Eleanor Rushton

Eleanor Rushton

Delivery Lead

After completing her acting training, Ellie (she/her) cut her teeth as a workshop facilitator under the wing of Loudmouth Education and Training, spending several years delivering work around relationships, sex and health education. During this time she started wondering ‘why does this sort of education have to end at eighteen?’. Recognising a particular need for positive change within the performing arts sector, she went on to study a masters degree in Performance Science at the Royal College of Music, which has given her keen insight into the psychological and lifestyle concerns that performing artists face today. 

Ellie’s particular interest lies in supporting performing artists with all the challenges that come with the lifestyle of being a performer. Wanting to empower performing artists to live joyful and fulfilling lives, she sees Tonic’s work on equality, diversity and inclusion as central to this mission.

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What does your role at Tonic involve?

I get to use my research skills to develop new training relating to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and I get to use my facilitation skills to deliver it! A lot of my work happens in drama schools and conservatories, which I love, but I’m really lucky in that I also get to work with a really broad spectrum of people across the arts. This kind of work requires an awareness of both the performing arts landscape and the world of EDI, so a big part of my role is keeping up to date in those areas so that Tonic can be responsive to the needs of the industry. 

What’s your favourite thing about working at Tonic?

Creative interpretation is such a huge part of being an actor, and so it’s really great to be able to use those skills in a new way here, interpreting the needs of our clients and working creatively with them to inspire positive change. It’s also thrilling to get to work with such an inspiring team of passionate and inquisitive people.

What book/podcast/documentary/etc inspires you the most?

It’s very hard to narrow it down with books, but “Natives” by Akala is very eye opening with regards to racism in Britain. “Invisible Women” by Caroline Criado Perez, which looks at gender bias, is a book I think everyone should read. For fiction grounded in reality, I adore anything by Sally Rooney and Kit de Waal. For something with a bit more escapism, “The Night Circus” and “The Starless Sea” by Erin Morgenstern are absolutely breathtaking. I am constantly listening to podcasts, but if I had to pick one I would say ‘The Allusionist’ – a podcast about language by Helen Zaltzman. So much can be learned about humanity by looking at where our words come from!

What 3 words would you use to describe Tonic?

Inquisitive, Responsive, Brave

Tonic – For greater equality, diversity and inclusion in the arts