As part of the 2016 programme, the Emerging Artists presented five new productions, from a large-scale, city-wide immersive game, to intimate one to one pieces. They worked with international lead artists, as well as with various community and youth groups from Liverpool.
It’s been intense, exhausting, inspiring and even heroic at times, but THEY DID IT and we are proud.
Presenting the Emerging Artists of 2016:
Adrian Rawsthorne - Actor
Adrian recently graduated from ALRA North with an MA in Acting. Whilst at ALRA, he took part in a North West tour of “1984” with Oldham Coliseum. He also discovered a talent for comedy and used stand up as his final performance. Originally a writer, he found himself drawn into acting after several workshops at Hope Street Ltd, so he felt he had come home when he was selected for the Emerging Artists Programme. Since joining Hope Street, he has had the opportunity to broaden his performing experience with street theatre, mask work and puppetry. More of a poet than a dancer, his old bones have been revitalised here, although he’s still funnier than he is balletic.
Ellie Woodhouse - Actor
Ellie recently graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class BA Honours Degree in Contemporary Theatre and Performance. During her time at university she trained in devising text, body and visual performance, discovering a passion for multi-disciplinary and issue-based theatre. Ellie is the co-founder of Blink Physical Theatre Company and has held a Mental Health Awareness Day for the public in Preston, collaborating with local musicians, fine artists, sculptors, nurses and therapists in the community. Ellie has a training background in ballet and contemporary dance which has influenced her interest in physical theatre. Her participation in Tmesis' Graduate Company over the last two years has continued to inspire her flare for physical theatre. As an actor on Hope Street's Emerging Artists Programme, she collaborated with multiple directors and explored various roles, from a hard-faced Selina in The Last Utopian to a ditsy air hostess, to a therapist in the form of a dog, and Marie, a flirtatious older woman in The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe. Ellie is keen to continue investigating multiple forms of performance to extend her knowledge and capabilities as a performer and actor.
John Smith - Actor
John is a diverse performer based in Merseyside. His interest for drama began at school and quickly developed into a passion. He studied at Hugh Baird College before moving on to Foundation and BA degrees at UCLAN. The highlights of these three years include performing The Dwarfs as a first student-led piece and also performing The Pride at the Lantern Theatre, which brought the three years to a close. Since completion he has moved on to Hope Street, where he has worked on 'TENT!', 'The Many Faces of Francis Bacon', 'The Last Utopian', 'The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got trapped in an IKEA wardrobe' and 'Changing Landscapes'. John’s skills include: acting for stage, epic theatre, mask work, writing scripts and poetry. He is currently in the middle of creating Jack of All Trades Theatre. The purpose of this company is to push forward the company’s own work. The company aims to reach the Edinburgh Fringe festival within three years.
Jack Holland - Actor
Jack graduated from UCLAN in 2016 with a First Class Degree in Contemporary Theatre and Performance. His main training at the university was in both devised text performance as well as physical theatre. He has collaborated with theatre companies Le Petit Mort and New Art Club, performing in physical work shown at the university and the Grand Theatre in Blackpool. During his studies, he co-founded Blink Theatre with Ellie Woodhouse. The company went on to host its own mental health awareness day, which aimed to engage the local community and bring together different artistic disciplines.Jack has since left Blink, but remains an associate artist. After a placement with Tmesis theatre, he assisted the company for a performance in collaboration with the Blueroom group at the Bluecoat, and also went on to perform with Tmesis’ graduate company at Physical Fest in 2015 and 2016. Since joining Hope Street’s Emerging Artists Programme as an actor, Jack is in the process of devising work which highlights social issues.
Jake Szuplewski - Actor
Jake has experience in a wide variety of performance; particularly he has been involved with several Shakespearean plays. Recently he played the part of Puck in an outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As a tutor and long term company member of Off the Ground Youth Theatre, Jake is well versed in working with young people and a wide variety of scripts, from musicals to straight dramas. He was successful in auditioning for Hope Street Ltd’s Emerging Artists Programme. Jake’s experience has dramatically expanded his skills in devising, stage combat, physical theatre, character work and many more, working with internationally acclaimed artists on the programme. The programme has been integral to Jake’s experience as a performer and have made him a highly diverse performer.
Roberta Guccione - Actor
Roberta graduated in acting at international theatre centre “La Cometa” Drama Academy of Rome, Italy in 2011. During this time she also took part in a series of workshops on: Theatrical Biomechanics and Scenic Movements, led by the late Russian master Nikolaj Karpov; Mask and Commedia dell’arte with Flavio Albanese; Anton Cechov’s “Zio Vanjia”, led by Natalia Zvereva; Viola Spolin’s method with Kathy Hendrickson; and on the musical "Chicago" with the Spanish Director, Agusti Humet. She has had work experience in drama facilitating, working with children and adults, as well as running theatre workshops with disabled people. She has performed in Russia at Moscow Theatre of Art Cechov, in "Katzelmacher" by R.W. Fassbinder. She has also been involved extensively in the Italian theatre scene. In 2013 she wrote a play called “Il Viaggio Del Salmone” (winner of NoPs Fest in 2014). In 2016 she moved to the UK, jumping straight into the Liverpool theatre scene in “Luminous Landscapes”, with the Lantern Company at the Festival Gardens. She performed at the Physical Fest with “Flock” a street performance with Fool Size theatre company. She joined the Emerging Artists Programme at Hope Street, devising and performing in "Tent!", a multimedia interactive artwork, “The Many Faces of Francis Bacon” at the Tate, “The Last Utopian”, a city-wide theatrical immersive game, “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir...” at the Everyman Theatre - a devised show based on the best selling novel, and “Changing Landscapes” - a thought-provoking show, raising money for charity.
Samuel Pérez Durán - Actor
Samuel was born in Madrid, Spain but moved to Ecuador for 5 years as a child. In 1999 he went back to Spain and discovered the stage during 5 years of piano studies in a music conservatory and as a singer in a choir. Soon enough he swapped music studies for theatre at school and went on to university to pursue a drama degree. Whilst running his own story-telling company, he worked and toured Spain for 5 years with La Tourne Teatro, a professional theatre company specialising in young people’s musical theatre. In 2015 he moved to Liverpool where he found Hope Street, which gave him the opportunity to perform in different scale projects in English and where he has been able to improve his skills as an actor, whilst learning some new ones. Samuel would say that his strength is in physical and devised theatre which is helped by his experience in martial arts, dance, acrobatics, juggling and capoeira.
Steffi Sweeney - Actor
Steffi recently graduated from University with a BA Honours in Performance. She is a keen singer and recently developed skills in stand up comedy. She has progressed to Hope Street's Emerging Artists Programme where she worked on "TENT!", "The Many Faces of Francis Bacon", "The Last Utopian", "The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe", and "Changing Landscapes". During the Emerging Artists Programme as an actor, Steffi has learnt new skills in mask, clowning, movement and devising, all of which she hopes to utilise in creating new work in the near future.
Veera Laitinen - Actor
Veera Laitinen, originally from Finland, is a theatre-maker with a BA (Hons) in Drama and Performance (Queen Margaret University, 2015), and a Diploma in Physical Theatre (Fife College, 2016). Veera has experience in physical movement, puppetry, clown, circus and street performance, and is known for strong stage presence, reliability and project management skills. She also has experience in devising theatre performances, choreographing circus shows, and stage management. She has a keen interest in community arts and has facilitated drama and film workshops for children and adults. She also has experience in drama facilitation for people with additional support needs, and for the Deaf. Veera has recently performed at Parklife Festival, Spareparts Festival, Liverpool Tate Museum and Everyman Playhouse. After the Emerging Artists Programme at Hope Street Ltd, she plans to create material and facilitate drama work in Finland and the UK.
Alice Lapworth - Movement Director
Alice is an emerging movement maker with versatile skills across the arts. She graduated from Edge Hill University with a First Class Honours Degree in Dance and Drama, where she established her passion for Physical Theatre, Contemporary Dance and Clowning. Throughout university, Alice toured with 3rdEdge Dance Company as a performer and rehearsal director. After graduating, she gained the role of Movement Director on Hope Street’s Emerging Artists Programme, where she played a significant part in devising six performances. After working with a wide selection of Directors and Movement Directors, Alice is looking forward to broadening her movement experience and continuing to make her own work as a director and choreographer.
Samuel Erskine - Director
Samuel is the Artistic Director of Glitch Theatre and tours nationally with VOTE FOR ME - the digital theatre-in-education performance that makes politics relevant to young people. As a director, Samuel has worked with various theatre companies including: YoungEverymanPlayhouse, 20 Stories High, Collective Encounters, C&T and the Liverpool Lantern Theatre. Other companies include Genie in the Gutter, Perform L8, Merseyside Partners in Policymaking, and Merseyside Probation Service. Over the past five years Samuel has worked as a freelance Facilitator & Director. Samuel’s main areas of expertise are Youth Theatre, Theatre In Education, and Community Theatre. Samuel is passionate about Theatre for Democracy and collaborates with Creative Anarchy Theatre on Stand Up Be Heard, creating opportunities for young people to devise provocative theatre in order to debate with decision makers and the community to advocate social change.
Matthew Fairrie - Musical Director
Matt Fairrie is a Liverpool-based composer, sound technician and musical director, who most recently worked as the musical director for Hope Street's Emerging Artists Programme. Matt has a diverse musical skillset, incorporating vocals and trumpet with a classical musical background, to extensive technical knowledge about audio equipment and the physical properties of sound. Matt originally performed as a singer from a very young age, but began learning the trumpet at 9 years old and completed his Grade 8 examination at 16. During this time, he performed with various regional ensembles, including a chamber orchestra and concert wind band based in the North East. Following this, Matt developed an interest in the technological side of music; in 2015, he graduated from LJMU with a First Class Degree in Audio & Music Production. This led to the creation of dakima-KUR0 - a personal musical project, and Feytone Audio, a business specialising in audio restoration.
Elaine Devaney - Production Manager
Elaine recently completed an Extended Diploma in Performing Arts Technical Theatre, gaining a full qualification with West Cheshire College. She has worked in various theatres for 15 years and was the Production Manager on Hope Street's Emerging Artists Programme, for productions including 'The Many Faces of Francis Bacon', and 'The Last Utopian'. Elaine has worked alongside top Directors such as Adam McGuigan, Andre Pink, Peter Wild, Matt Baker and Lee Kelly. She also works for Theatre in the Quarter on shows including Alice, A Christmas Carol, The Chester Mystery Plays, The City of Passion, Over by Christmas, and Best Days of our Lives, for LHK on various pantomimes: Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Grease the Musical, and for the Gladstone Theatre stage managing The Searchers, and Abba Tribute. Elaine has also worked with Saville Audio Visual, MJD events and Aber Lighting.
Aline Costa - Stage Manager
Aline Costa studied a Bachelor’s Degree in Scenic Dance at the Institute of Fine Arts, Colima University (2008-2012). In 2011 she also became Personal Assistant for the Director of Univerdanza, a role that enabled her to learn some technical skills (including lighting design), as well as the organisation that leads to running a Dance Company. The desire to express and expand her knowledge in contemporary dance, not just as a dancer, led her to discover what happens behind the scenes and she began to get involved with the production teams of various performances. From thereon she found herself completely in love with the sensation and satisfaction of making the dream of a show come true. At the beginning of 2016, she started to work with the established Liverpool company Teatro Pomodoro as a Stage Manager. In order to improve her skill in this profession, she joined the renowned Hope Street Emerging Artists Programme, where she had the opportunity to work with such directors as Andre Pink, Adam McGuigan, Montserrat Gili and Elinor Randle.
Samantha Airey - Designer
Samantha Airey is a freelance costume and performance designer based in Liverpool. Graduating from Edge Hill University with First Class Honours in Theatre Design, with prominence in Immersive Theatre and Costume Design for Character. Samantha's portfolio touches on various performance and artistic types, such as site-specific performance, immersive theatre, digital imagery and costume for film. Samantha discovered specialist training when studying abroad on exchange to Aalto University of Arts in Finland, where she premiered a short Swedish film with the role of costume designer. Samantha partook in Hope Street's Emerging Artists Programme in the role of Designer/Maker. Undertaking several large-scale productions such as The Many Faces of Francis Bacon at the Tate Liverpool - an immersive experience surrounding the life of the famous painter, The Last Utopian - a theatrical game that took place across more than 20 different locations indoors and outdoors, as well as the studio-based The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe', at the Everyman Theatre. Samantha is keen to continue to work with multi-disciplinary spaces such as these to convey her distinct style with costume and set, whilst continuing to experiment with artistic practice.
Sophie Jones-Davies - Designer
Sophie joined the world-renowned Emerging Artists Programme as a Designer/Maker, with particular emphasis on stage design and scenography. Despite fulfilling this role, Sophie also trained at Liverpool Hope University in Drama and Theatre, achieving a First Class Honours degree. Her passion for designing emerged during her time as a student, during which she not only enjoyed performing in and directing a multitude of performances, but she also prospered in the designing of these productions. Sophie’s passion for stage design crosses over into the visual arts, significantly contemporary performance practice, and Sophie is particularly interested in creating art installations as well as works of performance art. Within the programme, Sophie hopes to gain further experience in designing performances and creating her own artistic installations, in order for her to progress into the professional realm of visual arts and contemporary performance practice, as well as anticipating pursuing performance art further.
Zara Marie Brown - Producer
Zara Marie Brown has been involved in the theatre and film industry for seven years. She started out as an actress aged fifteen, performing in well-known venues such as the Liverpool Empire and the Everyman Theatre. She attended the Liverpool Media Academy where she developed a love of directing and writing. After graduating, she co-founded her own theatre company, Script in Hand Productions, where she created original shows, cast local actors and produced and directed plays for local venues. Over the last few years, she has and continues to work with a variety of local fringe theatre and film companies, including Grin Theatre, Page to Stage, Bespectacled Theatre Company and Red Lace Productions, to name a few. She wanted to develop her skills as a producer, so she decided to get involved in Hope Street's Emerging Artists Programme. As well as producing, she wishes to continue to write, direct, facilitate and act.