The collective seeks to involve local communities, including both amateur and professional performers, in co-creating its shows, while also using buildings and spaces that are either overlooked or at risk of slipping from living memory.
Shows and performances are developed using ‘devised theatre’ techniques. Together with the choreographer we run months of dance, improvisation, role-play workshops and theatre games with performers in situ to gradually develop their characters and the narratives.
Research into the history of the site, its urban context, and past uses and users, heavily influences the role-plays and the narratives. This means that the story is tailored to, and emerges from, the building and its history.
In the case of The Halfway House, Covid-19 inevitably drove much of the conceptual, physical and logistical aspects of the performance too.
Photography - Karolina Burlicowska
"My experience with Persona Collective was
unique and one that I will always remember.
It helped me grow as an artist working with a variety of people from different backgrounds
and age. The chance to have freedom in
inputting ideas choreographically and also
having to be challenged in the way we worked artistically was amazing to have."
- Cameron Lee - Allen
"It is difficult to describe the many ways in which participating and performing were enriching.
Most tangible are the skills and knowledge we developed across multiple artistic disciplines. There are also the relationships we built with one another and with the space. Crucially, I know now that I am an artist, whether or not I seek to make a living from creative work."
- Tom Kim
''As a performer and artist, working with Persona Collective was as challenging as it was rewarding.
Being able to collaborate with such a professional, committed and visionary art collective has been not
just an important artistic development but a personal one. Projects like the one we created are necessary
and timely nowadays and for the times to come.
I would work with them again without doubting it a second.''
- Charly Monreal
"I am incredibly proud to have been part of
The Halfway House. The creative team at the core of Persona Collective is a brilliant reunion of artists and makers. Being collaborative, the creative process is very generous and fertile but nonetheless demanding in quality, content and commitment. Everyone is given the opportunity to explore and create. What is kept is never complacent; it is always rigorous in the search
of the best shape. As a performer it was thrilling to see how each of our contributions was put into the funnel of ideas and aesthetics to result in a visually striking production with soul and substance and which was so much fun to perform each night!"
- Melanie Gautier
"Performing with Persona Collective was a highly personal journey, one that pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me in ways I could never have imagined, constantly leaving me surprised and in wonder for what’s next. Rocio’s approach to co-creation really made you feel part of the entire process which was hugely gratifying."
- Emily George
"The Halfway House production that I participated in was an incredible culmination of creativity, sensitive direction and experimental choreography. Persona Collective succeeded in creating a production that had many layers and metaphors that told the story of the inner workings of a hotel within the walls of an old world-renowned art school that was in the process of being transformed into a 5star hotel as the production was taking place. Notes of poignancy embedded in characters and scenes against the backdrop of a building betrayed by capitalistic greed proves that Persona Collective’s vision is truly revolutionary."
- Georgia Leefe
"Working with Persona Collective has been such a rewarding process creatively. It really helped me in my career development as a performer and theatre-maker and the process really shaped who I am as a creative. It was also such a fun and thought-provoking process and the result was incredible- delving into new worlds and stretching our imagination of what is possible."
- Valia Katsis
"Working with Persona Collective was a wild and rewarding experience. I am in awe at what the team produced, and had so much fun and support throughout the devising period. The end result was like nothing I’ve ever seen or been part of before.
It was close to magic."
- Sally Plowman