CODA Member Biographies

CODA consists of a members who have been with us for only one month or over 20 years. This page will allow us to introduce them to you in personal biographies.

Caroline Stanley-Smith

2 Years In CODA


Caroline joined CODA a couple of years ago and is based in Oxford.


Joining CODA


“I had just graduated from Drama school and was looking for a musical theatre society to join to cement my drama skills. As I was living in Croydon it made sense to join CODA and also heard that CODA had an excellent reputation. 


My first ever CODA show was Pirates of Penzance. I love Gilbert and Sullivan for a start and Pirates is one of very few G&S productions I had not performed. The atmosphere of being in the park was amazing, and dancing around the bandstand in the pouring rain singing ‘How Beautifully Blue the Sky’ just added to the comedy. I played Kate, one of Major General Stanley’s daughters. The whole show was a lot of fun, and both cast and audience thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”


Passion for performance


“There has always been music in my life from a very early age. I grew up dancing (learnt ballet) around the house, putting on concerts for my parents and singing in church. I was very involved in choirs at school and ended up doing A-levels in music. My high school singing teacher was a member of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of South Australia and she encouraged me to audition for them. From there I really grew as a performer to a point where I knew this was what I wanted to do.”


Inspiration everywhere


“My all-time favourite musical is Wicked. I think because it was the first (and only) musical I have seen on Broadway. The staging is very cleverly done and the songs are all very catchy.


My favourite actor is Hugh Jackman, because he is such a brilliant all-round performer, able to sing/dance, and also to take dramatic roles. He also sounds a very genuine down to earth person. The first musical I ever saw him in was Oklahoma, as Curley and I absolutely loved it.”


Caroline is also a member of Inter Church Productions and the G&S Society of South Australia. Outside of performing she also enjoys playing the flute, and loves cooking, especially experimenting with new recipes. She is a Children’s nurse.”


What I love about CODA


“The quality of the shows, and the calibre of the actors are excellent. Every show I have done has been of an extremely high standard to the level I would expect of a professional production. Everyone is also very friendly and welcoming and there is no shortage of social actives in which to be involved.”


Sasha Cherry

18 Years In CODA (and counting)


Sasha joined CODA in 2002 and she is based in South Croydon


Joining CODA


“I joined CODA because I had come back from University and my three-year life bubble had burst and I needed to re-engage with activities I loved as well as to expand my local social circle!


I had first discovered performing at secondary school, where a teacher called Ms Brigid Doherty inspired me. She was new and headed up the drama department.  She was passionate and driven and put our school on the map for drama. She is the reason I am who I am.


My favourite production with CODA was probably Fame or Beauty & The Beast.  In both shows I got to play strong women roles – even if one was as a wardrobe!”


Sasha has also done shows with Mayhem and Stage Left societies. Her other creative pursuits include baking and Reiki.  Her day job is heading up a team of consultants for an online consumer website called Bookatableby Michelin.


The Best Bits


“I love everything about being in CODA. Performing!  Singing! And the buzz of being on stage, but most of all the friends that I’ve made are now my closest best friends.


I LOVE CODA!  I wouldn’t be without the company or its members. Come be a part of CODA, be it for drama, music, tech... We have something for everyone!  I look forward to making lots of memories with you all!”


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© CODA (The Croydon Operatic and Dramatic Association). CODA is a registered charity in the UK 290743.