Meet The Team - Red Ladder Theatre Company

Red Ladder Theatre Company

Meet The Team

Rod Dixon
Artistic Director

Rod became Artistic Director of Red Ladder Theatre Company in 2006, following his role as associate director at the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth. He also ran The Hub Theatre School in Cornwall and was an actor with several companies including Kneehigh Theatre. Directing credits for Red Ladder include Where’s Vietnam?, Forgotten Things, Riot, Rebellion & Bloody Insurrection, Ugly, Sex & Docks & Rock ‘N’ Roll, Big Society! Promised Land, The Damned United, The Shed Crew, Mother Courage and Glory. Rod is both a life-long Liverpool supporter and a believer in Proudhon’s principles of anarchy – the two might be connected.

Chris Lloyd

A Red Ladder employee of over 10 years, Chris is still in constant awe of the talent he has to work with at the company. Lloydy stumbled across Red Ladder after stints at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Rosehill Theatre in Cumbria, three years in the south of Spain and ten years in London at Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Shaw Theatre in Euston.

Never happier than when sitting in his parlour counting his pennies Chris occasionally emerges, blinking, into the theatrical spotlight for opening nights, launches, free lunches and end of tour thrashes.


Sasha Hawkes
Marketing Manager

Sasha joined Red Ladder in May 2017.

Sasha’s background fuses illustrated publishing with arts marketing. Following completing her BA English Literature and MA Cultural & Creative Industries at King’s College London and a year-long stint as an English Language teacher in Japan, Sasha went on to work for two East Asian theatre companies – Ichiza Theatre and Yellow Earth – followed by nine years working in the publishing industry in the fields of production, sales and marketing at Scholastic Children’s Books, Nick Hern Books and Quadrille.

Sasha returned to her home city of Leeds in 2015 and has thoroughly enjoyed re-immersing herself into arts marketing, working for various organisations alongside her role with Red Ladder, including: Leeds Playhouse, The Performance Ensemble, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Fuel Theatre, Odd Doll and Valley Press.


Other Red Ladder Freelancers:


Daniel Bye, Independent Theatre Maker and Writer

Daniel is a theatre-maker from Middlesbrough whose award-winning performances tour nationally and internationally. His recent work includes Instructions for Border CrossingGoing Viral, How to Occupy an Oil Rig, The Price of Everything and for young audiences Error 404. He is an associate artist of ARC Stockton, who act as his producers, and a member of the Fence international network of playwrights and cultural operators. He has also worked extensively as a theatre director, mostly of new writing, and as well as being founding artistic director of Silver Tongue Theatre, he directed work for Red Ladder and the West Yorkshire Playhouse, among others.

‘I joined the Red Ladder Board simply because I’m a huge fan of the company. Their commitment to work that is politically radical and radically accessible is one I share and when Rod called I had no hesitation in saying yes. Hopefully what I bring is an understanding of the challenges, artistic and financial, facing small-scale touring theatre, as well as a knowledge of the stakeholders and shifting contexts in which we operate.’

Tessa Gordziejko, Creative Director Imove Arts, Executive Director Unlimited Theatre

Tessa was Cultural Olympiad Programmer for Yorkshire between 2007 and 2012, and established Imove as the region’s signature programme, comprising 32 arts projects with a budget of £3 million and an audience of around 4.5 million. In 2015 and 2016 she has  performed her poetry across the north, including as part of breath[e]:LESS, a spoken word and music fusion on environmental themes.

‘I joined the RL board having known and loved the company for many years, because I’m passionately committed to theatre with a political narrative. I believe the world needs Red Ladder, and I want to help make sure it survives and thrives.”

Away from work (apart from seeing a lot of theatre) I am deeply interested in physical culture, and movement, and I love going to music gigs.’

Craig Jefferies, CEO  Albion Electrical Wholesalers

Craig joined the Board in September 2016 and is joint MD of Albion Electric Stores Limited, an electrical wholesale company based in Leeds. He graduated with a degree in Accounting and Financial Analysis from Newcastle University and over his working career has worked firstly with KPMG, then The London Stock Exchange and finally with Albion Electric.

‘I’ve always been interested in the arts and one of the driving influences for moving to London after graduating was to see more theatre. I was introduced to Red Ladder through Pheonix Dance who have a storage arrangement with Albion Electric Stores Limited. I bring to the Board 30 years of financial experience along with 20 years of commercial understanding. I live with my partner in Pateley Bridge surrounded by 20 chickens, 2 Alpacas and a cat.’

Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Leeds Rhinos

I’m Jamie Jones Buchanan, a 38-year-old ex professional rugby league player who has lived his boyhood dream, representing this city through the Leeds Rhinos for over 20 years.   I believe life is a narrative, human beings are the only animals on the planet who tell stories, stories should serve to educate, entertain and inspire.  I have always loved story telling and Red Ladder is a huge story telling voice from within the city of Leeds that uses theatre to stir conversations about social equalities and social injustice.  Whilst being a voice Red Ladder also a vehicle that allows local people fulfil their potential and express themselves through the arts.  It’s my pleasure and motivation to support Red Ladder’s Vision and mission to this end.

Jamie currently lives in Bramley with his family. He was a player for Leeds Rhinos for 22 years, through 3 generations with over 150 different players – the most successful generation in the club’s history. As well as Red Ladder Theatre Company, he is on the board for the Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Leeds 2023 Culture Trust.

Amy Leach, Associate Director, Leeds Playhouse

After working across the UK for 15 years as a freelance director and facilitator, Amy joined Leeds Playhouse as Associate Director in 2017. Amy has directed work for a large range of organisations including Hull Truck Theatre, Sherman Theatre Cardiff, National Theatre Wales, National Theatre Studio, Gagglebabble, Wales Millennium Centre, Unicorn Theatre London, Library Theatre Manchester, The Egg Bath, Dukes Lancaster and Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester. Between 2003 & 2011, Amy co-founded and ran en masse, an award winning touring theatre company which created work for young people and their families.

Emma McDowell, Audience Researcher & Arts Marketer

Currently Emma is working as a postgraduate researcher at the University of Leeds in the School of Performance & Cultural Industries towards a PhD, with a particular interest in liveness of the theatre experience, and the interaction between artist and audience member through performance and communication processes. Emma has also worked with both performing arts companies in arts marketing, fundraising and producing (e.g. Suitcase & Spectacles, Townsend Productions, Joss Arnott Dance, Andrea Heaton), as well as marketing/programming at Harrogate Theatre and Square Chapel Arts Centre Halifax, and for an arts research consultancy, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre.

‘For me, Red Ladder represents the holy grail for many modern theatre companies; they make accessible, relevant and exciting productions that reflect and challenge modern Britain in all its diversity. I love being part of that in some small way, and the team have a very well deserved reputation for working closely with communities and artists in Leeds and beyond.’

Twitter: @emmamcdoofus

Martyn Potter, HR Consultant, PKF (UK)

Martyn currently runs his own Human Resource consultancy business offering advisory, coaching, training, mediation and consultancy services to a range of organisations across the Private, Public and Third Sectors. He started working in accountancy before moving into recruitment consultancy, then internal HR before become fully customer-facing.

‘I was asked to join the Red Ladder Board after carrying out a piece of internal work for the Company. I have now been a Board member for over six years and during that period I feel that I have been able to bring a questioning, yet objective perspective and help the management team to steer the Company through an exciting period of organisational change. I am a keen Derby County supporter and still try to run around the five a-side-football pitch every week (and always regret it the day after when I can’t move!).’

Ben Rothera, Freelance Producer

Ben is an Independent creative producer, project manager and audience development specialist with a particular interest in finding entry routes for under-represented groups into the arts and generating audiences for contemporary work. He has worked for a range of arts and cultural organisations facilitating the creation and presentation of high quality work across theatre, dance and live music. Most recently, he worked for Leeds-based producers Dep Arts supporting a range of artists with organisational strategy, fundraising and partnership development.

Lucinda Yeadon, Community Liaison Manager, CEG

Awaiting biography.

Red Ladder is always seeking new members who are interested in the future activity of the company, if you would like to express an interest please email: