Our Team

We have a core team who makes ISTA tick. Based all around the world, these lovely people will often be your first point of contact and your ‘go-to’ with any questions.

They are always on hand to help and make sure your ISTA experience is the best it can possibly be.

For specific inquiries, you can contact:


Dinos Aristidou

Executive Director (Brighton, United Kingdom)

I’m based in Brighton, United Kingdom, which I consider to be home, though I’ve lived in different parts of the country as well as internationally. My parents came to the UK from Cyprus in the 1950s and though I was born in London, I didn’t speak English until I was 4 or 5. The duality I grew up with has led to my lifelong fascination with cultural memory, identity and of course, theatre which from an early age provided me with a sense of belonging, a community and the ability to live in the world of the imagination.

As Executive Director of ISTA, my role is to work with the board, the staff team and our community to steer, develop and safeguard the future of our organisation with a clear sense of direction. It’s also about ensuring that we continue to provide the best possible international learning experiences through theatre and the related arts as well as being relevant, inclusive and global.


Tom Scott

Director of Operations (Falmouth, United Kingdom)
Email Tom for events and event programming, IB and any issues concerning managing risk or health and safety.

I live in Falmouth, United Kingdom with my partner Logan and Working Cocker Spaniel, Leo. My background is in local government and adult education but I’m also a qualified life coach. I’m in my 8th year working for ISTA full time and I love it.

As Director of Operations I’m responsible for the successful programming, production and quality of all ISTA events. As well as this I’m also responsible for programming, risk management and Health & Safety and all our work with the International Baccalaureate.


Helen Abbott

Event & Artist Manager (Belfast, United Kingdom)
Email for events, Artist in Residency (AiR), ISTA artists & publications.

I studied a BA in Acting at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and an MA in Shakespeare and Theatre, and am now a theatre director and practitioner. I also work on new scripts as a dramaturg. I was the 2017 recipient of the John Fernald Award which led to my role as AD for Persuasion at the Royal Exchange Theatre and in 2018 I co-founded the theatre company Light Bulbs in Soil.

My role as both Event and Artist Manager for ISTA means I work closely with both teachers and artists. I help to produce a variety of events and make sure hosts, artists and participants feel happy, confident and supported throughout. I also work as an artist for ISTA and often draw upon my experience here to help shape and guide the events we put together.


Bev Brian

Finance & Operations Assistant (Helston, United Kingdom)
Email for finances, payments and queries regarding mailing out ISTA t-shirts and publications etc.

I went down an accountancy route after leaving college, studying business, and eventually became an accounting technician working in local government and the NHS. A huge change in direction and family circumstances in 2007 led to discovering that I enjoyed supporting primary school pupils and I trained to become a learning support assistant.

My role with ISTA right now is in the day to day finance operations including payments to suppliers (i.e. our ISTA artists) and invoices to purchasers (i.e. schools and teachers) plus dispatching purchases from the ISTA Shop.


Vicki Close

Engagement Manager (Prague, Czech Republic)
Email for membership, engagement, programming and alumni.

After four years of teaching at my hometown high school in Canada, I felt the need for a little adventure. A two-year leave of absence to teach in Bahrain turned into 22 years (and counting) of international school adventures in Norway, Thailand and The Philippines. I currently call Prague home.

My main focus is supporting membership and ensuring all are taking advantage of all of the wonderful resources and benefits that ISTA offers. I also manage the membership database and contact lists. I am excited about establishing “neighbourhoods” so our members can connect with others in their regions. Another wonderful aspect of my job is working as a Rep and student ensemble leader.


Sophie Galton

Event & Artist Manager (London, United Kingdom)
Email for events, Artist in Residency (AiR), ISTA artists & publications.

I have a BA in Theatre Acting and PGCE in Drama. I have taught in schools in the United Kingdom and internationally but for the past three years I have worked on the ISTA team. I live in London with my family.

My role as both Event and Artist Manager for ISTA allows me to work closely with schools and teachers supporting them and creating events that provide outstanding experiences for their students. I love working with a variety of artists, connecting them with schools and festivals and creating unforgettable ISTA moments. I also work as an artist for ISTA and always come away from an ISTA event inspired.


Emily Grant

Administration Assistant (London, United Kingdom & Sicily, Italy)
Email for queries regarding administration support of ISTA’s operations and events.

I am a theatre director, practitioner, and performer. I trained as an actress at ENSATT, Lyon in France and hold a BA (Hons) in Drama and Theatre Arts from Middlesex University in London. As well as working freelance, I run my own company, Join the Dots Theatre. I work as both an ISTA Artist and an Administrative Assistant.

My role as ISTA Administration Assistant allows me to provide support and help to make the behind the scenes work that ISTA does run smoothly.


Keriann O’Rourke

Communications & Event Manager (London, Ontario, Canada)
Email for communication & events.

I am a Canadian who has recently repatriated after 16 years living in Singapore back to the Great White North. I have worked in education as a Kindergarten teacher as well as a drama and dance middle school specialist. I am a proud member of the ISTA team and work as the Communications Manager and as an Event Manager alongside Sophie and Helen.

These roles allow me the opportunity to regularly connect with the ISTA community. As Event Manager I work directly with hosts, participants, artists and visiting schools to ensure that their event experience runs smoothly. As Communications Manager I organise social media and make connections with our followers. I enjoy the creativity and insight into the ISTA experience that both roles provide.


Email for accounts, payments and invoices etc.