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We are a theatre company that strives to put the ability into disAbility


The Risings Stars Theatre Company is based in Swansea, South Wales and has members who all have additional needs including Autism, Down's Syndrome and Global Developmental Delay. The Company is a registered charity which survives solely on charitable donations. Since our launch in 2008, we have been managed by our committee, made up mostly of the parents of our members.  

At present we have a senior group that is full to capacity with 32 members, and our recently formed youth group (aged 10-21) which has 12 members. We meet weekly, and during these sessions the members share ideas and help to devise our original productions under the guidance of our artistic directors. We rely on volunteers to provide the extra support where needed. 


Our rehearsals culminate in an annual production, which is performed twice across theatres in Swansea. 

The Rising Stars Theatre Company are also invited to perform at events in the city, flying the flag for diversity and inclusion. 

Meet the team! 



Michelle McTernan | Artistic Director


Michelle is a Professional Actress, and has been for 20 years. She has worked extensively in theatre, tv, film and radio. She is a writer as well as a Lead Creative Schools 

Practitioner for The Arts Council Council of Wales. Michelle's main approach to teaching is to encourage and develop key skills by building confidence and self esteem through creative arts. In 2012 Michelle became The Artistic Director of The Rising Stars Theatre Company.

“I’ve never been more proud to be associated with such a remarkable company of talented, funny, loving, caring individuals. The Rising Stars Theatre Company makes me feel alive and challenges me in a way,artistically, that I have never known. That’s exciting! I love being part of this wonderful family. In all the work that I do, I aim to encourage, engage, excite, and explore the imagination in order to express ourselves in a creative and more healthier & confident manner.  It has to be fun, we need to laugh, and only then will we listen."


Nicola (“Nikki”) Woodrow | Assistant Artistic Director

Nikki trained as an actor at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, where she graduated with a BA (Hons) in Acting. In her early career, she has played various roles on stage and TV. After taking a break from acting to train to be a teacher, she found her love of theatre pulled her back to the world of Drama, and brought her to the wonderful Rising Stars Theatre Company. 

Nikki’s passion is for devised performance. She believes that all actors, regardless of age or ability, have the potential to create magic onstage, and that the best way to do this is to involve them in the creation of original pieces of theatre.  


She loves working with The Rising Stars, who are some of the most interesting, creative and friendly individuals she knows. She couldn’t think of a job she would rather be doing.


Youth theatre


Ace | Artistic Director


Ace found a passion for wanting to work with SEN and ALN children and adults when she first watched a Rising Stars show in 2011. She went on to study Performing Arts and Dance at A Level and then to the University of East London where she gained a BA Hons Dance: Urban Practice degree in 2016. While in London she worked for accredited dance academy Futunity UK and Deja Vu Entertainment. Following her return from London, Ace gained her PGCE in Special Educational Needs and Dance at the University of South Wales in 2018. 


As well as teaching Dance at Secondary School level, she works closely with the STF unit and the ALN department, supporting children within the school setting. Ace teaches dance for Makers of Dance Energy and Groundswell Dance Company and in January 2020 started her own company, A.C.E. Performance Teams. She also is an Event Manager for Deja Vu Entertainment and was the first person within the company to champion inclusivity and hosted the first dance show with ALN acts such as the CanDo Hub and Fuse Community Arts.


Ace started volunteering for the Rising Stars Youth theatre in April 2019, followed quickly by co-running the group in June 2019. As of March 2020 Ace has taken on the role of Artistic Director for the Youth group and is absolutely delighted to be able to work with our talented children for years to come. 

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