Dwayne Gumbs:Dwayne Gumbs is a talented writer and actor, born and raised in East London. After a short spell at Anna Schers drama school, he became involved with locally based drama groups that enabled him to nurture his natural talents in song writing, script writing, directing and acting. Having developed his skills alongside local talents he saw an importance and felt a responsibility towards leading the way for others with a similar passion, helping them aspire to their dreams and have an outlet to express themselves. Dwayne has been assisting sessions and leading workshops in drama from the early age of 15. In 2006 Dwayne achieved a joint BA hons in Drama and Film and TV studies from Brunel University, and started a theatre company which established a good reputation. In 2008 he co-founded Diverse Voices ltd, which uses performing arts in a wide range of community settings. Through this and the Diverse Voices theatre company, Dwayne has written, scripted, acted and directed many pieces with various subject matters for different purposes”.
Alex Williams:Alex trained at the Sylvia Young Theatre School gaining experience in drama and music. As well as a classically trained pianist and self taught saxophonist Alex is a professional actor and writer with experience in TV, film and theatre. He has performed at some of the UK's most prominent venue's including singing at The Royal Albert Hall. Alex co-founded Diverse Voices Ltd in (2008) and has continued to devise, perform in, facilitate and coordinate the various projects, workshops and plays Diverse Voices has to offer. He also works as a Director for the Diverse Voices Theatre Company. He has remained committed to passing on his passion for performing arts to young people and after years of teaching in youth theatre he is delighted to continue giving young people a voice!
Ariete Santos:Ariete Santos is a trained actress with over 10 years’ experience in the field. She was trained in Stratford Royal youth theatre from a very young age and went onto college in her teenage years to do A-level Performing Arts. She later went on to study at ‘Identity’ drama school. Ariete over the years has been involved in theatre productions as well as TV and film, supporting and featured roles. In early 2008 Ariete joined Diverse Voices where she has helped devise, perform in productions and facilitate drama workshop in various places. Ariete also has a background in youth work, having started doing youth work when she was a young person herself. She now combines her two passions; acting and helping young people gain confidence. She happily continues to build stepping stones for the next generation to express their creativity and talent.
Leonie Elliott:Leonie Elliott trained at The Harris Drama School for film, television and theatre since the tender age of six. Her acting career began at the age of 8, when she appeared in several television commercials and children’s TV series. Leonie made her stage debut in the UK tour of “Annie” – the musical, where she played Kate. She then went on to star in the award winning musical “The Lion King” in London’s West End where she played the role of young Nala. Her first starring role was in 1999, in the film Tube Tales. Her TV credits include The Bill, Holby City and Undercover Heart. She performed the leading role of Judy Samuels in her first British feature film, “Wondrous Oblivion". Leonie is currently delighted to be working closely with the community by facilitating workshops and teaching drama for Diverse Voices Ltd.
Simone Watson:Simone Watson has always been inspired by the arts. She first trained for 2 years at The Brit School of Performing Arts, before undertaking a BA (Hons) degree in Performing Arts at the University of Winchester, where she graduated with a 1st Class Honours Degree in 2006. Since graduating, Simone has been working professionally as an Actress and Performer and continues to devise work with Diverse Voices, and her co-founded physical theatre company. Simone has recently started working as a professional Theatre Director, and to date has a number of successfully received plays under her belt, one of which being previewed at one of London's well known Fringe venues, Oval House Theatre. She is also an experienced Drama Facilitator and Artistic Coordinator and thrives off of creating, planning, developing and delivering, theatre based projects to young people across London. Simone continues to commit to working with young people, and believes that Drama is one of the best creative tools when empowering young people to grow and develop into the successful adults of tomorrows generation.
Scott Bloodworth:Multi instrumentalist Scott studied at The Institute for Contemporary Popular Music Performance, he is a classically trained pianist and has had the pleasure of working with a wide variety of artists & bands over the last ten years in the U.K & Europe. From Indian Fusion with Swati Natekar, Babyshambles supports with alt indie rockers Lefthand, Glastonbury appearances with Hip Hop duo Future History, and collaborations with Classical Composer Roxanna Paufnik to name a few. As an educator Scott has been involved with various projects with the World Arts Platform mixing world music with a modern twist to help young people connect with new music in a fun and creative way. Arts Awards projects within SEN schools creating music from given stimuli, various workshop and after school clubs centred on song writing and instrumental tuition. Scott is also a member of the teaching faculty at the Academy of Music and Sound where he lectures in music and rhythm theory, song writing, aural perception and individual instrumental lessons. Scott has a passion and enthusiasm for music, which he is keen to pass on to the next generation of musicians.
In June 2012 Diverse Voices were invited to Brentford School for Girls to run a Dance and Drama workshop as part of Media Arts Week. They were professional, enthusiastic and had built a memorable relationship with the students. The team did a fantastic job creating an inclusive environment and inspiring the young people involved in their workshop to discover their inner creativity... view all »
I have used Diverse Voices on numerous occasions over the past four years. They came highly recommended by the PSHE, Citizenship and Community Cohesion leads in the borough and I have always found their work to be of the highest quality and the highest value. They have supported work directly in Drama and PSHE, two areas for which I have had responsibility. They present thoughtful, intelligent and (most importantly) accessible work that engages the students and enhances their learning and understanding... view all »
Just a huge thank you to you and the other members of your team for the highly successful Anti Racism Workshops you ran in our Year 5 and Year 6. You took the issues that we raised as a school, turned them into playlets and dealt with them sensitively in the format of performance, workshops and performance with changed outcomes suggested by pupils. There is always a very fine line in educating on a subject such as this and you did this exceedingly well... view all »
Diverse Voices have delivered two performances at our Pupil Referral Unit and on both occassions staff and students gave positive feedback. We found the performances to be very current, relevant and the delivery was pitched perfectly for our cohort. The performers were very skilled in encouraging the students to engage in both the performances and the workshops that followed... view all »
To whom it may concern Diverse Voices has been working with us at the KS3 PRU for over a year. They provide a reliable and well planned drama programme which compliments our curriculum. Sessions are well structured and lead. Our pupils thoroughly enjoy taking part. As well as providing opportunities for English Speaking and Listening National Curriculum Level Assessments, these sessions build towards performances which are then shared with the rest of the school... view all »
'At first I was unsure of how the children would respond to the Diverse Voices programme, since they all suffer low self-esteem and have difficulties with conflict, which poses a challenge when they are all together in a group, but I was very pleasantly surprised! Dwayne and Alex proved to be excellent facilitators, with strong presence, and they established respect from the children very quickly. Most importantly, the children showed immense enjoyment and complete engagement each session... view all »
Diverse Voices are a unique theatre company - hugely creative and adaptable. The group have performed and facilitated workshops around risk taking behaviours in a variety of settings including our annual Teen Voices Conference. They have the ability to engage extremely effectively with young people including some of the most vulnerable and challenging. The drama experience they provide is consistently of a high standard, engaging and relevant to young people... view all »
Diverse Voices connect to young people with a rare ease, and use their engaging and entertaining skills with subtlety, to draw young people’s thinking and behaviour towards life-affirming choices. They offer a unique and effective way for drama and the performing arts to foster social and emotional... view all »
As head of cpshee, the performance and workshops covered a whole range of issues that we needed covering in terms of the curriculum. A great deal of what was mentioned managed to explore the key aspects of sex education and drugs education. The performance also developed into issues around peer pressure, gangs, self-esteem and self image, as well as mental health issues... view all »
DIVERSE VOICES provided a program of workshops for our students here at Constance Bridgeman Centre Redbridge, for 12 weeks. Their focus, which we had previously agreed, was to address relevant issues for 14 – 16 year old students – peer pressure, bullying, lifestyle choices etc. They quickly developed positive relationships with the students and were able to encourage them to engage the in classroom based activities, including role play and discussion... view all »
Diverse Voices have delivered two performances at our Pupil Referral Unit and on both occasions the staff and students gave positive feedback. We found the performances to be very current, relevant and the delivery was pitched perfectly for our cohort. The performers were very skilled in encouraging the students to engage in both the performances and the workshops that followed... view all »
In August 2013, Diverse Voices joined forces with the Youth Offending Service’s Voices in Partnership (VIP) group to plan and deliver peer led group work to young people in the criminal justice system. Over six weeks, Diverse Voices and the VIP formulated an interactive drama and discussion based programme on healthy relationships. This is the first peer led group managed by entirely by young facilitators who had also gone through the criminal justice system and the project proved to be a great success... view all »
Diverse Voices worked closely with our Year Nine students and delivered an excellent and truly inspiring six week workshop with a final five star performance with the young people of Stoke Newington School. The students and teachers where blown away when students and Diverse Voices performed a play that they had written about the different scenarios young people are faced with in school, and life. We would definitely welcome them in again... view all »
We first met Alex and Dwayne from Diverse Voices in early 2012 and were immediately impressed by their passion and enthusiasm to share their love of drama with young people in an inspiring and motivating way. They came along with 3 others and performed at our Keep the Peace event in Hackney and blew away the audience with their drama performance about the effects of living life in a gang. It was funny and real and everyone... view all »