Meet Our Trainers

Donna Ruane RSLI:

Donna Ruane became a BSL/Eng Interpreter having grown up in a bilingual family setting.  She started out her career as a communication professional in education while working her way up through BSL Stage 1,2 and 3 and Qualifying as a graduate from City Lit in 2001.  Donna’s passion is in performing arts which she studied, specialising in dance and musical theatre.  Her vibrant persona and love of people and development led her to qualify as an AQA (A1 assessor) and later an IQA (IV – independent verifier) for NVQ qualifications – level 1-6.  She also holds her PTLLS (preparing to teach lifelong learning), ILM level 3 Line management and NVQ 3 ‘Promoting independence’.  She has been a lead and co-tutor for THEATRESIGN for over 10 years and is part of the training development team and has co-created many of the courses THEATRESIGN are proud to deliver. 

Donna says: “Sharing my experience and knowledge with others and watching them thrive is a joy! I embrace each learners journey, and especially love seeing how individuals blossom with the encouragement and support we offer.”

Donna’s superpower is – ‘people-ing’!

Alexandra Shaw RSLT:

Alexandra Shaw delivered her first training session at a conference in 2001 and hasn’t looked back since.

After attaining Bachelor Degrees in Law and Journalism and a Graduate Diploma in Education in Perth Western Australia, Alexandra moved in London in 2012 and has since added Level 6 BSL, Level 6 Translation and TAQA (Assessor) qualifications to her portfolio. She is currently studying the Level 2 Award in Deafblind Communication.

A lover of musical theatre, Alexandra was the Deaf Consultant for the first interpreted performance in Perth – Wicked in 2011.  Alexandra joined THEATRESIGN in September 2012 and has assessed almost 200 shows, mentored the THEATRESIGN interpreting team and delivered a number of training sessions alongside Senior Interpreter Donna Ruane. 

Alexandra says: “I love teaching and challenging our course participants to be the very best they can be.  I’m committed to interpreter development and breaking down barriers for the deaf and hard of hearing communities and so proud to be part of a team that continues to grow.”

Alexandra’s superpower is – Spreadsheets!

Leigh Bish

Leigh Bish is a native British Sign Language user and has been teaching for over 25 years. A qualified Teacher and Assessor, his specialist subject is British Language Levels 1 to 6. 

With the guidance of Terry Ruane, Leigh realised that teaching was the perfect vehicle to share his love of language. He started working as a Deaf Instructor at Thomas Tallis School in South London and has taught at RAD, Appa, Signamic, Sarona and The Deaf Academy, Exeter. THEATRESIGN invited Leigh to deliver a Making It Visual course with Donna Ruane in 2017 and he hasn’t looked back since and continues working with THEATRESIGN to provide a variety of visual language courses.

Leigh says: “Courses are always full of fun and lots of laughter as individual learners work & play with language. I enjoy working with THEATRESIGN as they are a brilliant, vibrant and a lively team to work with and I’ve always felt tremendously supported!”