellowship, funded by Arts Council England, to learn how to fundraise for the arts in order to be able to give everyone a chance to be part of it. I come to Cardboard Citizens with a thirst for keeping the arts alive in all communities.
When I was at school I wanted to be a doctor and I was good at education. However due to migration from Bangladesh to join my father in England so could not pursue it further.
I came to work for Cardboard Citizens because I like working for the social and charity sector. I have previously worked for various organisations whose main aims are to house and help disadvantaged and homeless people with life skills, education, employment and training. As a Finance Manager of Cardboard Citizens I am responsible for financial management of the organisation and supporting the SMT.
When I came to England, first I attended some short courses in English and Maths at college and as part of my work experience I worked in a Local Authority’s accounts department and discovered my passion in the accountancy field. After working for a couple of other organisations I decided to complete my professional qualifications which is Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) and am a fellow member of FCCA.
Corporate & Events Manager
It took me ages to get young, and when I got young I wanted to stay young but I got unyoung, and I grew up. Along the way I saw Cardboard Citizens’ Visible and it scared me. It was so bizarre that I never forgot, and when the opportunity arose I applied to become a Citizen. Life before Citz was working in Sloane Square at the Royal Court Theatre as their Deputy Box Office Manager. I now help to run Cardboard Citizens HQ (if you ring our office it is most likely you’ll hear my dulcet tones on the other end of the phone).
When I was little all I wanted to do was draw so when I left school I gained a place in an Art College on the south coast to train as a graphic designer. But just as I thought I was going to change my life... life changed me instead. Fast forward a year and I am now managing a jewellery concession in Topshop Oxford Circus London. Top of the world. By 18 I was taken my first steps to travel the world and ended up in the Middle East.
I was a Member of Cardboard Citizens for many years and performed in lots of shows. In fact, my debut was on the stage at the Globe Theatre. I knew things would work out because when I looked up I was standing under my star sign.
After years of training, and failing, and learning I now teach Theatre of the Oppressed to groups and organisations all over the world and direct shows for Cardboard Citizens.
I didn’t become a graphic designer after all but a graphic director!
As a kid, I wanted to be a pop star. I built a microphone stand out of Duplo and pretended to be Mick Jagger. At seven, I played a badger in a local panto, and this led to
a career as a badger a love of the theatre.
My friends and I had a little company called Pegabovine, performing comedy plays and sketches, and we did shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. I made lots of flyers, and handed those flyers out to strangers. That led to being interested in marketing theatre and arts, which I've done for the past ten years. I've worked for theatre companies, film schools and music festivals. Sometimes I made flyers and handed those flyers out to strangers. That's still basically my job.
Marketing ManagerWhen I was little I wanted to be a nurse, until I saw a squashed frog on the road and I realised that a life of blood and guts wasn’t for me. My attention turned to theatre after a recital of the Owl and the Pussycat gave me a taste for performance. Following several disastrous productions at University (including a play where I was cast as what can best be described as an alluring swamp monster) I realised that a world behind the scenes might be more suitable for me. I have been working in arts marketing for over 10 years and I love that my job basically involves talking to people about coming to see stuff that, in a small way, makes the world a better place.
I joined Cardboard Citizens as a Trustee because I wanted to make an impact on the lives of people who had experienced homelessness. I am a keen theatregoer and was impressed with Cardboard Citizens’ productions. As well as being a Trustee I am a qualified accountant and have spent my career working for Councils in London and the South East, initially in Housing and Social Care services and more recently as Head of financial strategy for a London borough.
Chris JullingsI became a Trustee because I feel a deep compassion for the homeless and the oppressed. I passionately believe that anything we can do to influence government policy /action, engage society and directly support the homeless is my social responsibility. I am a former BT Director Organisation Development /HR, a Fellow of several professional bodies and hold a Masters Degrees in Human Resource Management and Executive Coaching. I retired in 2012 and am now heavily involved the voluntary/charity sector. It is a real privilege to be a Trustee of Cardboard Citizens.
Dr Sophie DexterI have been involved with Cardboard Citizens since its beginnings, first as an audience member and for the last five years chairing the Development Committee. I worked for 20 years as a GP in South London with a special interest in Psychiatry and Women’s Health. I have been a teacher of both undergraduate and postgraduate medical and General Practice students. Recently I have worked as an Honorary Tutor at St Georges University of London, teaching Communication Skills to Medical students and teaching on the mandatory Breaking Bad News course. I am also excited to be joining the Board as a trustee and I hope I can use my skills to support Cardboard Citizens in all that they do.
I have a background in theatre fundraising and administration with previous roles at Hampstead Theatre and the Independent Theatre Council. Since 2011 I have been Jerwood Charitable Foundation's General Manager, with responsibilities for grant making, project development and management, and the running of the charity. I first came into contact with Cardboard Citizens through Jerwood's support for the commissioning of writers for Home Truths, and was honoured to become a Trustee of a theatre company that can profoundly change people's lives for the better.
Linden IfeI am a barrister practising from Enterprise Chambers in Lincoln's Inn and specialising in business and insolvency litigation, featuring the liabilities of directors and office holders, and the recovery of assets by office holders for the benefit of creditors in an insolvency. I am often recommended as a leading practitioner by the directories in insolvency, commercial chancery and commercial dispute resolution. I have served as a Trustee of Disability Equality in Education, the Almeida Theatre (where I chaired the Artistic Director Recruitment Committee which recruited the current Artistic Director, and the Remuneration Committee), and London Metropolitan University, and have sat on the Olivier Awards theatre panel.
I first worked with Cardboard Citizens 17 years ago on a project in South London. They are a theatre company I hold incredibly dear to my heart – its ethos completely allies with my principles regarding theatre for social change. I am a theatre director (credits include Shebeen, Nottingham Playhouse & Theatre Royal Statford East; Frankenstein, Wish List, Into The Woods, Royal Exchange; Blue/Orange, The Sound Of Yellow, Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, Young Vic & Eclipse; Suckerpunch Boom Suite, Barbican & NitroBeat; Migration Music and Scrappers,Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse). I'm a former Associate Director at Stratford East, Resident Director at the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and most recently Associate Artistic Director at the Manchester Royal Exchange.
I have enjoyed a long career in arts management, holding top positions at the English Shakespeare Company and Rambert. I have held Trustee positions at, among others, Theatre Royal, Bath, NESTA and the RUH NHS Trust, and I previously chaired the Arvon Foundation (2001-2005), Rambert (2000-2009) and Free Word (2000-2014). I was also a member of the Arts Council England from 1992 to 2000, and continue to work as an independent freelance consultant for the Clore Leadership Programme amongst others. I was awarded a CBE in 2000 for services to the arts, especially dance.