Founded in 1984 by Artistic Director, Tina Williams, The Pied Piper Theatre Company has been creating magical new plays for children for thirty years, reaching around half a million children in the UK, and beyond.
Pied Piper specialises in new writing for young children. We are committed to making our audience’s crucial first experience of theatre as creative, original, exciting and high quality as it can be; regardless of how or where they are able to experience it. For this reason we tour into small rural and big inner-city schools, tiny arts venues and large scale theatres – bringing the same high quality, imaginative, full scale production with us wherever we go.
Thirty years ago Tina began touring productions of her original plays into schools and venues, including Christmas residencies such as ‘Bertie Badger’s Winter Adventure’ and ‘The Enchanted Toyshop’ at the Fortune Theatre in the West End. Large scale tours of new adaptations of ‘A Little Princess’ and ‘The Book of the Banshee’ followed, taking Pied Piper’s work across the UK into number one venues.
Alongside regular tours, from 1994 to 2008 Pied Piper also worked in association with Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre where Tina set up the Education Department and wrote and directed for their Youth Theatre.
Nicola Sangster joined Pied Piper as an actor in 2004, and then as Associate Director in 2005; she continues to work alongside Tina both creatively and in production management. In 2006 they took ‘Laura’s Star’ to Singapore for Pied Piper’s first international production.
The company tours one new show a year to an audience of around 20,000 – and we are now welcoming second-generation ‘Pipers’, as parents bring their own children to share the same high quality work they remember enjoying up to thirty years ago!
The company is project funded by the Arts Council and supported by Surrey County Council and Waverley and Guildford Arts Development.
Tina Williams is the Artistic Director of Pied Piper Theatre Company, which she set up in 1984 having trained as both an actor and a teacher. Tina has written, adapted, directed and produced over twenty five plays for the company including a large scale national tour of Anne Fine's "The Book of the Banshee", and a community tour of "A Little Princess" involving eight actors and eight young people. Her recent original plays "The Big ENORMOUS Present" and "Robin's Winter Adventure".
In 1994 Tina set up the Education Department at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford, which ran until 2008. As well as directing several co-productions with the Yvonne Arnaud she wrote and directed ‘Flash! Bang! Rabbit! for the youth theatre as a creative and cultural exchange with the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff.
Tina has been engaged as Artistic Director for several co-productions throughout the UK and internationally in Singapore. She also directed several seasons at The Fortune Theatre in London’s West End. She is currently writing two new plays for age four upwards.
Nicola Sangster is the freelance Associate Director for Pied Piper, where she has worked with Tina since 2005.
Nicola studied Drama and English Literature at Royal Holloway, where she gained directing experience and her playwriting training led her to be part of The Royal Court's Invitation Group.
She then trained as an actor at Birmingham School of Acting.
As an actor she has worked with many companies including the BBC, Shakespeare's Globe and the National Theatre.
For Pied Piper Nicola was part of the original UK and Singapore casts of Laura's Star.
Among her work for Pied Piper, Nicola directed 'The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch', having co-written the adaptation with Tina. This production celebrated 30 years of the book...
Most recently she created a brand new production of 'The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch' along with Gareth Cooper; writing brand new songs and devising a new script and production, with the help of director Gemma Colclough. This was to celebrate 40 years of the book!
Nicola loves writing, music, and singing, and plays the cello and the piano.
Catherine trained in Theatre Design at Nottingham Trent University.
Current design work includes: Princess and Pea (tutti Frutti), Wind In The Willows (York Theatre Royal), Robin’s Winter Adventure (Pied Piper theatre Company)
Theatre production designs include: The Fever Chart (Pilot Theatre), The Diver (Soho Theatre and Setagaya Public Theatre, Tokyo), Fly in the Ointment, Cover her Feet (Stephen Joseph Theatre), King Arthur, As You Like It, The Crucible (costume design), Wind In The Willows, Coram Boy, 1984, Keys to the Kingdom, Bouncers, September in the Rain, The Trial, The Hunchback of Notre Dame(York Theatre Royal), Rapunzel, Hare and Tortoise, The Girl who Lost her Smile (Tutti Frutti), The Feathered Ogre, Jack and the Beanstalk, Madame Butterfly (English Touring Opera Education).
Film work includes: The Knife that Killed Me.
Catherine works extensively with young people including youth theatre, community projects and working as an artist in schools.
Originally from Manchester, Brendan trained as an actor and worked for ten years in schools, fringe, Rep and commercial theatre. From 1982 to 1985 he was Head of Theatre-in-Education at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry and later writer-in-residence at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. Since 1990 he’s divided his time between writing, directing and teaching - principally at Drama Studio London. In 2002/3 he was the Visiting Gulbenkian Fellow in the Department of Palliative Care at King’s College Hospital and, from 2003 to 2008, Artistic Director of Oxfordshire Theatre Company. His plays are regularly produced throughout the UK and abroad and have won both Brian Way and Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards. Like the good northerner he is, he lives in Brighton. For more details visit www.brendanmurray.co.uk
Roman completed a postgraduate course at the Drama Studio London and entered into the world of professional acting in 1977. His forté has always been visual and physical theatre with a strong understanding of the technical aspects as well.
He joined Polka Theatre as an actor in 1980 and has mostly worked with Polka now for more than 31 years, first as staff and now as a freelance director, producing over 55 shows, helping it to become one of Britain's leading theatre companies for children along with international recognition. Over these years he developed his puppetry skills and with the experience of many years of directing and performing has been able to help and teach actors how to lose their doubts and inhibitions of puppetry, developing their own skills in object manipulation.
Roman is a qualified PTLLS teacher and has been coaching students in acting, and teaching/directing students at drama colleges in England (The Academy of Live and Recorded Art, East 15, Drama Studio London) as well as giving various master classes in puppetry /design for puppetry (Central School of Speech and Drama, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Little Angle Theatre). He is a puppetry consultant for various theatre companies as well as Pied Piper, (Watershed productions, Birmingham Stage Co, Mid Wales Opera, Pied Piper Productions, Thousand Cranes Co, All Aboard Productions, Polka Theatre - guest directors)
Having directed a very successful production of Lauren Child's characters Charlie and Lola in "Charlie and Lola's Best Bestest Play" for Polka Theatre, Roman is now BBC Worldwide exclusive director for this play which is now touring Britain as well as having played in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia including the Sydney Opera House. In Sao Paulo, it was performed in Portuguese and also played in Rio de Janeiro before touring major cities in Brazil.
Roman has received "members award" for his years of work in children's theatre by Action for Children's Art.
Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, Angela is a movement director, director and teacher. Movement direction credits include: Frankenstein (Royal Exchange); Bunny (White Bear/Tristan Bates); It Is So Ordered (Changing Face Collective; Pleasance); Wish List (Royal Exchange & Royal Court); Redefining Juliet (BBC4); See Bob Run (Bread & Roses); Sizwe Banzi is Dead (Young Vic and UK Tour); Love is Easy (music video; McFly); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Custom/Practice); The Kitchen (Fourth Monkey); Faith, Hope & Charity (Southwark Playhouse); Emma Thompson Presents: Fair Trade (Shatterbox - Latitude, Rich Mix); Motenverdi's Flying Circus (Armonico Consort).
For Pied Piper Theatre Company: The Town Mouse & Country Mouse; Burglar Bill; Snowflakes; Hare & Tortoise; Robin's Winter Adventure; Great Gran's Great Games; My Big Little Sister. .
Direction Credits include: Jon Udry Punches Gravity in the Face (Jon Udry); Life on Wheels (Bella Kinetica); Rapunzel (Fourth Monkey).
Angela has an MA in Movement Studies from RCCSD, teaches at RADA and Fourth Monkey, and is resident movement practitioner with the RADA Elders.
Julian has composed music for lots of theatre shows for children and young people, including Charlie and Lola's Best Bestest Play, Charlie and Lola's Extremely New Play and Gorilla (Polka Theatre, directed by Roman Stefanski), Up and Down (GaGa Theatre Company), The Paper Washi Wish and Little Sunshine, Little Rainfall (A Thousand Cranes Theatre), and A Christmas Carol (Lakeside Arts, Nottingham). He has written several musicals for young people including Beauty and the Beast, Red Riding Hood and Flat Stanley (with Mike Kenny, Engine House Theatre) and Run! A Sports Day Musical (with Lisa Evans, Polka Theatre).
Rose graduated from University College Falmouth in 2005 with a First Class Honours Degree in Commercial Illustration. Since then she has been commissioned by a variety of clients including The Independent On Sunday, The Guardian, Waitrose, Woman's Weekly, Country Living and others.
Recently Rose has illustrated the children's picture book "Pirate Gran" published by the National Maritime Museum.
Rose's work is energetic, spontaneous, quirky and humorous. She mainly uses dip pen and ink, watercolour, oils, and Liquin on paper to create her illustration.
The Pied Piper Theatre Company is committed to producing exciting new writing for children.
At the heart of all our productions is an exciting story; one that moves, inspires and challenges our audience, whatever their age. The story comes first.
We bring that story to life in collaboration with a brilliant team of creative partners, who share our core values; equally dedicated to engaging the emotions and imaginations of our young audience. Together we explore exhilarating new ways of telling stories.
We do this because we believe that even the very youngest theatre-goers deserve inspiring, exciting, challenging, fun, and diverse theatre; not just familiar characters and tales. They deserve new writing: tailor-made, exceptional drama that reflects their lives and the challenging world around them. Theatre that inspires, entertains, and raises questions.
We are passionate about access to the arts for young people; and we attempt to include as wide an audience as possible by travelling to a diverse range of schools and theatres in order to give as many children as we can access to the quality theatre they deserve.
CASTING OPPORTUNITIES for 'Star in the Jar'
Pied Piper actors are a versatile, hard-working bunch with strong musical talents and physical theatre skills.
Pied Piper tours each year in the UK. We also tour to Europe and to Asia.
Above all we look for actors with a genuine passion for children's theatre and theatre in education – actors who love telling a good story. If this sounds like you we would love to hear from you!
Production: Star in the Jar written by Tina Williams
From Star in the Jar by Sam Hay. Illustrations copyright © 2018 Sarah Massini. Published by Egmont UK Ltd and used with permission.
Age Range of Audience: 3-7 years + families
CV & Letter of Interest: Any time
Rehearsals: 28 October – 14 November 2019 (Guildford)
Preview: 15 November 2018 (Guildford)
South of England Tour to Schools & Theatres: 16 November 2018 – 22 February 2020
Director: Tina Williams
Designer: Catherine Chapman
Composer: Julian Butler
Movement Director: Angela Gasparetto
CASTING & CHARACTER INFORMATION
We are looking for two actors – 1F + 1M:
· experienced in physical theatre with strong singing ability
· able to play and physically embody young children
We wish to both celebrate and represent our diverse audiences – applications from culturally diverse backgrounds are actively encouraged and welcome!
Sam – age three -four. Under 5'4" (m)
Sarah - age seven. Over 5'6" BAME actor (f)
Stage Manager - Technical stage manager with van driving experience, able to operate Qlab, run a sound system and design and operate a simple lighting plot whilst in theatres. We don't light our school performances.
Email CV & headshot to: tina_at_symbol_piedpipertheatre_fullstop_co.uk
As a company we believe every artist is entitled to work in a supportive environment in which their input is valued, and fairly paid. Pied Piper is an ITC Ethical Manager and uses Equity/ITC contracts.