ABOUT US

WHO ARE THE BACKPACK ENSEMBLE?

The Backpack Ensemble aims to make theatre that is generous, joyful and handmade.

 

We believe that creativity is not limited by resources and that creating work that is sustainable does not mean that it is restricted. We believe there is a magic in conjuring performances from our backpacks.

 

We care about storytelling and make the kind of theatre that we want to watch. We seek to explore and express the thoughts and feelings that we encounter and otherwise struggle to articulate.

WHO ARE WE?

SIMON PANAYI

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

This is Simon, the Artistic Director of The Backpack Ensemble. In April 2018 he won the Buzz Goodbody Director award for his work on the company's debut show, The Search for a Black-browed Albatross. Simon has recently worked as the Assistant Director at the New Wolsey Theatre working on their in house productions. He is also a freelance technician, director and creates solo work including his most recent work 'The Things We Leave Behind'.

JORDAN SHIEL

Musical Director

This is Jordan, he’s the musical director here at Backpack. When he’s not tickling the ivories on stage, Jordan is busy singing with various choirs and teaching for various groups around Lincolnshire. Jordan has recently completed his masters in Contemporary British Theatre at the University of Lincoln. 

JAMES ASHFIELD

PRODUCER

This is James, the Producer behind Team Backpack. He is currently based up north in Sheffield. He recently worked as part of the Fundraising team at Sheffield Theatres. He is now a supported artist at their new artist development hub, The Bank. James is also a producer for various other projects including Bonfire written by East Midlands based writer, Simon Marshall. James is supported by Jerwood Arts as a fellow of the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Scheme.

ELLIOT SARGENT

PERFORMER

This is Elliot, he is a performer and deviser here at Backpack
As well as performing in Backpack, Elliot has been involved in many productions across Lincolnshire. Most recently, Elliot toured across the United Kingdom in Zest Theatre's production of Until Its Gone. He is currently studying for an MA in Professional Acting at ALRA. 

SAMANTHA MILES

WRITER

This is Sam, the brains behind the words at Backpack. In April 2018 she won The Sunday Times Playwriting Award for her work on the company's debut show, The Search for a Black-browed Albatross. Sam has experience in writing, directing and performing. Until recently, she was the Programming Intern at Lincoln Drill Hall. Sam is currently undertaking an MA in scriptwriting at Manchester Writing School. 

LAURA POTENTE

PERFORMER

This is Laura, one of the originals at The Backpack Ensemble. In the past few years Laura has been involved in many productions across Lincolnshire, including Sense and Sensibility at Lincoln Drill Hall and Treasure Island at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre where she played the lead in both. Laura is also a Secondary school drama teacher in South Yorkshire.

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