WHO WE ARE
Pacitti Company is staffed by a core team of folk working out of the Think Tank. Our Think Tank Associates work with us on research and development projects. Our Board of Trustees oversee all that we do and help us plot what happens next and how. Scroll down to read about each person.
CORE TEAM, THINK TANK ASSOCIATES + TRUSTEES
DIGITAL + COMMS
Alice graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama with a BA (Hons) in Drama, Applied Theatre & Education.
With a passion for encouraging intercultural dialogues and community engagement in exceptional art she has worked in Hong Kong, India and the UK as a co-ordinator, practitioner, writer and director in theatre, film and across multidisciplinary art forms.
MANAGEMENT + FINANCE
Andy joined Pacitti Company as General Manager in 2013. Andy is a qualified accountant (FCMA) and worked for 20 years in the banking sector, working in and ultimately becoming Director of Finance, Risk Management, HR and Real Estate functions at Capital One Bank. Andy first joined Pacitti Company as Project Manager with the On Landguard Point project, and then oversaw the refurbishment of the Think Tank in Ipswich, before taking on the Finance and General Manager roles in 2013.
Jodie joined Pacitti Company as Administrator in June 2015, having previously worked with the company in 2012 whilst on placement from the University of Suffolk as part of her undergraduate degree in Dance and the Community and, in 2014, as Volunteer Co-ordinator for SPILL Festival of Performance in Ipswich.
Prior to becoming Administrator, Jodie worked with the UOS Dance Department as Assistant Project Manager for the Forefront Dance Company, where she worked closely with Rambert Dance Company, specifically, Dancer Malgorzata Dzierzon, in order to learn repertoire and oversee rehearsals with the Level 6 University students. Jodie is passionate about choreography, performance and dance outreach projects. She visited three different schools in 2014 and delivered dance workshops as part of an outreach initiative for UOS Dance.
Helen is a national PR, media and communications specialist and founder of Affinity PR, a consultancy that serves clients in travel and tourism, hospitality, charities, arts and culture. Affinity PR was designed to be a simple yet socially conscious business. It won the Trading for Good Responsible Business Award in 2014.
Helen’s PR career began in 1989 at Edinburgh International Festival, as Assistant to the Head of Press. Prior to that she was Marketing Assistant at Northern Stage Company based at Tyne Theatre & Opera House. Recent culture projects include PR launches for DanceGRiST, a new social enterprise for professional dancers and New Wolsey Theatre’s musical theatre productions Once and Our Blue Heaven.
During the 90’s Helen diversified into working at national charities, taking leadership roles at Citizens Advice, Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancerlink and RNIB. Her professional interests widened to include lobbying and campaigning, advice and advocacy, education and training. This is where she learned that her “super powers” were community connecting, empowering people to tell their stories and getting them seen and heard by people with national influence.
A Judging Panel member of the International Hotel Awards and International Hotel Awards, Helen became a Visiting Fellow at University of Suffolk in 2012. She is also South Suffolk co-leader of the popular women’s business network WiRE (Women in Rural Enterprise).
The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted her in Front of House roles over the last 6 years at Aldeburgh DocFest, FlipSide and First Light Festival. Or at anything involving books, storytelling, live music or dance. She’s part of Suffolk Soul Singers, a 30-strong community choir that you may have seen at Folk East, Maui Waui or Art Eat.
In June 2019 Helen was a joint recipient of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for outstanding service to the community, awarded for her work with The Rural Coffee Caravan since 2003.
DIGITAL + COMMUNICATIONS
Kate joined the Company in November 2017 as Digital + Communications Officer. Kate studied Writing, Directing and Performance at the University of York. After graduating, inspired by her lifelong fascination with Japanese art, tradition & culture, she took the leap and moved to Tokyo where she worked as a teacher for two years.
Since returning, Kate is in the process of developing multi-disciplinary work to explore unseen or unaddressed topics with other local artists. She is also a freelance Editor & Videographer.
Martha joined the Pacitti Company as their administrator in May 2018. She graduated from the University of Manchester with a BA (hons) degree in English Literature and American Studies, which also involved a year studying at UC San Diego.
After running away to Melbourne for nine months, she returned to Ipswich where she set up her theatre company, Tusk. As a freelance playwright and actor she has worked with the Soho Theatre, HighTide, PULSE Festival and INK Festival and for BBC Radio 4 and BBC New Comedy.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR + CEO
Having initially trained as a fine art painter, Robert began making performance and experimental theatre in 1988. With Pacitti Company, he spent over two decades producing and touring an award winning body of radical performance works worldwide.
Robert is also the creator, curator and director of the SPILL Festival of Performance - a large scale international festival of experimental theatre, live art and performance presenting the work of exceptional artists from around the globe. Launched in 2007, SPILL has commissioned and presented large scale projects by hundreds of the world's foremost experimental makers (including Karen Finley, Cassils, Romeo Castellucci, Jan Fabre, Diamanda Galas, Ryoji Ikeda, Raimund Hoghe, Ron Athey and many others) alongside a National Platform for early makers. SPILL partners in London have included the Andaz Hotel, Artsadmin, the Barbican, Live Art Development Agency, National Theatre, Southbank, and Whitechapel Gallery. SPILL Ipswich partners include Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service, DanceEast, Ipswich Borough Council, New Wolsey Theatre and many others.
In 2011 Robert launched On Landguard Point, a mass public research into notions of home, actively involving 20,000 participants. Funded as the east of England's winning entry for Artists taking the lead (Arts Council England + London 2012) the project culminated in Robert's first feature film - also titled On Landguard Point - starring a cast of 1000 non-professional performers, some of the UK's foremost experimental makers, and a commissioned soundtrack by composer Michael Nyman.
In 2012, Robert launched the Pacitti Company Think Tank, a specially renovated building in Ipswich for public and private research into contemporary performance and associated areas. The rolling event programme offers salons, feasts, an alternative public library, artist surgeries, mentoring, publishing and more, alongside Robert's own ongoing studio based practice and that of Think Tank Associates.
A highly experienced facilitator and teacher, Robert continues to lead workshops and residencies internationally. He has sat on a range of prominent UK funding selection panels and regularly contributes to a broad span of publications, conferences and other performance related cultural activities around the world. He is a Visiting Professor of the Arts at University of Suffolk. His solo work is at robertpacitti.com
THINK TANK ASSOCIATE
Lucy is an archaeologist and landscape historian interested in engaging with people about social and cultural issues to do with Heritage. She uses archaeology, landscape, history and museum collections to provoke responses to contemporary issues and works with artists, musicians, writers, scientists and community groups to create innovative and imaginative projects, reaching out to new audiences.
Lucy first worked as a ‘rescue’ archaeologist in the City of London with the Museum of London’s archaeology unit, excavating sites in advance of development. She has done extensive research fieldwork, landscape surveys and excavations in England, Italy and Sicily, asking questions about social change through time, using material culture residual in the landscape to make inferences about human behaviour. Throughout her career she has created and taught adult education courses and devised and lead study tours exploring human engagement in landscape and place. Lucy lives in Cambridge and is a Trustee of the Museum of Cambridge, a former City Councillor and a school governor. She is an Affiliated Scholar at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, and team member of ArchaeoLink, an organisation set up to enable communities to benefit from their archaeology and historic landscapes.
Lucy became a Think Tank Associate in 2013, engaging with people in and around Ipswich to explore what heritage is about, provoke discussion, and encourage connections between artists, thinkers, scientists and heritage resources. The work, supported by the Colchester & Ipswich Museums Service as part of their Unlocked programme, includes outcomes such as the Think Tank Workbook, a short film, Thread, and Tea Talks. Lucy also worked with Gauri Desai and the CSV Visions Project in Ipswich, using archaeology and history to investigate migration and identity with women who had recently migrated to Ipswich. At the Anglo-Saxon burial site at Sutton Hoo, they filmed and edited a Q&A discussion about their own migration stories to create Home is Where the Heart Is. A subsequent project involved making 4 films about migration in the area, Selie Suffolk – Bequest and Identity - one about the history of migration in since Anglo-Saxon times, and 3 films about communities and an individual who have moved here recently. The initial work was supported by the Pacitti Company Think Tank and Colchester & Ipswich Museums, and the film quartet was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Lucy was a founder member and chair of Mill Road History, Cambridge, an HLF funded Community History project which focused on researching and recording new perspectives on the history of that part of Cambridge. This involved training people to research and write building histories and record peoples’ memories, with specific outputs and community engagement. The Museum of Cambridge now hosts this project as the core of its outreach work around the city, with a grant from Cambridge City Council. Mill Road History Society is the legacy of the project on Mill Road, providing an annual programme of talks, tours and workshops, and supporting new research and engagement. Lucy is currently working with Robert Pacitti on The Art & Science of Living & Dying, a longterm body of research, development and making as part of the SPILL Body Lab.
Find out more about Lucy and her work at accessarchaeology.co.uk
THINK TANK ASSOCIATE
Martin Jones is the first George Pitt-Rivers Professor of Archaeological Science at the University of Cambridge. Throughout his career, his research has been with ancient food, from the field to the meal table. His recent books include Feast; Why Humans Share Food, and Unlocking the Past: How Archaeologists Are Rewriting Human History with Ancient DNA.
His early research asked how farming developed in prehistoric Europe, and how we could use preserved archaeological plant remains to find out. Over the last decade, he has explored a major episode in world agriculture, characterized as ‘food globalization in prehistory’. This millennial episode of contact between Eurasian farming communities culminated in the network that came to be know as the Silk Road. Much of our understanding of the early agrarian stages of this process have only come to light as a consequence of the digging for traces of past meals.
Martin has always enjoyed taking his research to wider audiences, using a variety of means of dissemination. Art provides some exciting platforms for scientific research, howover abstruse. His collaborations include ‘The imagination of Matter’ with Kathleen Rogers (part of the NOISE Festival).
Shabnam Shabazi’s diverse output of work includes: performance, theatre, object, video, text, mixed media, installation. Memories, dreams, rituals, journeys, the interstices and spaces ‘in between’ art forms and cultures animate her practice.
Working as a maker and enabler of creative works nationally and internationally. Shabnam’s work is autobiographical and archival. Notions of home, place, displacement, identity and the body animate her practice. Recent and ongoing research includes exploring the idea of the ‘body as a house’; ‘stories from ourselves, stories from within’.
Shabnam Shabazi’s work has been presented at: the National Review of Live Art, Toynbee Studios, SPILL Festival, Area 10, Hazard: Green Room, Chester Gateway, Young Vic Studios, New Grove, Red Room, People’s Show, Chats Palace, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, Derby Playhouse, Hackney Empire, and different alternative venues across the UK… Shabnam was the recipient of a LIFT Blue Room Residency in 2008. Ivor Cutler, and Adrian Mitchell taught her. She was awarded a John Fernald Award in 1992 to assist Anna Furse at Paines Plough on production of ‘Cross Fire’ by Michel Azama. She was assistant director to Max Stafford-Clark on several works, notably on seminal production of ‘Blue Heart’ by Caryl Churchill, and a participant of National Theatre’s director’s course in 1995. In 1997 she was awarded a young director’s bursary by the Arts Council of England to work at Chester Gateway as Associate Director. She has worked as a maker and enabler for: PSI 12–Performing Rights (Queen Mary University and Live Art Development Agency); Jonzi D Company; Contact Theatre (Manchester); Derby Playhouse; Newham’s Festival of Youth Culture; Chats Palace Arts Centre; Out of Joint; Theatre Centre; Paines Plough; and Women’s Theatre Workshop…
Mentored by eminent Visual Artist Franko B from 2006-2007, working as his assistant on his 2009 ‘Winter School’ entitled ‘Who Are You?’ and produced Franko B’s mid scale production of ‘Because of Love’. Shabnam has been taught and mentored by seminal and prolific performance artists/activists Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Ron Athey, and Julie Tolentino…
A long standing Associate Artist of The Red Room and a visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London; working as researcher and mentor to many artists across a wide range of cultures and art forms. In 2015, Shabnam was artist in residence at Metal, Southend as part of Time and Space Residencies and has been ‘Think Tank Associate’ for SPILL since 2016 creating a body of solo and collaborative works. Recent projects include: ‘Snail Portrait’; ‘Body House’ (SPILL and Sacred) and ‘Speaker’s Corner’ & ‘There Ain’t No Black In The Union Jack’, and ‘Terra Nullius’. Currently Community Activist for Revoluton Arts (Luton’s Creative People and Places) as well as Associate Research Fellow in the School of Arts (Department of English and Humanities (Theatre Studies)) at Birkbeck University of London.
Ben is the managing director of Signifier, a UK-based consultancy and think tank exploring the impact of the representation and diversity of People of Colour across arts and media. Over a 15-year career, Ben has carried out work that bridges the cultural and economic gap between commercial media, the arts and People of Colour communities.
Ben has worked in senior roles both nationally and internationally with several Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations including Serious, British Underground, Punch, Bigga Fish and Continental Drifts. He has delivered creative projects for NHS, Mayor of London, SXSW, Global Radio and Live National and has worked in the commercial music industry at SPZ Group and EMI/Virgin records.
He is an advisor for PRSF Momentum Music Fund. Ben is on the steering committee for Help Musicians National Mentoring Fund and is a Fellow of the International Society of Performing Arts. Ben has an MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Hugh Whittall is the Director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, whose task is to identify and report on ethical questions raised by new developments in biological and medical research. Recent reports have covered areas including dementia, biofuels, neurotechnology, and the use of human bodies in medical treatment and research.
Hugh was previously at the Department of Health, where he was involved with the preparation of the Human Tissue Act 2004 and the setting up of the Human Tissue Authority. He was also involved in end-of-life issues and transplantation policy.
Prior to that Hugh spent three years at the European Commission in Brussels, involved in the funding and promotion of bioethics research, and he was for several years Deputy Chief Executive of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
Martel is an arts administrator and creative producer who has experience creating and implementing strategies; working effectively within complex organisations; fundraising; overseeing long term multi-faceted projects; and managing professional relationships of all kinds. She has diverse international experience and networks, and can advocate for organisations, projects, artists and art forms.
Since 2002, Martel has worked at international music producers Serious and has a wide-ranging portfolio which spans organisational responsibilities as well as producing projects for all kinds of audiences. Producing highlights at Serious include: Mind on the Run: The Basil Kirchin Story for Hull2017 UK City of Culture; Creative Capital Live! - the launch of the Mayor of London’s 10 year strategy for Culture at the City Hall; a series of collaborations involving South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, working with community and young peoples’ choirs alongside orchestras and Big Bands (London Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Jamaica All Stars) and the national and international tours of Catapluf’s Musical Journey - a work for children and their families by Adriano Adewale.
In addition, she manages the work of UK conductor and orchestrator Jules Buckley and the composer/performers John Surman and Andy Sheppard, as well as the music publishing company ‘In all Seriousness Music Ltd’; and is responsible for ‘Seriously Talented’, a suite of acclaimed talent development programmes which identify, nurture and respond to the individual needs of emerging creative musicians working in jazz, improvised and Black music. Programmes include Take Five: UK, Take Five: Switzerland & South Africa, Air Time: Jazz CPD Scotland, Move On Up, and Take Five: Europe.
Martel is a board member of the Europe Jazz Network, and prior to working at Serious, she worked as a producer of contemporary music, performance and visual arts projects in Australia.
TRUSTEE (from September 2017)
Season Butler is an artist, writer, activist and academic with particular interests in critical race studies, queer theory and performance. Her writing, research and art practice centre around intersectionality and narratives of otherness, isolation and the end of the world as a contemporary ontological dilemma. She has recently begun working as one of six Arts Enablers as part of Slate, an ambitious three-year, artist-led project designed to foster long-term career sustainability for minority ethnic artists in the North of England, as well as to activate latent audiences and enhance our understanding and practice of diversity within arts institutions.
In 2007 Season completed the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and is currently reading a PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College. In her doctoral research, she examines how conventions in writing literary fiction govern when and how race is marked in characters, and how this act can passively replicate, or actively challenge, racial normativities. She teaches writing, performance and critical theory, and spent several years running creative writing workshops for visual and performing artists. In 2014, Season won second place in the Soroptimists International Prize for novels by black and Asian women, and continues to write literary and experimental fiction. Her literary work is represented by Emma Paterson at Rogers, Coleridge & White.
Season is part of I’m With You, a collective of artists and thinkers concerned with performance, queer domesticity and gesturing toward wily future, and is an associate artist of Somerset House Studios.
Find out more about Season and her work at seasonbutler.com
Yannick is CEO and Artistic Director of the Montbéliard Agglomération Scène Nationale in France, having previously been a consultant and artistic advisor in Spain and the UK.
For 4 years he was General Director of the Centre Chorégraphique National de Roubaix Nord Pas de Calais, and has also worked with Carolyn Carlson since she came back from the Biennale de Venise in 2003.
He worked for 10 years at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris as Deputy Dance Director, having been the first coordinator of the European Forum for the Arts and Heritage. Yannick orginially trained as a dancer.