Michelle is a director and playwright from Essex recently working on artist-led programme Future Forms with the Donmar Warehouse under the guidance of Sacha Wares.


Michelle was a 2019 recipient of the Regional Theatre Young Directors' Scheme completing a three month residency at the Mercury Theatre Colchester. Here she assisted Ryan McBryde on Cinderella which was nominated for Best Pantomime at the Great British Panto Awards. 


Her immersive play Squad Goals at Dagenham & Redbridge F.C. in 2020 received multiple 4 & 5 star reviews and features from theatre and national press before being published by Salamander Street in April 2021.


Recent Directing Credits:

Dear Dead Jason by Jen Moss (R&D) Bruised Sky Productions, The Liberators by Michelle Payne (new writing) for PPA 3rd Year Acting for Stage & Screen, My Three Sisters by Holly Rose Hawgood (R&D) at The Bush, Jess by Stephanie Silver (digital theatre) with The Space UK Online which received an ONCOMM for Digital Theatre, The Offies, Squad Goals by Michelle Payne (immersive/new writing/dance) at Dagenham & Redbridge FC, Find Me by No Fixed Address at VAULT Festival and Ordinary Days (musical) at Rose & Crown.


Recent Writing Credits:

Memory Box (winner: Mercury Monologues), Sad About the Cows (Tristan Bates Theatre).


Michelle is currently developing new musical Enthusiastically, Yes! about sexual consent with singer-songwriter Craig Webb with the support of Harlow Playhouse. A song from the show will be at The Garrick (West End) on 4th October as part of Adam Lenson Productions & Aria Entertainment’s The Chamber Musical Sessions. 

Michelle is Creative Engagement Co-ordinator for the WildChild Organisation (Oli Lansley & Christa Harris).

Michelle is also an acting teacher for Sylvia Young Theatre School & for the West End Kids company.

Michelle is represented by Helen Mumby at The Soho Agency, and is currently working towards developing Squad Goals about women’s football in Dagenham for television.

Twitter: @chellesta / Insta: @chellestaa



At Chichester university (3rd years) January 2022


As part of the Savi Arts Emerging Artist Festival. Michelle is writing & directing in kind to support emerging actors.


My Three Sisters by Holly Rose Hawgood

director, The Bush Theatre, April 2021

Dear Dead Jason by Jen Moss

director, NDT Broadgate, September 2021

The Liberators by Michelle Payne

commission - writer & director, PPA (third year acting for stage & screen), June 2021


Director, for writewild 2021 (WildChild) at The Park Theatre

Enthusiastically, Yes by Payne & Webb

A new pop musical. (Book&lyrics, long-listed for Aria Entertainment & ALP Chamber Musical Competition in collaboration with singer/songwriter Craig Webb, April 2021), The Chamber Musical Sessions @ the Garrick Theatre, West End 2021.


Michelle will be directing the eight chosen unsigned actors for Tectum Theatre's showcase at the canal cafe theatre, 15th October 2021.

Awards & Achievements


Vault Five

Long List (Michelle Payne, creative)


The Offies: ONCOMM for digital Theatre

Jess by Stephanie Silver (Director)


Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme

3 month placement (Mercury Theatre Colchester, director)


Adam Lenson Productions & Aria Entertainment Chamber Musical Competition

Long List (Enthusiastically, Yes by Payne & Webb, writer)


The MonoBox: Play start

Long List (Well-Groomed by Michelle Payne, Writer)


Best In Fringe: The Brewery Fringe

Full Circle by Michelle Payne (Writer/director)


Spirit of the fringe

Ingenuity in lockdown (Online @ TheSpaceUK)

Nominated (Walk of Shame by Stephanie Silver & Amelia Lovesy, director)


Mercury Monologues (w/ Josef Weinberger)

Winner (Memory box by Michelle Payne, writer)


Best new writing

best actress - 

Moors Theatre

Orchid by Michelle Payne & Daniel Len (writer, actress)

 Thank you 

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Steve Thompson, Peter Freund & all at Dagenham & Redbridge F.C. for supporting my career in such a generous way. This club does so much for the local community and I will always be immensely grateful to them.

to my brilliant mentors: Ryan McBryde, Kate Hall, Kate Golledge & Christa Harris.

To good eggs at the mercury Theatre Colchester (Tracey Childs, Steve Mannix, Elodie Gilbert, Joseph Rawlings & Dilek Latif) & Antony Stuart-Hicks.

I'd also like to thank Katy Lipson & Adam Lenson for their belief in my musical theatre book writing.