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:

 

Dr. Mike Bindon

Executive Director (The Hague, The Netherlands)
mike@ista.co.uk
Email Mike for strategic initiatives, project development, fundraising and grants.

As a specialist in international arts education, and as an active filmmaker and artist, my professional journey has been dedicated to finding creative strategies to help young people access high-quality arts experiences. Before joining ISTA, I led the global development of the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Diploma Programme theatre, film and visual arts courses. I hold a Master’s degree in Performing Arts Education and a Doctorate in International Education. My doctoral research examined the ways in which IB World Schools can help bypass the many barriers that prevent students from opting for IB DP arts courses.

As ISTA’s Executive Director, I steer the organisation’s growth and champion our shared mission of empowering young people through world-class educational experiences in theatre and the related arts. Collectively, my team and I are committed to helping shape globally-minded, collaborative, and culturally literate individuals who are capable of making a positive impact on the world.

 

Tom Scott

Director of Operations (Falmouth, United Kingdom)
tom@ista.co.uk
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 Cocker Spaniel, Leo. I studied management, adult education teaching and life coaching and my background was in local government. I’m approaching my 10th year working full time for ISTA.

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

 

Helen Abbott

Scene Editor / Event & Artist Manager (Saffron Walden, United Kingdom)
helen@ista.co.uk
Email for ISTA’s Scene magazine, ISTA artists and Artist in Residency (AiR) programme & events.

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 was the 2017 recipient of the John Fernald Award and, in 2018, I co-founded the theatre company Light Bulbs in Soil. My recent work includes: Hope Valley Hotel & Spa with Separate Doors (Guest Director); Persuasion at the Rose Theatre, Alexandra Palace and Oxford Playhouse (Associate Director); ISTA’s Digital Global Production 2020 Vision (Movement Director) nominated for an Outstanding Drama Initiative award; Digital Theatre Project Home (Artistic Director). I also work as an ISTA artist, Artistic Director and Artist in Residence.

My role as Event and Artist manager for ISTA means I work closely with both educators and artists. As the editor of Scene, our quarterly international theatre magazine, I am responsible for curating a wide and diverse range of articles from a broad collection of authors including teachers, academics, industry professionals, education specialists, artists and young people.

 

Bev Brian

Finance & Operations Assistant (Helston, United Kingdom)
bev@ista.co.uk
Email for finances, payments and queries regarding mailing out ISTA 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

Programming & Engagement Manager (Prague, Czech Republic)
vicki@ista.co.uk
Email for programming, membership, engagement, 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 turned into 25 years of international teaching adventures in Bahrain, Norway, Thailand, Philippines and Czechia. My areas of specialty are DP Theatre and secondary drama. I joined ISTA staff in 2021 and I currently call Prague home.

My time is divided between managing membership and programming all of ISTA’s wonderful events for learners and educators. I also manage the membership database and member accounts on the website. Another wonderful aspect of my job is working as a Rep and student ensemble leader.

 

Sophie Galton

Event, Artist & Education Development Manager (London, United Kingdom)
sophie@ista.co.uk
Email for events, Artist in Residency (AiR), ISTA artists & education development

I have a BA in Theatre Acting and PGCE in Drama. I have taught drama schools in the United Kingdom and internationally working with a range of curriculums and exam boards. I have worked on the ISTA team for 6 years and I currently 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 to create events that provide outstanding experiences for their students. More recently I have taken on Education development, working to enhance the professional development opportunities we offer teachers. I developed a relationship with Amala, a global organisation providing education to refugees and displaced young people and in 2022 we supported international teachers working alongside students from Amala in a collaborative education studio, a partnership we are developing over the coming years. I also work as an artist for ISTA and always come away from an ISTA event inspired.

Emily Grant

Event Manager and Administration Assistant (London, United Kingdom & Siracusa, Italy)
emily@ista.co.uk
Email for queries regarding events.

I am a bilingual 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 an ISTA Artist, Administration Assistant and an Event Manager.

My role as ISTA Event Manager allows me to work closely with teachers and schools to plan exciting and inspiring events. I also research and connect with industry professionals to deliver at out TaPS events and provide support and help to ensure that things run smoothly behind the scenes at ISTA.

 

Keriann O’Rourke

Communications & Event Manager (London, Ontario, Canada)
keriann@ista.co.uk
Email for communication & events.

I am a Canadian who repatriated after 16 years of 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, Helen and Emily.

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 and produce all Communications content via the website, email and across our video and social media channels. I enjoy the creativity and insight into the ISTA experience that both roles provide. I also love working as an ISTA Rep at our events which gives me the opportunity to step out from behind the computer and jump into the ISTA experience.

 

Finance
accounts@ista.co.uk
Email for accounts, payments and invoices etc.