Meet the BYT Team

Confidence. Communication. Creativity.

At Bright Young Things we are so fortunate to have teachers who are as bright, crazy and dramatic as the young people we teach! BYT is built on the strength of its teachers. We are passionate about bringing the expertise of those who have trained and worked with the best to the young, local talent of NI. A big thank you to all of the BYT Team. Here’s to loving going to work every day!

Meet Lisa Duffy

BYT Team-Lisa Duffy
Lisa Duffy- Director

Founder and Director of Bright Young Things Drama, Lisa has a boundless energy and commitment to drama and confidence building for young people in NI. With a Single Honours Degree in Drama from Queen’s University, a Professional Acting degree from the world renowned LAMDA and a PGCE in Primary Education from Roehampton University, Lisa is passionate about continuous professional development and bringing these expertise to the young people of NI.

Alongside running BYT, Lisa has a second organisation offering Presentation and Confidence Building skills to businesses and organisations across NI and continues to lecturer in Performing Arts.


 Lisa Duffy

Lisa participated with Tinderbox Play Machine Academy 2018/19; a six-month intensive training programme for emerging artists in contemporary theatre practice, devising and performance. Lisa demonstrated a huge interest in exploring numerous techniques and styles with in-depth analysis, focus and desire to understand the various pathways for the creation of new work. 

Lisa approached improvisation with an open attitude and demonstrated the ability to create and utilise strong theatrical space, narratives and risk with simple instruction and provocation. Lisa also demonstrated the ability to work as an ensemble member, offering and receiving ideas and pushing the devising process to create, visceral and truthful new work. Lisa also demonstrated the ability to challenge her own creative thought processes and articulate her vision to the ensemble coherently and professionally. We invited Lisa to be part of the Engine Programme with Manifesto Poetico October 2019. Lisa brilliantly engaged with the process from the first week laboratory through to performance as part of the Epic Borders Trilogy. Lisa represented Northern Irish talent to an exceptional standard and we look forward to see her current ambitious developments in the future. 



Meet Our BYT Team

At BYT we are so fortunate to have teachers who are as bright, crazy and dramatic as the young people we teach! BYT is built on the strength of its teachers. A big thank you to all of the BYT Team. You are brilliant.Here’s to loving going to work every day!

BYT Team-Roisin

Hannah Reilly

Meet Hannah Reilly – Lead Facilitator and Manager at BYT?

Hannah graduated from Queens University Belfast with a 2:1 in Drama and English with specialisation in devising, applied and physical theatre. She has also been a freelance drama facilitator for several years working with companies in Belfast such as Nismat and Terra Nova Productions.

Hannah has successfully put several students through their LCM acting exams, with some students winning numerous awards in the Belfast Drama Festival. Having worked as an Activity Therapist with dementia patients and completing her ASD and TEFL training, Hannah has experience working with people from all walks of life.?

BYT Team-Roisin

Roisin Gallagher

Roisin trained in Acting at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire.  Since then she has worked across the UK in Theatre, Radio, TV and Film. As well as treading the boards, she has over eight years’ experience as a drama teacher and children’s entertainment host in London and Northern Ireland.  She has a passion for developing children’s confidence through creativity and is proud to be a leader of such a high quality company as Bright Young Things.
BYT Team-Roisin

Jayne McKenzie

Meet Jayne McKenzie – Lead Facilitator and Manager at BYT?

Jayne gained a 1st class honours in Theatre Arts: Acting and Contemporary Theatre Making and has been working as a Theatre and Screen actor since.

Jayne is also a member of the National Youth Theatre and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles: Acting for Film and Television. She has trained in Firearms and weapon training for screen acting and has currently furthering her qualifications with the Irish screen acting masterclasses.

To name a few, Jayne has performed with Cahoots NI; A Midsummer Nights Dream at the Lyric Theatre; devised and performed Submerso at Brighton Fringe Festival and is currently devising a play to perform in Dublin in February 2020.?

BYT Team- Jessica

Jessica Samoy Plunkett

Jessica is originally from Arizona, USA. She studied Theatre Arts and Contemporary Leadership at the University of Arizona, after which she came to Belfast for a volunteer year. She then moved to Los Angeles and studied improvisation with Upright Citizens Brigade, but missed Belfast and after a year, came back to Queen’s to get her Masters in Drama and Performance: Interdisciplinary Arts. Jessica now lives and works in Belfast. As well as loving working for Bright Young Things, she facilitates drama for the Lyric Theatre (young people) and Open Arts (adults with disabilities), and is a yoga teacher!
BYT Team-Roisin

Mariah McAlynn

Mariah is currently studying drama at university and hoping to do further study on the benefits of drama for personal development, and health and wellbeing for individuals. She’s an assistant facilitator with Bright Young Things and loves to learn, especially through play! ?

“What I love most about BYT is the fact that the children develop knowledge and skills for life through the use of drama and play. As well as this, I love seeing the friendships that are made throughout each term. Learning with friends is fun and it’s even better with play!” ?


BYT Team-Gary

Gary Crossan

Gary is a graduate of the Lyric Drama Studio and has a degree in Drama and English from Queen’s University. Previously he has worked with Kids in Control and trained with Replay theatre in Performance for Younger Audience. Gary has completed an Irish tour of the Caucasian Chalk Circle with Bruiser theatre company and more recently a run of “She Stoops to Conquer” in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Gary’s latest project has been directing a piece in the Playhouse, Londonderry named ‘ Life is but a Meme”, with Stage Beyond, a theatre company for young adults with learning difficulties.
BYT Team- Megan

Megan Keenan

Megan Keenan Graduated from University of Ulster Magee with a 2:1 degree in Drama, excelling in Directing and Theatre for Young Audiences.  Megan was drawn to Bright Young Things because of the motto confidence, communication and creativity. This applied to her as she is determined to pass on her love of drama to children with learning difficulties.  Megan was diagnosed with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia when she was seven and never imagined that someday she could be a university graduate. Megan has acted on stage and for screen and has experience in childcare, including voluntary experience at a Nursery and a Baby Rave!
BYT Team-Gerard

Gerard Kelly

Gerard graduated from Edgehill University with a degree in drama, specialising in  applied theatre. Having facilitated for the Grand Opera House Belfast, The Lyric Theatre and Big Telly Theatre Company, Gerard is also experienced in working with children and young people with disabilities. Gerard has qualifications in performance combat , music and a number of circus skills and has numerous professional acting credits specialising in theatre for young audiences, character acting, mime, and clowning
BYT Team-Roisin

Ruth Jennings

Ruth trained as an actor-musician at Rose Bruford College. Since graduating in 2010 she has worked as a professional actress, singer, teacher and facilitator in conjunction with Belfast City Council, Ards County Council, Big Telly Theatre Company, NI Opera and more, delivering drama and singing workshops across Northern Ireland. Having worked with children from the ages of 4-18, Ruth has worked with children with learning difficulties and has led specific workshops for children with Down’s syndrome alongside working as a substitute drama teacher in Fullerton and Downey House.
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