Below are some of the projects and companies with which I have had an association, or whose work I commissioned or used in the past. As Outreach Director, I set a policy of using student/recent graduate companies to deliver projects in the community.
The Rokeya Project
“Rokeya’s Dream” was developed in association with Tara Arts, and describes three young women discovering a visionary text by the Muslim feminist campaigner and educator, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, written in 1905. Rokeya was a tireless campaigner against women in purdah, and she envisages a time when women are empowered to take control by using the earth’s resources wisely. At a time when young women are choosing to wear the veil, her writing still holds a relevant message for today; indeed, her championing of women’s education feels very contemporary. The play performed in March 2009 at Tara, at Brady Centre in East London, and at Rose Bruford College
The Rokeya Project continues the story. The company comprises graduates Rae Leaver and Claudia Jazz Haley, who scripted and designed the original show; Showmi Das who choreographed it, and includes Alia Wilson who has been acting as promoter; Shaheen Westcombe MBE, who was the original promoter of the project on behalf of Mahila Sangha women’s group, will be delivering supporting lectures.
The company will be visiting three Universities: the Rabindra Bharati and Viswa Bharati Universities both have strong links with the great poet and dramatist Rabindranath Tagore, while an invitation has also been received from the Women’s studies programme at Burdwan University. They will also visit the school for young women founded by Rokeya, which is celebrating its centenary. While there they will be delivering workshops on the original production, while collecting reactions from their counterparts to the material to shape a truly intercultural reaction to the material.
Begum Rokeya: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begum_Rokeya
Zecora Ura Theatre Network
Based in London since 2001, and in Rio de Janeiro since 2004, Zecora Ura Theatre Network is constantly re-defining its approach to cross-artform innovation and multi-cultural dialogue with its renowned collaborators as well as members of the local community.
Their work provokes active encounters which are set out to de-construct rigid views of theatre-making and re-invent theatre practice as a challenging and inclusive bridge between personal identity and current politics of technology and communication.
The company have merged with Para-active to form Zu-uk, based at GAS in Stratford.
Filskit Theatre Company
Filskit is a Shetland word meaning “highly spirited, mischievous and excitable”.
Filskit Theatre is a trio of ladies with a passion for performance and projection. We strive to create work that ignites the imaginations of young audiences and their families. With original music, wordless performances, shadows and magical lights, we create our very own blend of Filskit show.
At the heart of our work is our interest in technology and how it can be used to help immerse young audiences in the world of a story. We work with projectors BIG and small to create a rich, visual language that is both engaging and accessible.
We place our young audiences at the centre of our devising process and strive to explore themes and issues that are relevant to them. As a touring company we have taken our unique blend of theatre to children and their families in arts venues, schools and festivals across London, the South East and beyond.
Our past shows include ‘Snow White’, ‘The Feather Catcher’ and more recently ‘Breaking The Ice’, a co-production with the Unicorn Theatre. Filskit Theatre are Associate Artists of Stratford Circus, London and New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth.
We (Molly, Matt and Hattie) started our love affair with puppetry (and each other) when we studied together in Prague at DAMU on the Puppetry and Alternative Theatre course. We met Aimee (the year above us at Bruford) at an audition to puppeteer for Kinetika and got on so well in and out of the rehearsal room that we created Smoking Apples Theatre Company. In 2009, we were still studying for our degrees in European Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford College but enjoyed a break from studying whilst working with Kinetika throughout the summer and at the occasional weekend event.