#Reimagine2020 Digital Project - Meet the Artists

As part of the 5-week #Reimagine2020 Digital Project,  young people aged 16-25 applied to work in one creative medium out of filmmaking, theatre, dance, music, writing or visual art and work alongside the following professional Midlands artists.

Filmmaking

Joel Csanyi - Reimagine

Joel Csanyi BSc 

Broadcast TV Drama Camera Operator and Director at Lo&Behold Films

After completing his degree at the University of Derby in Light and Sound Engineering Joel moved into TV production. Training with the BBC as a camera loader and the moving forward on to camera operator on prime time drama. 

Clients include BBC, Channel 4, ITV, HBO. Joel has shot for television around the world in many different climates and conditions. 

He is now moving into directing his own films and documentaries as the co-founder at Lo&Behold films.

Omar Khan

Supporting Artist - Omar Khan

Freelance Writer, Director and Facilitator

Omar is a writer and director based in the Midlands. He started his career reviewing video games for online magazines, before turning to photography and filmmaking, and later theatre, as mediums to explore creatively. 

Omar has worked on shows for the Birmingham REP, Nottingham Playhouse and Derby Theatre, and has travelled to Uganda and South Africa to film the work of local charities.

When he's not working, Omar still enjoys video games, as well as reading, live music and films. 

Theatre

Elvi Piper - Reimagine

Elvi Piper

Artistic Director of Wrongsemble 

Elvi is a theatre director and writer. She founded critically acclaimed family theatre company Wrongsemble in 2015. For Wrongsemble credits as director/writer include: Three (2015-18), Billy Shakes: Wonder Boy! (2017 & 2019), Peter Pan in the Park (2017), The Selfish Giant (2018), The Princess and the Sprout & Other Festive Tales (2018-19), Hansel & Gretel (2019-2020) and The Not So Ugly Sisters (2020).     

Other recent directing credits include: Terra [R&D] by Nell Leyshon and Anthony Missen (National Theatre 2018), A Scarborough Tale (Sleeping Dogs Theatre 2018), Unsung by Lisa Holdsworth (Unsung Collective - 2019/ 2020) and most recently as Resident Director on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time schools tour (National Theatre 2018 & 2019). She is also a Visiting Director for National Theatre Connections. 

Samantha Rushton - Reimagine

Supporting Artist - Samantha Rushton

Actor, Theatre Practitioner and Project Associate of Wrongsemble

Samantha is a project associate at Wrongsemble and has also trained as an actor and theatre practitioner at Edgehill University (BA Hons Drama, Physical Theatre and Dance) and gained an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

She works with the Creative Learning team at The Regent and Victoria Hall Theatre in Stoke-On-Trent, has directed the Young Rep Company at the Stoke-On-Trent Repertory Theatre and worked with several primary schools in creative education and outreach and has worked previously with the Creative Communities Unit at Staffordshire University on community projects both locally and internationally. 

Sam George - Reimagine

Supporting Artist - Sam George

Young Artist & Participation Producer at Derby Theatre

Sam is a Director and Producer who specialises in working with young people, and has a specialist background in New Writing and Physical Theatre.

Directing credits include: A Pattern Of Bad Behaviour (2020), Things We Chose To Save (2017-18), The Murderer (2016-17), Mr Poe's Legendarium (2015-16) with Clown Funeral Theatre Company, Creation 2.0 (2016-17) with Warwick University & Worcester University

Producing credits include: The Snow Queen (2019), Pinocchio (2018) at The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham.

Dance

Gareth Woodward - Reimagine

Gareth Woodward

Choreographer

Gareth, originally from Nottingham, started dancing at the age of 16 when he took his first class at a local studio. After countless hours of training, a year later Gareth travelled overseas to Los Angeles for the first time where he trained in numerous styles at Debbie Reynolds Studios, Millennium Dance Complex and later Movement Lifestyle, under the tuition of world renowned instructors including long term mentor Tony Tzar.

At the age of 21 Gareth broke into the industry professionally and in recent years has gone on to work with some of the biggest names in the business including Mariah Carey, Cheryl Cole, Coldplay, Take That, The X Factor and The Voice UK.

Gareth has had the opportunity to work with top choreographers such as Tony Testa, Fatima Robinson, Adrian Wiltshire, Kim Gavin and Aicha Mckenzie.

Today, Gareth continues to work professionally in the industry whilst teaching his craft regularly in colleges, universities and in workshops both internationally and nationally, with the philosophy that you are forever a student so he also continues to study and train feeding this back into his students.

Daniel Longhurst - Reimagine

Supporting Artist - Daniel Longhurst

Freelance Dance Artist

Daniel has been choreographing, performing, and teaching dance for the last 3 years since graduating from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. He has previously been involved with the This Is Derby project last year, working with young people.

I am very much looking forward to what we can create through technology. I'm very much a fan of all things tech and this is a great opportunity to nurture and support young people through online creative sessions, and to explore the possibilities of working creatively without sharing that same physical space. 

Music

Rukus

Rukus & Baby People

Musician and Creative Director/Co-Founder of Baby People

Rukus is a UK recording artist, DJ and producer who has been professionally touring and performing both nationally and Internationally.

He has had many successful releases and worked alongside many of the UK’s most established artists, including Mark Ronson, Amy Winehouse, Skepta, Wretch 32, Ty, Klashnekoff, Blade, Baby J and many more.

Rukus set up music workshop company, Baby People in 2003 alongside his Business partner Baby J.

Baby People looks to take the raw enthusiasm and music talent of inner-city youth and focus and nurture this talent to give them the opportunity to meet their potential. They show the young people the techniques and practices that they can then use to empower themselves to a position of self-sufficiency. 

Writing

Simon Marshall

Simon Marshall

Writer and Learning Coordinator for Déda.

Simon is a Derbyshire-based playwright and poet, and a Creative Mentor for care-experienced young people.

He works for dance and arts organisation Déda, co-ordinating Reimagine creative activity in schools and community venues in Derwent and Chaddesden.

His writing focuses on sense of place, belonging and identity, and has been performed in London, Birmingham and Exeter.

He is also co-producer of Hubbub Theatre, an integrated learning-disabled theatre company in Derby.

Sophie Bloor - Reimagine

Supporting Artist - Sophie Bloor

Actor and founder of Ay Up Theatre Company

The Commute, her play was accepted in Soho Writers Lab last year. Whilst at Soho, Sophie wrote and directed nine sketch performances, alongside several standup routines.

The discrepancy of strong ‘northern’ females in the arts, media bias and London Centric Culture has heavily influenced Sophie, alongside Caryl Churchill, Polly Stenham and Lucy Gannon. After training at RADA, The Commute was performed at various scratch nights around the Midlands and Sophie was granted with her first Arts Council bid.

Currently Sophie is collaborating with a team of Historians, to rewrite a semi-verbatim piece about three WW1 Diaries found under a water tank in Nottingham whilst also filming with BBC New Creatives for various other projects and has also been accepted on New Perspectives New Associate Artist Program. 

Visual Art

Tim 'Onga' Weeden - Reimagine

Tim 'Onga' Weeden

Lead Graffiti Artist at Baby People

Tim started making graffiti in 1996 whilst he still lived in London, and hasn’t stopped since.

He studied contemporary art at Nottingham Trent University where his work focused on Hip – Hop culture, using Graffiti and Breakdance.

He has painted legal graffiti walls in cities like Copenhagen, Berlin, Vienna and Barcelona. As well as working on commissioned paintings for BBC 1xtra, Heathrow airport and Sony amongst others.

Tim has been lucky enough to exhibit his studio paints as well, and has had several solo exhibitions, including UpFest Gallery Bristol, Montana Spray Paints Nottingham and Brick lane Gallery London to name just a few.

He has been a youth worker and community artist working at Baby People for nearly five years, delivering arts sessions to young people, and working on external projects with companies like Derby Theatre.