Conn Artists Theatre Company
In 2013, I co-founded Conn Artists Theatre Company out of a passionate desire to keep regional theatre alive and burning bright inspired by Equity’s campaign at the time about how “My Theatre Matters”. The aim was to give opportunities to like-minded artists to come together and create exciting theatre work which would tour.
Our name playfully refers to the Connaught Theatre, Worthing, which as local artists in the area, we are delighted to be associated with; using its history as a source of inspiration as well as being able to make a positive contribution to its current theatre programme.
After four successful productions in the main house and studio in our first few years as an unincorporated association, Conn Artists became a private company limited by guarantee in September 2015.
In 2017, we mounted our first regional tour with an adaptation of Hilaire Belloc’s book The Four Men adapted by Ann Feloy and directed by former Artistic Director of the Connaught Theatre, Nick Young. Supported by the South Downs National Park Authority and working in partnership with Worthing Theatres and Museum the show was an outstanding success with regional audiences receiving 5 star and 4 star reviews in The Stage, The Argus, The Sussex Newspaper and Theatre South East.
In 2019, we mounted a much larger regional tour of George Eliot’s Silas Marner adapted by Geoffrey Beevers. Supported by Arts Council England and The George Elliot Fellowship in the writer’s bicentenary year the production was highly praised as the company’s best work to date by the reviewer from Theatre South East and similarly garnered 5 star and 4 star reviews from The Argus, Remote Goat and The Stage.
As the company’s Artistic Director, Producer and Actor, I am responsible for the company’s production choices, tour bookings, fundraising, financial management, assembling the creative team, casting actors and usually taking an acting role in the production.
For all enquiries related to Conn Artists please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit our website: www.conn-artists.co.uk
In 2019 I produced a special educational performance workshop for Rusper Parochial Church Council as part of their Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) project Belloc, Broadwood and Beyond.
The project consisted of researching and learning about the lives of the folk song collector Lucy Broadwood (1858-1929) who is buried at Rusper Church and the writer and poet Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) who lived at Kingsland in Shipley.
The workshops were produced for Rusper and Shipley Primary schools in order for the children to learn about their local cultural heritage and consisted of teaching them some of Hilaire Belloc’s Cautionary Tales for Children and his animal poems from The Bad Child's Book of Beasts as well as learning some folk songs collected by Lucy Broadwood which had a connection to the county of Sussex.
As part of Conn Artists Theatre Company’s last tour of Silas Marner I produced two outreach sessions for people who would not normally consider or be able to engage with the arts.
This included clients and staff at Turning Tides which is a community led homelessness organisation based in Worthing and St Francis Employability Support who work with refugees based in Coventry.
These sessions involved sharing the story of Silas Marner, performing extracts from the play, and discussion around the important social issues it highlighted which contained profound contemporary relevance.
The clients and staff were also given free tickets to attend a full-scale performance of the production at their local theatre.
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