The Human Zoo's new touring production. A love story about rediscovering human connection in a cold, mechanical world.
About the company...
The Human Zoo Theatre Company formed in January 2013 with an aim to tell stories that explore the way in which human beings interact with one another as individual cogs, making up a much larger whole.
Our first endeavour as a group of actors, 'The Herd', was a great success and with that behind us, we decided to form The Human Zoo, and start working on 'The Hive'. (You may notice a running theme...)
What is The Hive?
'The Hive' sees us continuing to explore the theme of the individual within a group, but on a much larger scale.
The play is set in an imagined past, where World War 2 results in global nuclear fall out rendering the earth's surface uninhabitable, and where the survivors have been forced to move underground.
Ultimately, it is a story about re-discovering human connection, in an environment where, over time, people have become totally reliant on technology.
Through the use of puppetry, poetry, prose, and choreographed movement, the company will explore the simplicity of human contact in a world where humanity's reliance on machinery is absolute, and intimacy is a foreign concept.
We're in the process of finalising the script, and this week (September 2nd-7th) we'll be taking up a week-long rehearsal residency at the wonderful, Sophie's Barn, making use of their facilities, and the time, to really refine the project, before producing a scratch performance of the show for a public audience in Oxfordshire. We then return to rehearse in Surrey before our performances start in November.
We are performing The Hive at Matthew's Yard, in Croydon, for a three night run November 16th - 18th.
After that, the play will tour to schools and small theatre venues, including Project:Theatre, in Clapham (date tbc), before heading to the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe festivals next Summer.
Where will my money go?
The Human Zoo Company always aims to use recycled materials, using sites such as www.set-exchange.co.uk, as we believe that it's a great way to reduce our carbon footprint and save some money, but there are certain costs that can't be avoided.
The money raised from this campaign will go towards the cost of our insurance, travel, costumes, set, lighting, sound design and props. We have already raised a small portion of our budget through ZooFest, our launch event this Summer, and our own personal contributions. However, there is still a long way to go in order for The Hive to be fully realised.
The total budget for this production is £3000. As this is an 'all-or-nothing' campaign, we will only receive our funding if we reach our target, but we would of course be delighted if we can beat it and get a little closer to our final goal.
The Human Zoo is made up of a group of Associate Artists and Creatives who have come together with a shared objective to create exciting, honest, entertaining work. Meet the team...
Florence O'Mahony - Artistic Director and founder of The Human Zoo
As founder of The Human Zoo, Florence is responsible for both the artistic and practical direction of the company, working closely with Marissa (Co-Producer) to ensure the smooth running of all our efforts.
Since completing her training with the Fourth Monkey Theatre Company last year, Florence wrote and directed 'The Herd', whilst acting and directing for The Cat's Grin Theatre Company. She recently toured to The Minack Theatre, Cornwall, in a production of Parade, with other members of The Zoo.
Flo has wanted to run her own touring theatre company since she saw Les Enfants Terrible's 'The Terrible Infants' at her school when she was 15, so she is really excited to begin that journey with The Hive, surrounded by people with whom she enjoys working with so very much.
Marissa Beatty - Co-Producer
Marissa's experience in theatre and law means that she brings a practical, business focus to the group, alongside her appreciation for creative growth. As Co-Producer, Marissa is responsible for lots of things, including writing company contracts, booking the show's tours, scheduling rehearsals and the press and marketing for the show.
Marissa has worked with Flo on countless productions since they first met at their local theatre nearly ten years ago. As well as her interest in Production, Marissa has appeared onstage many times, most recently playing 'Rachel' (Richard) in DNA by Dennis Kelly, and Essie in Parade, at The Minack Theatre.
Nick Gilbert - Associate Artist/ Co-Writer
Nick is an associate artist and co-writer for The Zoo. He and Flo have been working on the script for The Hive since early Spring 2013, and are extremely excited to get it on its feet during their residency at Sophie's Barn. Nick has also been involved in puppet and set construction for The Hive.
Nick performed in 'The Herd' as Simon, the play's central character, and received the Best Young Actor Award for his portrayal. He also performs as Daniel in 'D by C', an improvised performance about the aftermath of a road accident that tours to colleges in Surrey and London, for Transport for London.
Matthew J. Morgan - Asst. Director for The Hive/ Associate Artist
Matthew is an Associate Artist for The Human Zoo. Matt is coming in on The Hive as the Assistant Director, giving a valuable outside eye to help support the team and build upon the ideas of the company. Matt and Flo have worked closely together before, when they co-wrote and shot their own short film, 'It.'.
is an Actor and Writer whose credits include
BBC TV series "My Almost Famous Family" and Feature Films
"Wakan Tanka" and "Hello Carter".
He has recently taken part in the National Theatre's New Views young writers' programme, and is in the process of developing a feature film, due to go into production in late 2013 with his film production company Spiralhouse Pictures. He is currently working on Spiralhouse's next Short Film 'Happy Birthday'.
Although hearing, Matt has also been very involved with the Deaf community, and has worked on many projects utilizing British Sign Language including Ed Sheeran's Music Video for "You Need Me"
Fleur Rooth - Associate Artist
Fleur has been with The Human Zoo Theatre Company since the beginning, having been the assistant director on 'The Herd'. She is very excited to be performing as an actress in 'The Hive' with a cast that she has grown extremely close with.
Fleur is a National Youth Theatre trained actress, and has played various characters in many plays, from 'Masha' in Chekov's 'The Seagull' to Graziella in 'West Side Story'. Fleur also played 'Cathy' in DNA directed by Flo. More recently she has delved into film, having trained with the National Youth Film Academy. She has performed the lead role in multiple film projects, including playing 'Samantha' in the horror series 'The Sampson Killings', which she is shooting the follow up film for next Summer.
Chris Hooper - Associate Artist
Chris is keen to see the company begin working upon its first production, and in time, watch the company's talent come to fruition at the venues that they have booked.
He enjoys being part of a team which is so focused on what they want to achieve. He is delighted to be involved with such an artistic and devoted herd of people.
Chris performed as Ed in 'The Herd', and as John Tate, in 'DNA' By Dennis Kelly.
More recently he toured with a production of Parade to The Minack Theatre, in Cornwall and is also currently in rehearsals for 'Rent', at The Secombe Theatre in Sutton.
(Chris was once asked to write a 'proper biography' and the end result was remarkably similar to Tom Cruise's wikipedia page. He's kept this one fairly brief by comparison).
Kyle McSporran - Associate Artist
Kyle is joining The Zoo for this project, already enjoying helping develop the role of Rooben, and working with the cast.
Kyle has been working professionally for the last few years, with projects varying from a theatre tour of Europe with Vienna's English Theatre, to shooting his third feature film, 'Last Christmas' in Sweden, coming to European cinemas in December.
He also dabbles in writing, having written many short films and award-winning plays. He is currently working on an anthology of short stories for children.
Liberty Bliss - Movement Choreographer for The Hive
Although a little clumsy (affectionately nicknamed 'Dribby' by the company) Liberty is a trained dancer, and performs with a professional dance troupe. She will be helping with the choreography/ movement in 'The Hive', specifically during the poetry sequences within the play. Liberty is particularly looking forward to bringing her understanding of dance to spoken word performances, this is a relatively new idea for her, which she began to explore and enjoy during The Herd.
Liberty has previously performed with this group of actors in 'The Herd', playing Leila and 'DNA', playing Lou. Alongside her interest in plays, Libby is a competent Musical Theatre performer, and is also in rehearsals for 'Rent' for another company, with other members of The Zoo.
We feel so passionately about this project; We know that given the chance, the show will be absolutely stunning. An opportunity to bring it to life is so exciting to us and we can't even express how much your support will mean!
Music in this film was 'Just Be Yourself' by Gaz Twist - www.GazTwist.com
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Theatre is always a risky business. That is part of the fun of it. However, it can be quite daunting, especially at the start of this company's journey.
At The Zoo, we have aimed to reduce our chances of making any schoolboy errors in the early stages of the company's development, where ever we possibly can.
We are fortunate enough to have mentoring from Lee Simpson, Co-Artistic Director of the internationally acclaimed Improbable Theatre Company. Lee's advice, experience and knowledge have helped us hugely, and time spent in Improbable's rehearsal period for their production of 'The Bear' has gained the company an invaluable insight into the world of touring theatre both onstage and off.
We feel that through clever budgeting, thorough planning, and remaining open to advice, suggestions and opportunities that come our way, we have already set ourselves in good stead to overcome the challenges that will arise during this process.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.