Who we are

Current core members

Steven Blackshaw
Steven is an actor and playwright who loves the process of creating and making plays come to life. Since graduating with a BA (Hons) Degree in Contemporary Acting in 2010, he has gone on to perform regularly for Write on Tap as well as venues including Live Theatre, and develop his playwriting skills, progressing to Live Theatre’s Playwriting Group in 2011. After completion Steven went on to be a part in the creation and develop of Write on Tap and produced a one act play entitled Ransom  (The Bridge, 2012) and Love Prodigy (The Bridge, 2013) for the company. His next play being part of the new Autumn/Winter season of Write on Tap in 2013/14.

His more recent performance credits as an actor include Indiana Jones and The Extra Chair at Live Theatre (2012). Where he created and performed his own material based on family gatherings as part of Simon Mole’s show.

For Write on Tap Steven has performed in WOT’s 2012 season which included The Perfect Family by Kate Stephenson (Bridge Hotel, 2012), Superpower by Stuart Nimmo and Wounded Angel by Kim Spence (Star and Shadow Cinema, 2013).

You can also see Steven in the upcoming production of The History Boy’s at The People’s Theatre, Newcastle.

Ben Dickenson
In 1997 Ben was awarded a degree in Theatre Arts from Rose Bruford College and in 2002 a Master’s in Film & Television from The University of Westminster. Ben is currently studying for a PhD at Goldsmiths College.  As well as making film and theatre, Ben is a published poet and has worked in community arts, commercial radio, supported housing, youth citizenship, further and higher education.

Ben’s non-fiction writing has been published in The Independent, The Observer, The Big Issue and Film International, among others. He has broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and 5, as well as producing a breakfast radio programme for Galaxy FM. Key non-fiction works include: The Youth Of Today (Carnegie, 2000, 5* Young People Now); A View From The North (foreword by Kofi Anan, Commonwealth Foundation, 2002); Hollywood’s New Radicalism (Macmillan, 2006, 4* Independent and Book Of The Month, The Crack).

Ben’s drama credits include; The Investigation (Tynemouth College Theatre, 1992, Special Commendation from Race Equality Council); VS (Hidden Agenda Theatre Co., 1995, 5* Sidcup Chronicle); Identity (Maccabi Theatre, 1996); Singly None (Southwark Playhouse, 1997); Eclipse (Red Text, 2000, 4* Scotsman); Borrowers & Lenders (Red Text, 2005); Malcolm’s Lot, National Dish and Clocks (all with WOT, 2012-13).

Ben is proud to have been a WOT core member since the group began producing theatre. He writes, directs and occasionally performs in WOT productions, and is the companies Chairperson.

Jo McCullock
Jo has over 10 years media production and project management experience in private, public and broadcast sectors. She has worked for the Liverpool Festival of Comedy, written jokes for a children’s television channel and currently runs workshops in screenwriting at the University of Sunderland. She has had articles published in I-D magazine, Woman and The Wirral Globe! After completing an MA in Creative Writing at Northumbria University she decided to concentrate on scriptwriting, anything that could be brought to life by performance. Her one-act play, Living Room, was produced in 2012 by Write on Tap.

Jo currently works as a senior lecturer at the University of Sunderland within the Broadcast Media Production team. She delivers and designs content for both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in TV Documentary and Drama Production. Currently, Jo has a book and screenplay in development.

Stuart Nimmo
After graduating from the MA in TV Scriptwriting at DeMontfort University in 2005 Stuart went on to learn with Screenwriting guru Phil Parker in a 2 year Screenplay development programme run by Northern Film & Media.  Stuart came to writing for theatre through completing Live Theatre’s playwriting course after which he hooked up with the WOT gang, and testament to their patience and generosity they kindly put up with him still.   Stuart is excited by the way WOT allows new writers to create original work for performance in short time-frames to generate theatre with immediacy and relevancy.

Debbie Owen
Since graduating from De Montfort University in Leicester with an MA in Television Scriptwriting, Debbie had written for Theatre, TV and Film. Debbie also enjoys the day job of promoting international businesses by writing website copy, printed promotional material and TV adverts.

Along the way, Debbie has gained from a series of diverse experiences – writing a 2 minute soap opera with BBC Radio Leicester, delivering script consultancy for BBC London, writing little Beth Green out of The Bill, having a two part drama commissioned by Phil Collinson (ex-Producer of Dr Who), going to Lynda La Plante’s house for tea and having her first theatre play chosen for Live Theatre’s online Short Cuts.

Debbie has just written her first national TV commercial and is currently working on a 3 minute trailer for a feature film set in the North East.

Kim Spence

Since graduating from Newcastle University with an MA in Creative Writing in 2007, Kim has twice been commissioned by Northumberland Theatre Company (NTC). In 2009 NTC produced, Arthur Who? a site specific children’s play performed at Edlingham Castle. This was followed in 2010 with Gridlocked, produced as part of NTC’s InterAct theatre training scheme. This toured venues in the North East including: The Alnwick Playhouse, The Customs House, Northern Stage and the Stephen Joseph Theatre (winning her two Mumby awards in the process). Gridlocked was also performed at Lost Theatre in London as part of their One Act Festival in 2011.

Kim is really proud to be part of Write on Tap. Her writing credits for the company so far are: Juggling Act, Wounded Angel and Reflection.

Founding member 

Samantha Bell
Samantha is a playwright as well as artistic director for company Arts inTouch. She graduated from Newcastle College with a distinction in Performing Arts and is currently studying for a BA Hons in Theatre Studies at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. She has completed the advanced writers’ course at Live Theatre as well as participating in workshops with BBC Writersroom, Soho Theatre and playwright, Mike Kenny. In early 2013 Sam produced Arts inTouch’s new writing event, Write Up North, which culminated in 7 brand new one act plays being performed on the pub circuit in Newcastle.

Sam’s most recent play Retro Metro was performed at The Space as part of One Festival. Past work includes Nthathu/Three (Grahamstown National Arts Fringe Festival, 2012), Straight Again (The Bridge, 2012), The Three (Grahamstown National Arts Fringe Festival, 2011) and short play How D’ya Like Them Apples which was chosen by Live Theatre as their script of the month. In August 2013 Sam worked on Theatre Auracaria’s verbatim show Mamela as Assistant Director (Grahamstown National Arts Fringe Festival 2013). The show won a Standard Bank Ovation Award for Innovation and Artistic Excellence on the fringe.

Melanie Rashbrooke
Melanie was one of the founding members of Write on Tap and was one of the companies core members from 2011 until early 2014.

For Write on Tap Melanie directed Casting System by Jonny Bussell, Superpower and Mum by Stu Nimmo, The Canvas by Meera Sitaraman, Coco by Bethan Kitchen, Crocodile by Deb Owen, A Perfect Family and Morning Plodge by Kate Stephenson, Juggling Act and Reflection by Kim Spence, Straight Again and First Glance, Last Love by Samantha Bell, Clocks by Ben Dickenson, Living Room by Jo McCullock and Ransom and Love Prodigy by Steven Blackshaw. She also wrote and directed short plays Do Not Disturb and You Too for the company.

Melanie is Artistic Director of bite-sized theatre company Mixtape and Co-Director of Trashed Organ with John Challis. Melanie was formerly Co-Artistic Director of Bubble & Squeek theatre company.

Her other directing credits include: The Next Train To Depart by John Challis (Queen’s Hall Arts), Dalgety by David Grieg and The McGuffin by Ben Dickenson (Live Theatre),  Nthatu/Three (Grahamstown Fringe Festival 2012), Hamlet (Star & Shadow Cinema) and Suitcase Monologues (The Bridge).

Her directing & writing credits include: Portaloo (Live Theatre) and Warhol (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), both of which she co-wrote with John Challis.

Producing credits include: Christmas NoirMythsummer Sundae, Broken Christmas Cabaret (Live Theatre) and The Festival of Belonging a four-day live literature and music festival for the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.

Her writing credits include: Do not DisturbYou TooPortalooSuitcase Monologue #1 and Warhol.

Kate Stephenson
In 2011 having completed the Live Theatre’s Writers course, Kate joined fellow writers to become part of Write on tap (WOT). She has had two script-in-hand readings with WOT, A Perfect Family and A Morning Plodge. At the Star and Shadow Cinema for WOT, she directed I’ll ask ‘Ern by fellow WOT member Samantha Bell and acted in Superpower by Stuart Nimmo and The National Dish by Ben Dickenson.

Aside from WOT Kate has acted in comedy whodunits for Class Act. Kate is proud to be part of WOT, a writer lead theatre group that encourages an eclectic mix of new writing.

Bethan Kitchen
Bethan was a founding member of Write on Tap and was one of the companies core members in 2011.