Organising Team

The Youth Drama Festival would not, and could not, be the success it is if it was not for an amazing team of volunteers working in the shadows, quietly out of sight, day on day.  They work very long hours administering and organising this Festival for you.

Our group of volunteers bring with them a wealth of experience and work hard for the promotion of Youth Drama as a whole and the development of all the talented young people that have the benefit of taking part.

Michael Merry - Chairman | Welwyn Garden City Youth Drama Festival

Michael Merry


Michael is currently a Council Member and Box Office Manager for our hosts, the Barn Theatre. He has operated sound and lighting and acted as Stage Manager for many Barn shows since the mid1980s.

Tel: 07973 238346

Hazel Halliday - Secretary | Welwyn Garden City Youth Drama Festival

Hazel Halliday


Hazel has been on and off stage at the Barn Theatre since the early 1980s and now she endeavours to keep YDF matters on track!

Hazel will almost certainly be your first point of contact.

Tel: 07973 238346

Derek Palmer - Festivail Stage Director | Welwyn Garden City Youth Drama Festival

Derek Palmer

Stage Director

Derek helps the teams with their on-stage requirements and he has a magnificent team around him to make it all flow smoothly! He will be the man to go to with any technical queries.

Tel: 07860 573896

Jan-Palmer-Sayer - Treasurer| Welwyn Garden City Youth Drama Festival

Jan Palmer-Sayer


Jan is a highly experienced Director and Actress as well as being a GoDA Adjudicator in her own right. During the Festival she will usually be found front of house, probably in the Box Office, or dealing with any audience or team queries that may occur before or after the curtain rises.

Brenda Onyon

Lighting Manager

Brenda works with Derek to help the teams with their on-stage requirements. She spends the Festival up in the lighting box working the cues called by the participating teams.

Laura Ilica


Laura is the newest member of our team and an expert in all things marketing and social media. We look forward to Laura becoming a valuable member of our team

The Committee are indebted to many other volunteers who help ensure the smooth running of the Festival week.

These include:

Wendy Bage: Assistant Stage Manager
James Rowles: Sound Manager
Ray Gibbins: Front of House Manager
Sheila Grimmant: Coffee Bar Manager
Ian Colpitts: Bar Manager

The Festival could not happen without the assistance provided by them and their teams of helpers, all of whom are members of the Barn Theatre Club.

Keep in touch

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Please get in touch

We look forward to

hearing from you