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Meet the Team

Find out more about our expert team of Shakespearians

Primary Education

Nicola Hawley is the Primary Education Manager at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. She is an experienced primary school teacher, having taught extensively in the UK and overseas before settling in Stratford. She joined SBT as a member of the Heritage Education Team in 2009, using her specialist knowledge of English and History to lead a variety of education workshops. During this time she was also Education Officer at the Hill Close Gardens Trust in Warwick. Nicola became an Education Officer at SBT in 2012, since when she has been instrumental in developing the award-winning Key Stages 1 and 2 schools’ programme. During this time, Nicola has facilitated the delivery and expansion of a full suite of engaging and inspiring educational experiences which explore Shakespeare’s works, life and times, complementing the National Curriculum. Nicola also manages the Trust’s Museums and Schools project and delivers CPD to teachers across the country. In 2016, Nicola led a successful accreditation for the prestigious Sandford Award and has played a key role in the development and delivery of Shakespeare Week, the Trust’s flagship programme to give primary school children a great first encounter with Shakespeare.

Sally Gray is the Shakespeare Week Education Officer at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Sally studied English Language and Linguistics at Durham University before taking a Primary PGCE at The Institute of Education in London. Sally has held various primary school teaching roles across the entire primary school age range and she has a particular passion for children’s literature and Early Years. Sally has also worked for Scholastic as an editor of many of their Primary School book series’ as well as being Deputy Editor of Nursery Education and Junior Focus magazines. She is the author of ten books for Primary School and Early Years teachers published by Folens and Scholastic, covering a broad range of topics from cookery to phonics! Sally enjoys bringing her passion for education to devising and delivering exciting ways to explore Shakespeare’s works, life and times through the Trust’s wonderful Shakespeare Week programme to give young children positive and memorable first experiences of Shakespeare.

Secondary, Higher Education and Adult Learners

Nick Walton

Dr Nick Walton is Shakespeare Courses Development Manager at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Nick is co-author of The Shakespeare Wallbook and has written introductory material for the Penguin editions of Timon of Athens and Love’s Labour’s Lost. He contributed chapters to Director’s Shakespeare,the Cambridge World Shakespeare Encyclopaedia and Dorling Kindersley’s The Shakespeare Book and The Literature Book. Nick has been an invited speaker at The National Theatre, The British Museum, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and The Athenaeum and The Modern Theatre (Boston, USA). He has been the presenter of two Future Learn MOOCs in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and The University of Birmingham on Much Ado About Nothing and Othello, and recorded a stage history for the BBC’s Hamlet. Nick is the co-creator of the Shakespeare edition of Trivial Pursuit, and as Executive Secretary to the International Shakespeare Association, he has helped organise congresses in Brisbane, Prague, Stratford/London and Singapore. In 2020, Nick received the 'Inspirational Educator Award in Teaching Shakespeare' from the Trust of the Worshipful Company of Educators.

Dr Anjna Chouhan is Senior Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies (Secondary and Houses) at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, where she teaches Shakespeare and his contemporaries to schools, universities and enthusiasts from around the world, and acts as dramaturge for the in-house performance teams. Anjna specialises in Shakespeare in the 19th century and edited the Pickering and Chatto sourcebook on Henry Irving for the Lives of Shakespearian Actors series (2012). Anjna is a Shakespeare consultant for the BBC, appearing on Great British Railway JourneysSongs of Praise, and acting as lead Shakespearian for their digital project, ShakespeareMe. As well as working with Cambridge Schools Shakespeare and Digital Theatre, Anjna has contributed to Dorling Kindersley’s Shakespeare Book (2015) and has presented and featured in Massive Open Online Courses with the RSC and British Council, respectively. She is currently co-devising the Shakespeare edition of Trivial Pursuit, and developing the Trust’s digital video content.

Dr Darren Freebury-Jones is Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies (International – USA) at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. His role involves building and developing relationships with schools, universities, and organisations in the USA through regular teaching tours; working on the Trust’s online educational resources; as well as lecturing at the Shakespeare Centre. His 2016 doctoral thesis examined Thomas Kyd’s influence on Shakespeare’s early work. He has investigated the boundaries of John Marston’s dramatic corpus as part of the Oxford Marston project. His recent and forthcoming work on the plays of authors such as Shakespeare, Kyd, Lyly, Marlowe, Peele, Nashe, Marston, Dekker, Fletcher, and others can be found in such journals as American Notes and Queries, Archiv fuer das Studium der Neueren Sprachen und Literaturen, Authorship, Journal of Early Modern Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, Notes and Queries, Renaissance and Reformation, Studia Metrica et Poetica, and Texas Studies in Literature and Language.

Informal Learning

Sarah Fisher is the Informal Learning Education Officer at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Sarah studied Drama at the University of Hull before completing both her Primary PGCE and Masters in Educational Innovation at the University of Warwick. Sarah has taught across the whole primary age range, in both the state and private sectors. Her last role was as the Head of English in a local Preparatory School. Sarah joined the Trust in 2014 and has particularly enjoyed working with teachers to develop a hands-on approach to discovering Shakespeare in the Primary classroom and creating a range of resources for the Trust’s award-winning outreach programme, Shakespeare Week. Sarah works closely with the five Shakespeare Houses to design and deliver a lively and engaging programme of informal learning activities. Sarah is currently developing the Trust’s Arts Award Programme.

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