Based in rural Derbyshire Ava Hunt Theatre is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) with a commitment to creating stimulating, high quality theatre and workshops for community audiences and young people. Ava Hunt Theatre is a mainly women led organisation which aims to deliver artistically ambitious projects in areas of social deprivation.
Black Lives Matter: Diversity is at the heart of the company’s work in relation to the stories we tell, the artists we employ, the audiences and participants we work with. We will continue take a proactive stand in the fight against racism, inequality and discrimination.
Working closely with commissioning bodies and with key stake holders is central to the company’s success. Recent partners have included: Derbyshire County Council Education Improvement Services, SACRE, Amnesty International (Wirksworth), Derby Refugee & Advice Centre, QUAD, and City of Sanctuary Derby.
Recent projects include Journeys of Destiny; The Kites Are Flying, based on Michael Morpurgo’s book, and Acting Alone, based on Ava’s research in Palestinian refugee camps. The piece toured nationally & internationally, including the Just Human Rights Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Ava Hunt Theatre has been working with verbatim refugee stories for over 10 years.
Verbatim work has been an important element of AHT’s work since 2009 with I’m No Hero and recording Irena Sendler’s story from interviews. Verbatim gives a voice to marginalised people, telling untold stories or as David Hare said in 2004 ‘giving voice to the voiceless’. Counter narratives to the mainstream remain important to the company’s work. The use of verbatim and autobiographical approaches provide audiences with an authentic and unique insight that may otherwise go unheard.
In December 2020 Applied Theatre Podcast (@AppTheatrePod) released a podcast with Ava, discussing 10 years of working with Verbatim Refugee stories, Forum Theatre and her role as course leader for MA Applied Theatre at the University of Derby.
Our work is funded by Arts Council England on a project by project basis therefore, we work closely with a wide range of associate artists including:
Dr Tilly Branson, Maggie Ford, Kitty Parker, Frances Watt, Kitty Winter, Maxine Finch, Duanne Hannibal, Sarah Bradnock, Becky Matter, Terry Heywood, Suki Sidhu, Yildiz Hussein, Andy Purves and Karim Hadaya. We support young and graduating artists to develop their skills and gain practical experience on a range of projects.
All our artists are fully DBS checked. All our artists receive training in line with the company’s Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults policy.