Meet the team

Festival Director | Zsuzsi Lindsay

Zsuzsi was one of the founding members of the Reading Fringe Festival. Since then, she has managed the Reading Year of Culture and started the Reading on Thames Festival. She is passionate about the arts, and about the power of the arts to unite, give confidence, educate, support an economy and create community. She is looking forward to continuing to build on the success of previous years of the Fringe, but also to link up more with cities, towns and villages all around the world.

Festival Producer | Steph Weller

Steph is a freelance Producer specialising in outdoor arts, who enjoys ambitious projects with inspirational creatives, resourceful tech teams and ingenious stage managers. Although she travels to wherever she’s needed, she particularly enjoys supporting local companies and artists, as well creating work with her company Working Birthday and providing platforms for new writers with Fizzy Sherbet. Steph is an Old Vic 12 Producer and is supported by a Stage One bursary for commercial producers.  She is a non-executive director of Iron Clad Creative. Read more about Steph at www.stephjweller.com

Artist Liaison | Sarah Stuffins

Sarah has been involved with the Reading Fringe Festival since the very beginning, starting out with baby stewarding steps and progressing to Volunteer Manager from 2017. She now works alongside Steph as Artist Liaison. Volunteering for charities and bringing enjoyment to others has been at the heart of much of what Sarah has done for fun since she was a teenager. Sarah started as part of a scheme to help disabled residents of a local home to get to church every week. Since then she’s been involved with Save the Children, the National Childbirth Trust and, for the last 12 years, the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. You might be sensing a theme there – and one of Sarah’s great hopes is to see the family programme of the Fringe grow year on year.

Technical Manager | Liam O'Brien

Liam has been involved in live events since college, and has done a bit of everything. From music festivals, camera rigs, working in theaters, and corporate AV, through to being involved with charities in Reading, and hosting open mic nights, there’s not much which comes as a surprise anymore! Now running AV Events, Liam will be providing the technical backup and reference to the Fringe Staff, and supporting the technical volunteers manning the individual events.

Assistant Producer (Curated Acts) | Michelle Donkin

Michelle is the Co-founding producer of Cast Iron Theatre in Brighton. Her background is in education, social media marketing and writing. She believes that art changes lives, and minds and that art is an essential part of being human. She loves to champion and celebrate the work of artists and can’t wait to bring some inspiring work to Reading Fringe Festival.

Volunteer Coordinator | Laura Mills

Laura Mills has been involved in theatre in Reading for over 25 years, an experienced stage manager, producer and director at Progress Theatre, she has also spent a lot of time on committees, helping even further behind the scenes. Laura has been a supporter of Reading Fringe Festival from the start, beginning with watching and stewarding and then as Volunteer Coordinator in 2015 and 2016.  After a few years off, Laura is thrilled to be back as Volunteer Coordinator.

Marketing & Press | Tom Ryan

Tom has worked in events and communications for almost two decades, initially as a journalist reporting on metal, then packaging (and occasionally metal packaging) before becoming internal communications manager for global media group DMGT. More recently he has combined his professional experience with his passion for culture in programming and marketing roles for Henley Literary Festival, the London Press Club, Reading Year of Culture, the Kenton Theatre, Jewish Book Week and the Fringe, all of whom set attendance records during his time with them which may be coincidence but you have to admit that’s a lot of coincidence.

Social Media Manager | Andrew Allen

As well as working in social media, Andrew Allen has a varied background as a director, actor, and playwright. He is the Artistic Director of Cast Iron in Brighton. Andrew believes in championing exciting work and helping new audiences discover Reading Fringe.

Captioner & Access Advisor | Vicky Berry

Vicky is a former stage manager and has worked with many brilliant people at many beautiful theatres, including Shakespeare’s Globe, the Young Vic and other London, regional and international venues.  She believes wholeheartedly in the importance of arts in education and the community and is a passionate advocate for accessible pathways into theatre and the arts for all.

Vicky now works in Participation at the Royal Court Theatre and on a freelance basis as a theatre captioner and subtitler, with the occasional foray into live-captioned events.  This is her first time working with Reading Fringe Festival, collaborating with the team to help make this year’s Digital Fringe accessible.

Finance Manager | Deborah Tobin-Byrne

Deborah has been involved in the Reading Arts scene for 20 years as a musician.

Deb’s own songs are penned from her personal experience. Just before the birth of her son 14 years ago, her songs found their way into studio production with the local band Rhapsodaiscal. The album was released a few years later.

Since then she has worked on a variety of projects and in 2019, she performed with her latest band MixTape at Reading Fringe. After meeting some of the team she joined the ranks in 2020.

Box Office & Admin Manager | Chris Moran

Chris is a playwright, actor and director who loves all aspects of theatre and is passionate about Fringe theatre in particular. Her play, Getting Over Steven, won Pick of the Reading Fringe in 2014 and she has since brought other shows to the Fringe, including Do My Boobs Look Big in This? She has been Box Office Manager for Reading Fringe for several years and loves the whole atmosphere of Fringe week. In her spare time she works as a textile artist and German translator.