Katie Merritt

Associate Director

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  • LocationLondon, United Kingdom

Projects

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About me

 

I am a capable and ambitious London Based theatre practitioner with a passion for directing and arts management. My greatest strength is my creativity on stage, and my ability to manage projects, and motivate people. I am industrious, hardworking and I believe I can turn my hand to most things. My administrative experience, my sales and marketing capabilities, together with my teaching and theatre qualifications have all added to my effectiveness as an accomplished administrator, communicator and ultimately theatre practitioner. Completing a Master's Degree at East 15 included intensive core study of Jacques Lecoq puppet, clown and physical training, Shakespeare, musical theatre, opera, comedy, contemporary British writing, and the role of the Artistic Director, along with a life-changing term in Bali, and the opportunity to collaborate with actors, directors and filmmakers, and world-famous industry professionals. My style therefore, as a product of these experiences, has pushed me towards a presence of chorus, physical theatre, puppets, masks and music within my work and creating pictures and storytelling is an integral part of my style. Also, I have an incredible love for youth theatre and working with children. Inspired by my two years as a director in residence and as a LAMDA teacher, I discovered that by adopting a personal approach to teaching and mentoring, identifying the individual strengths of each student, and harnessing and working with those strengths, I was able to yield some incredible results. I have a natural ability to motivate individuals and groups to give their best performance and this has meant I am a successful communicator, director, teacher and team leader. I believe that Art is a divine, collective work and it's creation requires the participation of all people. My long term aim is for my own company.Fusion Theatre, to facilitate necessary connections between people, history, culture and society using the arts as a vechicle to educate, entertain and enhance our understanding of the world, where we have been, where we are and where we are going.

Skills

 

  • Theatre
  • Acting
  • Museums
  • Physical Theatre
  • Administration
  • Communication
  • Directing
  • Comedy
  • Creativity
  • Musician
  • Leadership
  • Culture
  • Acting Coach
  • Teacher Tutor
  • Music Theatre

Work history

Currently

Associate Director

Maverick Theatre Company

Aug 2013
  • Maverick Theatre Company is a company dedicated to classic literary work in unexpected places and creating access to that work. I first worked for Maverick on a freelance basis and directed Under Milk Wood at The Wheatsheaf in Soho, on the 60th anniversary of Dylan Thomas death. From that, a role emerged for me as a constant part of the creative team directing the London Literary Pub Crawl, currently on three times a week. From this I have had a hand in the day to day running of the company administration, box office, marketing and sales strategies, funding applications, scheduling and managing a pool of 30 actors and rehearsing on a daily basis. My recent project with the company was at The British Museum, having worked with new writer and classics expert Sue Blundell, to create a groundbreaking piece covering the life of one of the museums most famous artifacts, The Portland Vase. My current plans with the company are a set of deconstructed literary classics, played in unusual and unique venues starting with A Christmas Carol in December and the unveiling of a new Fleet Street Pub Crawl.

2013

Training Manager

Archer Signs and Panels

Aug 2011 - Aug 2013
  • My full time role at Archer Signs was to create a detailed sales training manual for future employees, as well as overseeing and managing three staff in a pilot project, developing a new sales division of the company in Canary Wharf, dealing with outbound telesales and client relations. Our main focus was to create a sales plan for the company, testing and introducing a multi layered marketing strategy. It also familiarised me with the PPC advertising, SEO advertising, direct marketing, affiliate marketing, telesales, email marketing, and advertising through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The plan has subsequently been implemented throughout the company. On completion of the full time contract, and whilst studying at East 15, I was invited to continue working for the company on a part time basis as web site coordinator, and assisting with a new web site product launch.

2012

Assistant Director

East 15 Acting School

Sep 2012 - Dec 2012
  • I was selected by John Adams [previously Artistic Director Birmingham Rep] to assist him with an adapted and abridged one-hour version of Hamlet, touring schools in London. My duties were to complete research into the historical and social accuracy of the concept, produce an up-to-date script, read in for actors when required, help polish certain sections of blocking, help discuss ideas and concepts, take the show on tour and maintain the show in the director's absence, delivering Q and A sessions in some of the schools and to assist with the re-blocking of the show from traverse to end on for the final performance. One of my biggest responsibilities was to oversee the musical elements of the show. As I have an extremely musical background, John was happy for me to instruct the choral and instrumental sections.

2010

Assistant Director

Bedales

Apr 2010 - Jul 2010
  • Assistant Director in residence at Bedales School, a private school in the South-West. Working with new writers and conceptual ideas preparing the sixth form for the Edinburgh Festival 2011.

2008

Director in Residence

Trent College

Aug 2006 - Jul 2008
  • On leaving school I was invited to join the Drama Department at Trent College. I worked as an assistant director and technical operator for a large number of shows, abridging and cutting scripts, marketing the school’s productions, organising the shared diary, assisting with general curriculum work, organising year 9 classes and office administration. During that time I also worked as a LAMDA teacher with 14 students of my own, all of whom successfully achieved Grades 2 and 3 at the end of the summer term. During my second year I continued working with my LAMDA students, and I was given the opportunity to direct my own productions, as well as a substantial pay increase. I directed a sixth form production of “Two” by Jim Cartwright, followed by The Sixth Form Review [a comedy sketch show], a production of “Shakers” by John Godber, and a production of “Equus” by Peter Shaffer, and finally an outdoor theatre production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with a year 7 group. Two years of hands-on experience in education taught me the fundamental rules of theatre, production, discipline and how to motivate others to give their best performance.

2006

Payroll Assistant

Merritt Group PLC

Aug 2005 - Jul 2006
  • I worked in the accounts department, undertaking tasks such as preparing wage packets and payroll, pre-payment checklists, debtor queries and extensive administrative work. I also became involved in telesales and dealing with incoming calls from customers. This was a summer job I kept for two years during school holidays.

Education

2013

MFA Theatre Directing

East 15 Acting School

Aug 2011 - Sep 2013
  • I completed my Master of Fine Arts Degree at East 15 Acting School in East London during my two years I have examined core modules in Jacques Lecoq puppet, clown and physical training, Shakespeare, musical theatre, opera, comedy, contemporary British writing, and the role of the Artistic Director, along with the opportunity to collaborate with actors, directors and filmmakers, and world-famous industry professionals.

2012

Theatre of the East

Institut Seni Indonesia

May 2012 - Jul 2012
  • A huge part of my study was on theatre of the East, where I visited Bali, Indonesia for one term to study at Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI Denpasar). Here I had intensive training on forms such as Topeng Masked Dance, Legong Dance, Wayang Kulit and an introduction to Balinese Hinduism and performance cultures. My studies there culminated in a Balinese version of ‘The Ugly Duckling', performed for the local village in Singapadu, Bali, which was a huge success with the local community. My extraordinary experience in Bali moved me to think about the integration of cultures and how beneficial it would be to our performances to take on some of their traditions. Inspired by music and their music in particular, I saw how influential and hypnotic a constant soundscape of music can be to a production, and how it enhanced the actors' performances and captivated the audiences.

2011

BA Theatre Arts (theatre Directing

Middlesex University

Aug 2008 - Jun 2011
  • During my three years at Middlesex Unversity at Trent Park in North London, I completed the theatre arts course with a specialism in Directing. The course is designed with a practical focus, encouraging students to develop shows from conception to execution of an idea and assign all the roles equally, This gave me the chance to look in depth at all aspects of theatre but also allowed me to flex my directorial muscle, completing three major scale shows by the end of my degree.

Awards

2006

LAMDA Gold Medal Acting

LAMDA

  • LAMDA Medal Acting with Distinction

2006

Grade 7 Piano

2006

Grade 2 Saxophone

2006

Grade 2 Violin

2006

Grade 7 Clarinet