About Us

Emma Barr

Co-founder and Principal Artist

 

Emma is a West End performer who has starred in Les Misérables (Queens Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty's Theatre), The Wizard of Oz (London Palladium), and Evita (UK and International Tour). She also has a wealth of teaching experience with children, students and adults alike of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Emma has a warm and friendly approach to coaching, supporting even the most nervous of students to gain confidence in their performances and themselves - her patient and nurturing style brings the best out of each student.

 

Emma is health and safety trained and has an enhanced DBS certificate.  

 

Steven Hevey

Co-founder and Artistic Director

 

Steven is a professional playwright with 15 years of experience writing plays for the UK's most prestigious theatre companies.  Winner of OffWestEnd’s Adopt a Playwright Award 2014 and a graduate of the Old Vic 12, Royal Court and Soho Theatre Young Writers Programmes, Steven has worked extensively with Old Vic New Voices, Paines Plough and the Finborough Theatre.

 

However, there was a time when his life was not too dissimilar to the young people of today who are increasingly exposed to adverse childhood experiences. Underclass and uneducated, it was his first experience of theatre that gave him agency and purpose. It was the magic of experiencing a West End show that opened his eyes to all the rich possibilities in what had once seemed a world without hope. His passion is to give young people the opportunity to experience that same magic and find a chance to shine. Although the moment will be brief, the memory is one they will cherish forever.

 

Steven also has over 15 years of working with mental health. Scoring 9 out of 10 on the Adverse Child Experiences test, he has extensive knowledge of Psychodynamic and Trauma-Informed therapeutic practices. He has NCFE CACHE Level 2 certificates in Understanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health, Understanding Challenging Behaviour, and Counselling Skills. He has trained in child protection in secondary schools and has an enhanced DBS certificate. 

 

Steven volunteers as a Buddy for Barnardo’s TIGER services and is studying for a diploma in Trauma-Informed Schools and Communities Training at the Institute for Arts and Therapy.  After completing the course in February 2022, he plans to further his learning with a diploma in Counselling Teenagers (age 12-25) with the hope of becoming eligible to apply for BACP registration as a Counsellor by March 2023.

Emma O’Rourke
Executive Director 

 

Emma is a visual artist and writer passionate about equal opportunity in the arts and cultural sector. She is an experienced grant writer, researcher, and campaign builder, who has worked with a number of art organisations and charities for over 10 years. She has a particular interest in charities supporting people experiencing substance misuse and mental health issues and young offending. Previous clients include: Outside Edge Theatre Company, JAN Trust, Trailblazers Mentoring, Hastings Borough Council, King's Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association and Pets As Therapy.

 

Emma has experience working within theatre, graduating with a first in Theatre Design from Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London, and later an MA from the University of Manchester, where she focused on community arts and performance. Her current practice takes the form of drawing and painting, and she recently completed her first year at The Essential School of Painting, London. 

 

Born in London to an Irish working-class family with no connection to the arts, Emma is passionate about supporting young people held back by their own backgrounds, and strongly believes in the power of art as a tool for social change.