THE WORKING PARTY MANIFESTO
Artistic Director - Alexander Ferris
Alexander has directed and assisted on productions at some of the most prominent theatres in the UK including Theatre Royal Plymouth, Sheffield Theatres, Theatre503, Sherman Cymru, Tricycle Theatre and the Arcola. He has established creative learning programmes at the Criterion Theatre, Cardiff Mind, The Riverfront and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. He is a former Director of Old Vic New Voices where he produced over 20 projects including creating The Old Vic Community Company. For The Old Vic he directed RISE, AGES, HOUSED, PLATFORM, DANNY’S DEAL and the award-winning EPIDEMIC. He is currently Director of Creative Engagement at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds and is committed to finding new ways to present authentic stories with the community at the centre.
Executive Director - Matthew Schmolle
Matthew has produced all The Working Party's projects so far. He has also produced for The Big House, Blackboard Theatre at The Vaults, The Spectators Guild, Finborough, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Emergency Exit Arts, and worked for Iris Theatre, Immediate Theatre and Old Vic New Voices. He has extensive outreach and community engagement experience including running national engagement teams for The Princes Trust, working with a variety of marginalised groups for Only Connect and The Big House and designing and leading large scale community dance engagements. He also works as an actor in theatre, film and television (The Wrestling School, The Old Vic, Theatre503, A&E TV, Menier Chocolate Factory, The Bush, The Big House, The Globe). He holds a degree in Law and MA in theatre. All of Matthew's work, community based or professional , has social impact at its core.
Alexander and Matthew met working on PLATFORM at The Old Vic Tunnels in Waterloo, London in 2010. Alexander directed the piece and Matthew had a lead role. This epic story of London life, involving hundreds of community participants, young and old, changed the way Matthew viewed theatre and its possibilities. From that point on, over a plethora of pub tables, they debated the state of modern theatre until they were left with no choice but to to start a company that could do for the public, and the theatre industry as a whole, what Alexander's show had done for Matthew - change his mind and broaden his perceptions. And so, in late 2013, TWP was born to make productions that created new communities out of disparate groups of people; out of artists, audiences and participants. Creating new theatre to build new communities out of anyone who wants to be included.
Our first production was 'HOLLERBOX'.