Joanna Wood (Chair)
Joanna is a doctoral candidate at the University of Oxford funded by the Leverhulme Trust, working on women’s international thought in the 20th Century US. Previously she read History at Cambridge and has an MA in International Relations from Sussex. Before the DPhil she worked in access and inclusion across education, the arts and heritage. She is a Fellow of the RSA and former Trustee of the East Sussex Association of Blind and Partially Sighted People.
She started losing her sight in 2014 aged 28 through retinal detachments and was registered sight impaired in 2016. A lifelong theatre and museum goer, she had accepted that these were a thing of the past until her sister got her tickets to an audio-described performance of Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2017: ‘I felt like a whole person for the first time in three years — it was transformative.’ Since then she’s gone to as many performances as humanly possible and is passionate about everyone having the same opportunity.
Articles by Joanna Wood about theatre and audio description
Our stage: Why theatre matters (Official London Theatre, June 2020)
Jonathan Abro is a Freelance IT Software Development Project Manager specialising in large Corporate Projects and in making all applications accessible to people of all abilities and impairments. Jonathan grew up in a farming community in Zululand in South Africa before living in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. He has been living in London since the mid 1990s. His passion is for travel and has spent (and continues to spend) as much time as he can exploring some far flung places.
Jonathan is registered blind due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), he has been on the Management Committee of RP Fighting Blindness, designed and managed their website for 15 years and continues to provide support for their London Group.
The first time he attended an audio-described play he was so amazed at the difference that he was constantly telling Annie, his partner, what was going on on stage, a complete role reversal! He joined VocalEyes to try and help other people experience this same pleasure.
Rebecca di Corpo
Rebecca is a manager of programmes and partnerships in city and regional development contexts, operating from within the higher education sector. She is currently the Cultural Compact Co-ordinator at the West of England Combined Authority, and is a member of the External Affairs Unit at Bath Spa University. Rebecca began her career as a performer and arts manager and was an audio describer for fifteen years for arts venues in Sydney, Melbourne and Yorkshire.
Victoria Harrison is a Civil Servant currently working in inclusion and diversity. She has lived in London for most of her life apart from three years spent working in Bosnia and Finland. She loves travelling, enjoys learning new languages and has degrees in Russian and Psychology.
Victoria is registered blind and has a guide dog called Dasher, who has a large fan base following his antics on Twitter. She is a volunteer speaker for Guide Dogs and is a trustee for another organisation related to visual impairment.
Victoria attended her first VocalEyes audio-described theatre performance at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2017. Having assumed that theatre would not be accessible after she lost her remaining vision in early adulthood, she describes that first audio-described theatre experience as like having a new world opened up to her. Her passion to make the amazing world of audio-described theatre and museums available to more visually-impaired people has motivated her to become a VocalEyes trustee.
Kathryn Havelock is Head of Communications at the Wallace Collection in London, where she leads the team responsible for all aspects of marketing, PR and digital communications including campaigns, brand management, market research, social media and media relations.
Kathryn holds a first class degree in History of Art and Architecture from the University of Reading, an MA in Art History from UCL, an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester, and an MA Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck, University of London. She serves on the board of the Association for Art History.
She is a Chartered Marketer, and has over fifteen years’ professional experience from leading arts, leisure and heritage organisations including the V&A, the British Museum, the London Eye, Royal Academy of Arts, the BFI, the British Library and Whitechapel Gallery.
She also holds diplomas in both Marketing and Digital Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and a Mini MBA in Marketing. She has served on the board of the Arts Marketing Association since 2015, and serves on the Advisory Council for Marketing Degree Programmes for London South Bank University Business School.
Kathryn is passionate about helping as wide and diverse an audience as possible enjoy everything that art and culture has to offer.
Timandra is the co-founder of Arts&Heritage, an arts agency that works with museums and heritage organisations to develop contemporary art projects that resonate with context and history. She has led two national arts organisations as Chief Executive – Axis, the online resource for contemporary art and the National Glass Centre in Sunderland. In the public sector she has worked for Arts Council England and as an arts officer for both Northumberland and Hampshire County Councils. She is a fellow of the RSA. Timandra is a Liveryman of the Salters’ Company and a volunteer tour guide which is how she was introduced to VocalEyes and the benefits of audio description.
Per is a qualified accountant with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, with over 30 years finance experience in the UK, Netherlands, Morocco and further afield. Currently Director of Finance and Company Secretary for the Eastern Academic Health Science Network, based in Cambridge, he has worked in senior finance roles at the University of Greenwich and at Shell, including as Head of Shell’s UK Pensions, managing seven schemes with 50,000 members in total. During this time he has also held directorships in a number of companies, including Greenwich Devonport Conference Centre Limited in the UK, Shell People Services Asia Sdn. Bhd. in Malaysia and was Chair of the Board of Shell Denmark (A/S Dansk Shell). Per’s particular passion is for museums, to which he never needs any excuse to escape.
Jonathan is the Audio Description Production Manager for ITV, leading the in-house AD department for this large public-service broadcaster. His role includes overseeing the broadcast workflow and carrying out development and project work, training and managing the team of describers—and even audio-describing itself, when time allows! Jonathan has worked in broadcast media and access services for six years, having previously been a member of AD teams at TVT Media and Red Bee Media.
Jonathan also describes theatre and opera productions across Scotland for the likes of Scottish Opera, Edinburgh International Festival and Glasgow’s Tron Theatre.
Lynette joined Polka Theatre as Executive Director and Joint CEO in August 2018, following nearly 4 years at participatory arts company Spare Tyre, where she helped to strengthen the financial position of the company and develop major new strands of partnership work. Prior to that she spent 8 years at Little Angel Theatre in Islington, moving from General Manager to Executive Director during that time. Before joining Little Angel Theatre she was a Researcher & Evaluator for Arts & Business, bringing cultural sector organisations together with corporate partners. Lynette has previously been a Trustee for Scarabeus Aerial Theatre.