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 Development
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.
Communications and Marketing Manager (maternity cover)
When I was little I was torn between the (possibly idealistically opposed) ideas of becoming a fashion designer or saving the world (or at least dolphins – if there was a dolphin themed t-shirt/necklace/fake tattoo you could buy, I had it) as an environmental conservationist. In the end, a total inability to draw and a fear of snakes meant the nearest I came to either was becoming a vegetarian who owns at least 12 identical Breton striped tops.
Writing found its way into my heart instead and I spent the first eight years of my career in the West End working as the editor of a theatre website. Although the press tickets were hard to say goodbye to, I always hoped to work at a theatre company where people believed that art could be used as a real force for social change, and Cardboard Citizens was always where I hoped to do it. Plus there are no indigenous snakes in Whitechapel. Bonus.
Youth Programme Coordinator
When I was a little boy I had dreams of joining the X-men but then I realised The X-men was just a story and I didn’t have any mutant powers... none that I know of anyway. Fast forward and I am an adult who is passionate about working with excluded and marginalised groups and working within the Arts. My role here combines all of that stuff, so that’s pretty cool. My background is music making, mentoring and facilitation. I’ve worked with many companies including The Albany, Oval House, Theatre Is, Talawa and ... a lot basically. At Citz I provide support to members in workshops and on a one to one basis. I also help deliver accredited training in workshops and help with outreach to recruit new members. When I’m not here I’m making beats, DJing and speaking Japanese badly. ありがとうございます。
Programme Delivery Manager
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.
When I was little I thought I might be a Nurse. Then a Midwife and then I finally settled on it. A Diagnostic Radiographer(!). Off I went to University open days and pursued the (what turned out to be) hideously difficult Biology A-Level, until I finally realised (after playing musical instruments since I was six) that music was what I wanted to do.
While studying music at the University of Leeds, I did a placement year with an orchestra in Manchester and worked on their inspiring music therapy project with people living with dementia in the community. This sparked a long-term interest for me in the arts and the real impact they can have on people’s lives. I’d cracked it.
Since University, I’ve worked in fundraising for two orchestras and my move to Cardboard Citizens means I can now focus on the two areas I care about: the arts and their tangible social impact.
Executive Director (Interim)
Young Persons' Development Manager
When I was at school I was advised to be a Probation Officer, but I desperately wanted to be an artist. I like to think that the advice was based more on the status of the job market in Northern Ireland, rather than my 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 Deputy CEO I am responsible for driving strategy, facilitating good governance, overseeing fundraising, as well as marketing, finance and operations, building key relationships and gaining good friends along the way.
My working background 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 and have just started a one year course in Innovation in Management & Leadership in the cultural industries at the V&A. I also recently became a Trustee at Photovoice.
Corporate & Events Manager
I didn't really know what I wanted to be when I was little it changed on a monthly basis to anything from a vet to a hairdresser! I came to Cardboard Citizens as an intern when I was a student and have been trying to find a way to come back ever since!
To me Cardboard Citizens is the perfect combination of a lot of things I am passionate about (theatre and homelessness to name two).After graduating from a degree in Arts Management I did some freelancing in events, theatre and production and then moved on to do fundraising for a children's mental health charity.
I am so pleased to be back at Cardboard Citizens in the role of Corporate & Events Manager surrounded by creative, passionate and dedicated people.
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 Engagement 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.
When I was young I wanted to be a comic book writer/ artist; followed by an actor; and a superstar DJ/producer; very briefly a beatboxer/MC (if you know where to look there's evidence of me trying!); then a Bafta-winning film-maker. (That last one still stands).
I came to work for Cardboard Citizens because it perfectly marries my two interests and areas of experience, bringing the arts together with supporting the homeless and creating some truly life-changing outcomes. That and it seemed a really cool place to work.
Before working here I worked for Islington charity Help on Your Doorstep, and prior to that I worked with several homeless charities including Shelter. I set up the charity WAYout, which works with Sierra Leonean street homeless youth, supporting them to engage in education and employment via creative projects, such as music, film-making and writing. I’ve also been involved in various acting, film and music projects over the last 15 years, writing and directing short films since 2008. I studied BSC and MSc Social Policy at LSE.
Trusts And 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.
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 organization all over the world and direct shows for Cardboard Citizens.
I didn’t become a graphic designer after all but a graphic director!
Director of Projects
I never really had much of an idea what I wanted to do when I was young. I do remember, at an early school’s career advice session muttering something about wanting to be “one those people who walk up and down on airplanes”, goodness knows why! And then Drama appeared on the curriculum, for the first time ever, just at the point when I was choosing my options. The rest is history. Stick that in your pipe Mr Gove!
I was initially matched with Adrian by a mutual industry colleague. We had a chat and discovered we had a lot in common, in terms of why we do the work that we do, and how. My studies and career up to that point had everything to do with exploring and applying theatre in social-political contexts, for the betterment of individuals and society. So, you can see, it was a match made in heaven (or at least Hackney!)
I’ve been working as a Theatre Practitioner for over 25 years. I specialize in the techniques of Forum Theatre and other creative and participative ways of working. Alongside directing I have devised and led various training programmes for professionals and non-professionals, exploring the Theatre-making process as a site for learning with a broad range of community groups in many and varied contexts.
I’ve directed numerous shows for the company including work for arts centres, hostels, schools and peer forum projects. I’m currently overseeing the development of the ACT NOW project, whilst contributing to and supporting other areas of the company’s eclectic workshops, training and performance programme.
Marketing and Communications Manager
When I was little I wanted to play football for Aston Villa and cricket for England – ideally on consecutive days all through the year.
I joined Cardboard Citizens because I wanted to make an impact on the lives of people who had experienced homelessness. I am a keen theatre goer and was impressed with the productions done by Cardboard Citizens
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. I am interested in running, watching and playing sport, literature and theatre.
Chris JullingsWhen I was little I wanted to be a goalkeeper when I grew up.I 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 Masters Degrees in Human Resource Management and Executive Coaching. I retired in 2012 and am now heavily involved the voluntary / charity sector. I am married to Tina with 4 children and 4 grandchildren and remain a keen sportsperson , playing hockey , tennis and cycle. It is a real privilege to be a Trustee of Cardboard Citizens.
Diana ChoylevaAs a child I loved reading books, any books I could get hold of in communist Bulgaria. Crime books were neutral ground and I always found them intriguing, so I thought about becoming a detective. By the time I was fifteen, the Berlin Wall had fallen and the possibilities in front of me were endless. In the event, I became an economist. In fact, an economist is a bit like a detective, looking for clues in the mass of data and piecing all the evidence together so that you know at the end what is really happening in the economy. It is a job I have enjoyed tremendously, working my whole career for Lombard Street Research, a macroeconomic consultancy. I first came across Cardboard Citizens in 2007 through a friend who invited me to one of their hostel performances. I felt an immediate connection with the charity. I thought how easy it was to end up homeless and how important it is to have the right support network. I was amazed at the quality of the theatrical performance and how powerful the arts can be in helping to rebuild people's lives. That year, together with my friend Lara Pellini, we set up the Development Committee to run fundraising events in aid of Cardboard Citizens. So far we have hosted four biennial auction dinners, raising over £500,000 in eight years. In 2015 I joined the Board as Trustee.
I am the Chief Executive of Toynbee Hall, a position I have held since November 2008. My career combines work in both the advice and legal services sector and the cultural sector. Prior to joining Toynbee Hall, I was the Chief Executive of MLA London, the strategic regional development agency for museums, libraries and archives. I led MLA London over a 4 year period initiating basic skills, tourism development and sector capacity building programmes. Before joining MLA London, I was the Director of London Libraries Development Agency, the development agency for London’s public libraries.
My earlier career was in the advice and legal services sector. I spent 3 years at the Legal Services Commission leading the team establishing the Community Legal Service in London. Prior to thisI was the London Regional Director of Advice UK. I also worked in local government, for the Citizens Advice Service and in adult education.
When I was little I wanted to be something vaguely scientific when I grew up.
I became a Trustee because I wanted to join the board of an organisation I could be proud of.
I am Head of Global ESG and Sustainability at UBS, which I joined in 1994. I am a published author: '"If you want to be green hold your breath": Climate Change in British Theatre', NTQ 111 (2012). Also: From Red to Green? How the Financial Credit Crunch Could Bankrupt the Environment (Earthscan, 2011), and Food Policy and the Environmental Credit Crunch: From Soup to Nuts (Routledge 2013), both co-authored with UBS economist Paul Donovan. I am also a research student with Warwick University where my main interests are the environment on stage, and the impact of theatrical performances on so-called audiences. With UBS’s support, I am a Visiting Business Fellow of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, Oxford University, where I was a catalyst for the TORCH-Smith School 'Mind the Environmental Gap' humanities seminars (2012), and the associated Symposium (2013).
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 and the London Metropolitan University, and have been an Olivier Theatre Awards panellist.
Philip ParrI have worked as an actor, singer, musician, composer and puppeteer, and am now a theatre and opera director. I was director of the 2006 Bath International Shakespeare Festival and, from 2000 to 2006, Director of the Swaledale Festival in Yorkshire. In 2008 I was Artistic Director for the Holocaust Memorial Day National Event, part of the European City of Culture celebrations in Liverpool.I am a founding council member of the European Shakespeare Festivals Network. As a director of opera and theatre, my productions have been seen around the world. I have been a staff director at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, The Bayerisches Staatsoper and at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. I was founder and Artistic Director of Spitalfields Market Opera, a purpose built chamber opera house for London and the first opera house built in London for over 100 years. In the theatre I have built a particular reputation in large scale community plays, having led projects in Withernsea and Rotherham in Yorkshire, in Ayr in Scotland, in Thurrock in Essex, and in Manchester, Portsmouth and Liverpool. In 2010 I directed a pan-European site specific community play production of Pericles for the International Shakespeare Festival in Gdansk.
As a child I wanted to act but instead 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.
First I wanted to play rugby for England, when I realised that wouldn't happen, I wanted to be a professor of History. My dad thought the steel works and teachers said I should be a PE teacher - I became an insurance man!
I was introduced to Cardboard Citizens by a friend. I became a trustee because I was impressed by the quality of the company and drive behind it. I thought that I would be able to add a different view to the group and so help it to develop.
I was born in Leicester in 1965. Married to Shelagh and have twins Michael and Mary age 14. Have 3 degrees and 1 professional qualification. Worked in the insurance industry since university, always in London. It's actually quite an interesting life! I like theatre, books, sport and also do some volunteering around this.