As a Dramatherapist, after completing her Masters at Roehampton University (2016), Sam continues to tread the fertile and symbolic grounds of many theatres, schools and communities. She has over twenty years experience as a Performer, Storyteller, and Theatre Practitioner. She is currently Dramatherapist at an NHS hospital on an Acute Mental Health Unit, and Secure Forensic Ward, for men. She also works for Clean Break Theatre Company with women at risk of offending, and at a St Mungo’s Homeless Charity residence, as part of an outcome of Performing Local Place Research Project 2016, on which she continues to be a Lead Facilitator, as well as a visiting Lecturer, for Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. Other Theatre Practitioner work includes: Lead Facilitator and Mentor for Royal National Theatre, Writer & Director of Black History Programmes, Speech Bubbles Practitioner for children with Communication Delay, and Youth Theatre Tutor for young adolescants with Physical and Learning Disabilites, at Half Moon Theatre. She is delighted to be an Artistic Associate at Khayaal, with whom she has a long relationship, and has also appeared as Storyteller, at the Globe, Cockpit, and Library Theatres. As a Dramatherapist and Storyteller, Sam hopes to continue to facilitate a deepened connection between communities and their local theatres. She is always seeking to work with stories that allow us all to make connections to the past, to ourselves, and alongside our forever shifting communities, that inspire learning, healing and growth.
Alia is a Lebanese-Syrian storyteller, actor and artist-educator. She is particularly interested in stories from the Arab and Muslim traditions that seek to answer our most urgent existential questions through wisdom, humour and unexpected twists. She performs for, and runs workshops with, audiences of all ages seeking to create an atmosphere of enquiry around global issues and how to live better together in a sustainable world. Alia is among the core teaching staff at the British Museum. Alia has worked with Khayaal as a performance storyteller and theatre-in-education specialist since first arriving in the UK 10 years ago. This has included delivering work at Shakespeare’s Globe and The British Museum and for multi-sector clients across the UK.
Thomas has created music and sound for Khayaal since our groundbreaking first production, Conference Of The Birds, in 1998. A multi-instrumentalist and audio producer with a theatrical, classical and rock background, he endeavours to enhance and support the myriad atmospheres, emotions and diverse performance situations required of a Khayaal production. Whilst schooled in western music he is deeply drawn to the folk, sacred and classical music traditions of cultures throughout the world, and works to add their rich heritage to the sound world of Khayaal. Thomas has also composed for luminary directors David Pountney and Laurie Sansom, several Unicorn Theatre productions and Streetwise Opera’s acclaimed ‘Time Flows’ directed by William Relton, and has created soundtracks for numerous short films and dance pieces. His extensive workshop leading and outreach experience includes the Royal Albert Hall, Streetwise Opera and Live Music Now, and he is a creative collaborator with Freewheelers Theatre Company for disabled adults. As a guitarist and singer, Thomas has toured in many countries, performed with the BBC Concert, Rambert and Ulster orchestras, worked in various bands and as a studio musician for film, TV and sessions. He is currently focussing his songwriting and production skills on a new project, Weeping Atlas. Thomas has a deep interest in and respect for Islamic, Sufi and other esoteric spiritual and mystical traditions and is dedicated to helping illuminate their wisdom and beauty through the arts.