Meet the Team

Katie Scott

Katie has worked in a variety of arts administration, marketing and fundraising roles since establishing an open-air touring Shakespeare company at the start of her career.

She also spent time as a local authority Arts Development Officer and served on the board of the National Rural Touring Forum.

As a fundraiser, she enjoyed 4 years at Lichfield Festival and 2 years at Birmingham International Dance Festival. Katie moved to Ripon with her family in 2016.

Simon Hewitt

Simon’s career as a senior civil servant included senior roles in HR, finance, project management and procurement. 

Now retired, his many voluntary roles include being a Director of Ripon Together CIC and a trustee of the Ripon Chapels and Hospitals Charitable Trusts.  He is also stage manager of the Ripon pantomime society. 

He has recent experience of events management, from planning and promotion to event logistics and risk assessments.

Tim Jones

Tim is Clerk to the Trustees and is Managing Partner at TP Jones & Co LLP, a long-established accountancy firm in Harrogate.

As well as being a member of Ripon Together and Clerk to the Ripon City Festival Trustees, he has many years of charity experience within the Rotary Club and for local Scouting groups, organising events and fundraising activities.

Tina Salden

Tina has enjoyed a career in HR; managing teams and leading projects within the manufacturing, finance and retail sectors.

She has also undertaken a number of volunteering and fundraising roles including School Governor, Chair of Friends of the School and for various charitable organisations, the main being Dementia Forward.

She was awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2021.

Julia Whitham

After 14 years in sales and advertising, Julia relocated twice, eventually to North Yorkshire where she and her husband bought a small ready meal factory and reinvented themselves.

Spending 20 years nursing the business back to life, Julia increased her skill set significantly to include some technical and HR responsibility whilst continuing to develop new business.

Julia has also sung in Ripon Choral Society for 15 years, been a highly active PA committee member at several schools, and been a busy and successful fundraiser.

Kay Bartlett

A keen singer, actor, dancer and musician growing up, Kay went on to study Related Arts and Dance at university.

After working as a freelance dance teacher and choreographer, she completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Education and taught Dance and Performing Arts in schools.

After relocating many times with her husband’s work whilst raising her family, Kay has settled in Ripon and has recently taught pre-school music lessons. She is a member of Ripon Amateur Operatics Society.

Sue Bishop

Born a Southerner, albeit with Yorkshire heritage, Sue remedied this by studying drama in Hull. After working in stage management in London Fringe Theatres and Floor Management at the BBC, she ended up in Belfast where she moved into teaching, finally working as Learning Support Coordinator in Integrated Education.

Returning to England in 2016 and moving to Ripon in 2020, she now works as a gardener at Henshaws Arts and Craft Centre in Knaresborough.


Andy Bates

Having studied archaeology and early medieval languages, Andy now works as a craftsman, tutor, puppet maker and puppeteer, musician and actor!

He runs his own theatre company, ‘Hazelsong Theatre’.  You may have seen his impressive dragons during at the Festival in 2022.

Charlie Studdy

Following a near-lifetime career in arts and venue management, Charlie recently took early retirement and moved to Ripon.  As Arts & Leisure Manager for Goole Town Council he spearheaded the creation of Junction, a multi-award winning £4M arts facility for the town with a busy programme of live events, community arts activities and cinema which he ran successfully for 12 years.

Previous lives include running what was then the biggest comedy club outside London, Fools Paradise at Sheffield City Hall. With spells at The Old Town Hall arts centre in Hemel Hempstead and as administrator for the theatre in education company, Theatre of Fact, Charlie brings a huge range of experience to the Theatre Festival team and is keen to make a positive contribution to the arts in his new home city.

Jane Basey

As a consequence of moving house frequently (including time in the USA), Jane has undertaken various volunteering roles over the years depending on the family’s location at the time. Her roles have included: Community Service Volunteers (Chair), Primary School Parent Teacher Association (Chair), Citizens Advice (Helpline worker), supporting Guiding and Scouting groups, running small events to raise awareness of issues at the time e.g. a meningitis outbreak and most recently Vaccinator during the Covid pandemic.

Jane has recently retired following a career in nursing both as a clinician and a Clinical Operational Manager within Children’s Services.

Now settled in Ripon with her husband she is settling into the community with new hobbies and volunteering endeavours. 

In Memoriam

Ian Holloway

The Ripon Theatre Festival was first proposed by Ian Holloway, who wished to bring the City alive with a mix of community and professional theatre performances.  Ian was a performer, director and writer who loved theatre and comedy, and who wanted to provide the opportunity for new and old shows to be performed to, and enjoyed by, new audiences.

We continue the festival in his memory, hoping to emulate his passion and create a truly inspiring festival for everyone.