MAKING THE ARTS ACCESSIBLE TO THE INACCESSIBLE
HARTS Theatre Company is a community arts organisation founded by Ann Akin that pushes the boundaries to shine a spotlight on youth talent in different areas of London
We focus on using performing arts to work with young people with the intention of helping them find their voice to benefit towards social change. Our aim is to teach young people to express themselves creatively and effectively allowing us to nurture talent whilst encouraging and stimulating those who might need additional confidence
We aim to play a leading role in the development of the performing arts, and to develop the colourful variety of talent found in the diverse cultures of our young participants. We currently play an important and necessary part in the daily lives of young people in the community.
We have a strong vision to break down boundaries by merging the worlds of young creatives with the professional industry. We believe that training and development are key and integral to the proliferation of the arts. We are committed to developing the arts community: developing young performers and artists in their chosen fields through professional training and support.
Michael Attenborough CBE
ANN AKIN - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Ann Akin, is a professional actress, producer and workshop facilitator. Some of Ann’s television appearances include: Law and Order UK (ITV), EastEnders (BBC1), Humans (C4), The Javone Prince Show (BBC2), The Delivery Man (ITV) and The Unforgotten (ITV)
From November 2010 till July 2013 she was Artistic Director and co founder of Vintage Star Productions, an award winning theatre company. She wrote, choreographed, directed and co produced their first production, Conversations with Love, which won Best Theatre Production and Best Writer at the 2011 BEFFTA awards.
The success of Vintage Star propelled Ann's creative vision further into looking at theatre within an educational setting. This led to her setting up HARTS.
Ann Akin launched the LOST Young Company in September 2012. At launch, there were 7 children attending. Now called LOST HARTS Young Company, run by Harts Theatre Company (HTC) and funded by Young Lambeth Coop.
Harts Theatre Company now teaches regular classes to a number of kids in many venues within London. In May 2014 she also launched Normal? Education, her mental health awareness workshop for young people aged 11-24.
HOLLY SMITH - GENERAL MANAGER
Holly Smith is an English Literature and Creative Writing graduate. She completed her degree with 1st Class Honours from Nottingham Trent University in 2013.
Since graduating, her working experience has centred on working with young people in educational settings. She has taught literacy in secondary schools, volunteered with mixed ability children and teenagers in drama groups, as well as working as a nursery assistant with under 5s.
Her passion for theatre began at school, where she acted, co-wrote and directed various performances, and continued into university where she was a pro-active member of the university drama society. Holly is passionate about theatre, writing, and helping young people to express themselves through the medium of drama.
ROY ALEXANDER WEISE
Roy is the 2016 JMK Award winning director and most recently the Trainee Director at the Royal Court Theatre, Lead Acting Tutor at Young & Talented School of Stage & Screen and a reader for the National Theatre's New Work Department. He was BBC Theatre Fellow at the Bush Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith in 2014 and was First Runner Up for the JMK Award for directors of great promise in the same year.
"Nothing is better placed to give young people a sense of identity, confidence and self worth than participation in the arts and no art form better than drama to explore safely the crucial, but largely ignored, area of mental health. A lethally taboo subject that all too often leaves young people with nothing but shame and fear.
The careful, skilled and knowledgeable work that HARTS Theatre Company undertakes goes right to the heart of this issue and, with immense sensitivity, enables young people to begin to understand and empathise with this key part of what it means to be human".
Michael Attenborough CBE