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Meet the Empathy and Resilience artists, part 2

HS Tatenda

We are incredibly excited to introduce the artists involved in our Narratives of Empathy and Resilience project, a new artform development programme that engages a diverse range of freelance artists who will spend three months collaborating and creating theatre for young audiences.

Empathy and Resilience: Blog 3

We are working with a collective of 17 dynamic artists (read part 1 and meet our first six artists), from a range of disciplines, who are all eager to work together to create powerful stories that will resonate with young people of different ages.

Meet the artists (part 2)


Professional headshot of Stephen Bailey

Stephen Bailey
My name is Stephen and I’m a director and theatre maker with a background focused on disability work and new writing. I trained at LAMDA Drama and have since worked for Graeae Theatre Company, the National Theatre, Royal Court, Hampstead Theatre, Finborough Theatre and Weores Sandor Szinhaz.



Casual headshot of Tracy Bickley Tracy Bickley
Hi, I’m Tracy Bickley. I’m a writer, actor, director and artist. I’m incredibly excited to be part of the Empathy and Resilience project and to get the opportunity to collaborate with such a diverse group of creatives. I studied Community Theatre Arts at Rose Bruford college of speech and drama, and I’ve had many years of experience performing work for young audiences. As an emerging writer, this is a wonderful opportunity for me to draw on my experience and write a new piece of theatre for a young audience.


Professional headshot of Tomara GarrodTomara Garrod
I’m Tomara Garrod and I’m fascinated with the sensuality of words – their sights, sounds and textures. My curiosity has guided me through music, theatre & fine art with a thirst for experimentation deeply rooted in a joy for collaboration. I’m particularly interested in using language to playfully queer traditional identity categories and involving audiences in this process. I’m also a Promundo Writing Fellow and in 2020 received an Off West End award for my play, Crowded.


Professional headshot of Amal Khalidi Amal Khalidi
I’m Amal Khalidi, a multi-disciplinary theatre-maker. I’ve indulged in drag king performance, music production, poetry, writing and directing for the stage, whilst also working with members of my local community as a drama facilitator. My most recent work is a project in collaboration with Albany Theatre ‘Open Source Collaborations’ titled ‘A Long Journey Ahead. I’m particularly excited about collaborating with artists of different disciplines to reimagine making theatre for young audiences. It feels oddly special to be in a room with other humans being creative and exploring a theme that so much of us need to.


Professional headshot of Tatenda Naomi Matsvai

Tatenda Naomi Matsvai
I’m Tatenda Matsvai, a facilitator and devised performance maker, working with #spokenword poetry. My work is mainly bio-mythical, infusing my lived experience with myth, to challenge the binaries of identity and reality as an act of self-recovery. My performances are joyful, participatory, and multidimensional.


Professional headshot of Joe NerssessianJoe Nerssessian
I’m Joe Nerssessian, a journalist and writer of Armenian heritage and I’ve lived between the UK and Armenia in the last few years. I’m interested in the personal stories that we are all made up of, playing with memory and our storied lives.



Professional headshot of Tom Stockley

Tom Stockley
I’m Tom Stockley, a writer, performer and community worker. I cut my teeth as a performer in DIY Punk scenes, queer events and community theatre and I’ve been performing, writing, and flapping about as punk poet and performance artist T.S. IDIOT. With no formal background in theatre, I’m excited to jump on this opportunity to develop a long-term idea and bring my passions for writing, performing and social engagement together.


Professional headshot of Jake Walker

Jake Walker
I’m Jake Walker, I’m an artist, DJ and producer. I work with video, drawing and dance. As well as showing works in gallery settings, I regularly show my video work at night clubs projected behind the DJ. I’ve never made work in a theatre setting or for a youth audience, so I’m excited to DJ, make video work and make sound work for a new space.


Professional headshot of Zohab Zee Khan

Zohab Zee Khan
I’m Zohab Zee Khan, a spoken word poet, life coach, and motivational speaker. I’m incredibly excited about working with my fellow artists on this programme. I think something really special happens when creative minds come together and work towards a common goal.


Professional headshot of Lori Zakariyya King

Lori Zakariyya King
I’m Lori Zakariyya King, an experienced performance poet from Richmond. I’m currently producing for the television and stage, primarily in the children’s sphere. I’m also a BBC Writer’s Room alumni. My themes are nostalgia, parental alienation, and unconventional depictions of Muslim lives. My pet tarantula is named after Gianfranco Zola.


Professional headshot of Steve Tasane Steve Tasane
My name is Steve Tasane, I’m a children’s poet and children’s novelist. My latest novel, Child I, won the Leeds Book Award and Alexandra Palace Children’s Book Award. I’ve never written a play and I’ve never written a play for five-year-olds. I’m out of my comfort zone while using the tools I’m at my most comfortable using, words. It’s like being in a playground and learning to play a brand-new game. It’s all going to be good!


Professional headshot of Esther Rennae WalkerEsther Rennae Walker
My name is Esther Rennae and I’m a storyteller from East London. I’m super excited to be producing the Empathy and Resilience programme and work with an incredible group of artists from different worlds. I started my creative journey through film-making and writing – my latest micro-short 56 Black Men (2020) featured in the Evening Standard. It’s such a blessing to be able to now start my journey in the world of theatre after such a tough year for the arts. It’s even more amazing to start my journey at Half Moon and I look forward to seeing the stories for this programme progress and come to life!




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