Meet Our Board
Hadley Taylor currently co-chairs the Taking Flight Board of Trustees.
“I currently co-chair the Board of Trustees for Taking Flight Theatre Company. I studied in Carmarthen. During my time at UWTSD, I volunteered with Taking Flight and upon finishing my degree and started work freelance as a stage manager for a few years. During my time as a freelancer I worked with Taking Flight many times, stage managing productions and co-ordinating fundraising events.
Andrew Tinley is Operations and Access Manager at Derby Theatre. He is also a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society in the role of Dementia Friends Ambassador. This role includes reducing stigma around Dementia and regularly delivers information sessions to the local and national community. Andrew currently co-chairs the Taking Flight Board of Trustees.
Alan Thomas-Williams is currently Achievement Officer for the Expressive Arts Curriculum for Cardiff Council – working across the city’s schools – supporting the 3-16 curriculum. His role is all about connections; between the arts industry and schools, between learners and opportunities and working with a forum of expressive arts partners to help learners Explore, Respond and Create! Alan has been a factual director for television, a primary school teacher, an advisor on film in education and a parent to three neuro-diverse boys. He hopes his diverse experiences, connections and drive will benefit the board in achieving our mission. He also believes learning from Taking Flight will improve inclusion and support diversity in the city’s schools.
Sara Beer has been active in the Disability Arts since she began her acting career with Graeae Theater Company in London more than 30 years ago. She worked for Disability Arts Wales from 2007 until 2022, holding a number of roles. In 2018, she played the lead role in Kaite O’Reilly’s play, Richard III Redux.
“Living in Pembrokeshire with a husband, three children and two dogs, I am from Shropshire originally although I think of myself as being at least Welsh by culture due to having lived more of my life in Wales now than in England; and being a higher level Welsh language learner. I work as a freelance HR Consultant and Leadership Coach to clients who are largely Arts and Community organisations across the UK.”
Dr Márta Minier lectures in Drama at the University of South Wales in Cardiff. She has a strong interest in the dramaturgies of contemporary theatre and in translation and adaptation in a theatre context. Márta is honoured to be able to support the access-focused work of Taking Flight.
“I’m a freelance theatre practitioner, producer, director and performer primarily working with inclusive theatre. I’m a drag queen with the House of Deviant, Wales’ only learning disabled drag troupe! I’ve got a passion for connecting with incredible and passionate people, and helping communities have their voice heard through artistic expression”
Ben Owen-Jones is a British actor. His first television appearance was as a child when he appeared in the BBC children’s programme Grange Hill.
In 1995, he had an accident which resulted in a spinal injury, leaving him paraplegic, and since then he uses a wheelchair for mobility. Following rehabilitation he studied interactive art at undergraduate level and went on to take an M.A. in multimedia. His work was shown at an art festival in Germany.
In 2005, he applied for and was selected to take part in the Talent Fund for Disabled Actors – a bursary scheme organised by the BBC, Channel 4 and the Actors Centre. The scheme was designed to increase the pool of disabled acting talent available to TV casting directors and provided BBC masterclasses delivered by leading TV directors, and Actors Centre training. Following this he was cast in the new BBC drama, New Street Law where he played Chris Quick; a semi-regular character who was also paraplegic. Since then he has gone on to appear in several TV dramas. In 2012 he played the part of a wounded soldier in the dramatisation of the story of Dr. Ludwig Guttmann written by Lucy Gannon.
Since becoming disabled he has worked with charities in England and Wales to offer support to other people who have sustained spinal injuries.
Lisa De Benedictis is a trained lawyer, who worked in academia for several years in communications, commercialisation, IP and programme management. She now works in governance for local government, and hopes to dedicate more of her time to creative writing.
Roger Hudson is a former actor and drama facilitator. He has worked with several Theatre companies and acted on few Taking Flight productions. Following the COVID pandemic he decided to change career and now works in education. He is delighted to continue his passion for theatre by being on Taking Flight’s board.