Every word counts

Stagetext staff

Stagetext has a current staff of ten, with five d/Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing members of staff. Contact us

M‚Äčelanie Sharpe, Chief Executive

Melanie joins Stagetext from Theatre Peckham where she was the part-time General Manager. Over the past 8 years Melanie has worked as a freelance consultant with a variety of companies developing Boards, overseeing Change Management and HR issues. Initially training as an actor at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama on the Community Theatre and Theatre Education course, Melanie worked for companies including Belgrade TIE, Pentabus, Age Exchange and New Perspectives. From 1995 Melanie worked in Senior Management positions in a range of venues including: Head of Education at Ovalhouse, Team Leader for Art of Regeneration (a joint National Theatre and The Albany project), Interim Director of The Albany and Director of Jacksons Lane. Melanie’s passions outside of work are anything relating to antique textiles and costumes, shoes and handbags.


Liz Hilder, Head of Operations

As Head of Operations, Liz manages the smooth day-to-day running of Stagetext and deputises for Melanie when needed. Liz joined the team in 2018 having worked for five years at Arts Council England, including a two year secondment as Manager of the National Lottery Forum. Her background is in music events management, and she has been volunteering with live music access charity Attitude Is Everything since 2012.




Alic Joy, Marketing and Communications Manager

Alic graduated with BA (Hons) in Journalism from the University of Chester and has worked within PR, communications, and marketing throughout his career. Though he has worked for various industries, including, healthcare, medical supplies, and engineering, Alic has always had a passion for the arts, and has pursued this in various ways outside of the office. On a volunteer and freelance basis Alic has worked for the last few years in a London studio theatre, as well spending time in Sweden working on a touring comedy show. Alic is now excited to be raising the profile of Stagetext and bringing accessible arts to the largest possible audience.


Ciara Murray, Project Archivist

Ciara joins Stagetext after graduating from University College Dublin with an MA in Archives and Records Management. Ciara has previously worked in education administration, and heritage environments including the National Library of Ireland. As the project archivist for our National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project, Captions Speak Louder: Discovering the Story of Open Captioning, Ciara will be preserving, cataloguing and enhancing an archive of physical and digital records to tell the story of how open captioning was developed and established to make arts and culture accessible to d/Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people in the UK.  Ciara is excited to be involved in celebrating the role of Stagetext in improving arts access in the UK over the last twenty years through the archive and an upcoming exhibition in Autumn 2020.


Olivia Powell, Theatre Programme Manager

Olivia graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA (Hons) in Sociology and Social Policy. Since then she has worked within theatre organisations within both production and administration. These have included working for the Courtyard Theatre on their in-house projects and Interactive Theatre International on their show "Faulty Towers The Dining Experience". Olivia has a real passion for all things theatre and is also 50% deaf so working with Stagetext towards full access for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people is a great fit.


Courtney Rudge, Live Subtitling Manager

Courtney comes to Stagetext from a museums and heritage background, having studied Archaeology and Ancient History at The University of Oxford through the Continuing Education programme. She has worked in the collections departments of various museums, working extensively on the digitalisation of the museums’ collections. Courtney has continuously been an advocate for increased access in all the places she has worked. Having also studied for a degree in Spanish, and learning German in her free time, she translated museum guides, displays and tour materials and has gone on to study BSL Beginners and Level One. Courtney is excited to be working for Stagetext and hopes to be able to enable more and more people to gain access to museum/gallery events, tours and talks.


Deepa Shastri, Projects Manager

Deepa was educated at Mary Hare Grammar School (deaf school), and graduated from Coventry University with a BA (Hons) Degree in Business Studies. Deepa has been with Stagetext since 2005 (making her our longest-running current employee) working in various roles, such as Talks Programme manager, and as the Audience Liaison Officer for See a Voice project, where she delivered d/Deaf awareness training to over 3000 theatre staff and provided audience development consultation on captioned theatre performances over 3 years. Deepa is profoundly deaf and is bilingual using both British Sign Language (BSL) and English. She has over 12 years’ arts access experience and is an expert in text-based and BSL access provision in theatre. In her spare time, she is an actress and a performer and also works in museums and galleries as an Educator.


Oliver Webster, Programme Systems Manager

Oliver graduated from Durham University with a BSc in Psychology and since graduating has spent a year working as a marketing analyst for a price comparison website before moving to Stagetext. Oliver has always had a passion for theatre and the arts, being involved with productions both in and out of school. During university, Oliver took part in 9 shows with his college drama society, and was awarded an honorary lifetime membership. 

Since moving back to London, Oliver has taken part in many shows and workshops with the Chickenshed theatre. As a deaf person, Oliver has used Stagetext for years enabling him to enjoy the theatre regularly, and is excited to now be working with Stagetext to make the arts more accessible.

To contact our finance department please email finance@stagetext.org



The Arts Council
The Arts Council
The Arts Council