Meet Our Team
Role of the actor-pedagogue
“You are educationists, you are philosophers but most of all you are artists, your work is very important.” – Bulgarian child psychotherapist/ EuroChild Conference, Sofia 2014/LicketyLeap.
The success of Licketyspit’s engagement with children is the connection between children and actors who are both experts at play. Adults who want to play, who take play as seriously as children do and can suspend their disbelief utterly to go with them into imaginary worlds, can empower children to do the same. This is the role of the actor-pedagogue.
Licketyspit actor-pedagogues are ‘players’ and social activists who put every participant at ease to enable equal play and inclusion. The actor-pedagogues treat all participants as equals – not as adults instructing children, but as experts who know how to play and who want to remove all barriers to the fullest participation of every participant in the play session.
Virginia is a theatre director and children’s playwright who began to specialise in early years theatre in the mid-90s, after an extensive career as an actor.
She founded Licketyspit in 2004, after leading the pioneering Wee Stories Early Years Project. Her very popular children’s plays put early years children at the centre of large, inclusive audiences of 0-12 year-olds and adults.
Virginia is a passionate advocate for the transformative power of theatre and performance to open up playworlds for children, families and early years professionals. Her work aims to empower children and nurture a more equal and flourishing society.
In 2018 Shona joined Licketyspit as Executive Producer. Prior to joining the company, she was managing Hopscotch Theatre Company and Scottish Youth Theatre’s Venue. Shona was Creative Producer at Birds of Paradise Theatre for 10 years, she has produced some of the company’s innovative work including the hit comedy Wendy Hoose. Her achievements guaranteed the company’s success and increased their profile and reputation for artistic excellence. This enabled her to secure long term funding for the company from both Creative Scotland and Glasgow City Council. She also placed the company on the international stage with a cultural exchange of workshops and productions in 4 European countries.
Prior to Birds of Paradise she was a freelance Company Manager for Suspect Culture for 7 years, managing their Scottish and European tours including a residency at Il Rossetti Teatro in Trieste, Italy. She has also worked for a variety of Scottish Theatre companies throughout her career including 7:84 Theatre Company, Magnetic North and Scottish Youth Theatre. In December 2013, she was Stellar Quine’s ‘Quine of the month’ a celebration of influential women working in Scottish Theatre.
Ruby is the Creative Producer of our Children & Families Network.
Ruby has worked for Licketyspit on a freelance basis for over 3 years: as an actor-pedagogue delivering Porridge & Play, Picnic & Play and Storyplay sessions; project managing the transition to the new Licketyspit website; and as a lead actor-pedagogue on Big Porridge & Play 2019.
She has also performed the Lickety Tale of Molly Whuppie in Spanish at the CompArte Festival in Chiapas, Mexico (2016), and first worked for Licketyspit in 2014, as a volunteer children’s usher at the Glasgow Green Commonwealth Games performances of Hare & Tortoise.
Outside her work with Licketyspit, Ruby has a First Class degree in French and Spanish and a Masters in Latin American Studies from the University of Cambridge. Her Masters research focused on community relationships and child-centred activism in a semi-autonomous community in Mexico City.
Ruby grew up in London and Edinburgh where she attended Leith Walk Primary and Broughton High School. She had an active theatre career at university, performing and directing. Ruby has lived in Honduras, Spain, Mexico and France. She currently produces politics videos for Skotia media.
Hiya! I’m Taz and when I Lickety Play I have great fun becoming ‘The Funky Chicken’ and meeting all the other exuberant creatures in the circle. Everyone makes up the most exciting animals you’ve ever imagined!
Itxaso (Taz) Moreno is a freelance actor who has worked with Licketyspit for over 12 years. She first joining the company to play Baletxo in Green Whale in 2006. She later trained as one of the first Margarets in LicketyLeap, and regularly performs LicketyLeap as part of our Storyplay programme. She has also worked as a Lead Actor Pedagogue on Big Porridge & Play Glasgow Year 1 & Year 2; Picnic & Play Year 1 & Year 2, and Playcard Play & Playground Play delivery as part of Storyplay in all of our Storyplay Schools.
Jack has been an actor-pedagogue with Licketyspit since April 2018. He co-led Big Porridge & Play Glasgow 2019 and has also delivered Picnic & Play sessions.
Jack’s other work as a community arts facilitator includes work with Impact Arts and Mammalian Diving Reflex, and on the board of Justice and Arts Scotland. He is committed to supporting young people to develop and raise their voices through theatre!
Hi, my name is Effie and when I work with Licketyspit I love to sing songs – especially if they have lots of actions! When I was wee I was always making up songs and playing with my sisters.
Effie Scott is a freelance actor, director and producer. She joined Licketyspit as an actor pedagogue in 2018 and has worked on Storyplay, Big Porridge & Play Glasgow Year 2 and Picnic & Play Year 1. Outside of Licketyspit, she runs Glasgow-based company Shows on a Shoestring and also works with Websters Theatre and Geez a Break.
“Hello! My name is Sanjay, and I’m one of Licketyspit’s newest Actor-Pedagogues. I was so excited to join the fabulous team at Licketyspit because I’ve always enjoyed working with children and young people. Growing up, I rarely saw someone that looked like me in the arts and I wanted, through my theatre-making, to inspire other young people of colour and to show them that the arts is a pathway for a career. I enjoy working with young people and children because their imaginations are a powerful tool for creating new art.”
Sanjay joined Licketyspit in August 2020. Having trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Contemporary Performance Practice, Sanjay is an actor, facilitator and theatre-maker. He has worked in various settings, from schools to community groups to working in theatre and screen, and also enjoys writing his own poetry and theatre performances.
“Hello, my name is Andre and I’m one of the new trainee Actor-Pedagogues with Licketyspit. My interests are singing, dancing, random adventures, and taking part in games with friends. Working with Licketyspit is so much fun because children truly are the best players out there! It’s so exciting to see what you all come up with, where we will all go, and what responses you all have. I am so happy that I get to work with you through Licketyspit and can’t wait to have many more adventures with you all! I have my stripy top, and I’m ready to play, the Licketyspit way!”
Andre joined Licketyspit as an Actor-Pedagogue in August 2020. Through varied work as a performance practitioner, he has performed in others’ and his own shows.
The success of Licketyspit’s approach is rooted in the synergy between actors and children as experts in play. At Licketyspit, we draw on a pool of freelance actor-pedagogues who facilitate Storyplay, LicketyLeap, Porridge & Play and Picnic & Play. Already experienced actors or community artists, we provide our actor-pedagogues with additional training, enabling them to become highly skilled in the facilitation of inclusive drama-led play both with children (nursery –P7) and intergenerational play with teachers and with families.