In orbit around children
“Moonstruck Astronaut is a theatre company that stages plays for and with children and their communities that delight in unusual ideas. Our mission is to create performances that encounter life from a child’s open-minded perspective of wonder in order to foster intergenerational and intercultural friendship.”
– Hannah de Quincey
Founder and Artistic Director
Hannah de Quincey
Founder and Artistic Director
Hannah is a secondary school drama teacher and theatre director. She studied English at Oxford University (BA 1999-2001), Theatre Directing at Birkbeck College (MFA 2005-2007) and Drama teaching at Goldsmiths (PGCE 2010-11). She has directed a number of productions in her career, most memorable being ‘The King of the Paprika Crisps’ at the Unicorn Theatre for Children (2007), ‘The Trapeze Artist’ by Paul Bilic (Tara Arts, 2009), ‘Tree Stories’ and ‘Private Peaceful’ at Sevenoaks School (2012 & 2013) and setting up and directing the first Penkhull Mystery Play in 2005 in Penkhull, Stoke-on-Trent. She taught at Concord College in Shropshire from 2014-2017, establishing a vibrant drama curriculum for the students and flying the flag masterfully for drama to be expanded at the school. It was here that her love of outdoor theatre was cemented when she adapted and directed ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (2015) and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (2017) for a cast of over 40 Year 9s in outdoor locations on their stunning campus.
As of September 2017, she is enjoying establishing Moonstruck Astronaut as a community theatre company in Newport, Shropshire alongside being a present mum to her son who attends a Newport primary school.
As Artistic Director of Moonstruck Astronaut, she directed and wrote ‘Harry and Dolly: how it all started’, an outdoor site-specific play commissioned by the Dorothy Clive Garden to mark its’ 60th Anniversary, performed in the garden on the 29/30 June 2019. In 2018, she collaborated with Higher Horizons+ to co-create ‘The Zombie Challenge Day’ at Keele University which took place on the 6th July 2018. It was an exciting education outreach project that catered for 60 high school students who were challenged to solve a zombie flu outbreak in a day. In 2015, she directed and organised ‘Wulf’s Quest’ at the Potteries Museum. In 2009, she directed and organised ‘The Man in the Moon’ by Enda Walsh and Jack Healy which was staged at the Albany Theatre and the Little Angel Puppet Theatre in London.
Anna is a drama practitioner with a diverse background ranging from acting and directing to administration and stage management roles. She began her journey in theatre at the age of 7 when cast in the title role of The Velveteen Rabbit summer production at the Aurora Fox Theatre, working alongside other children and professional actors. Most recently she ran the programme office for the Music and Music Techonology degrees at Keele University.
Originally from the United States Anna studied acting and directing at the University of Northern Colorado and graduated Cum Laude. She went on to receive her MFA in Staging Shakespeare at Exeter University. Following on from her studies, Anna founded the theatre company ShakeMates in Colorado which focused on found space shakespearean and early modern texts. She produced and directed its inaugural performance of The Comedy of Errors in Alamo Placita park in downtown Denver. At the same time she worked at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities as the House Manager and Facilities Coordinator. There she managed all front of house duties for a robust production schedule including adult and children’s performances on the main and black box stages with an usher core of 180 volunteers as well as summer concerts in the 14,000 seat amphitheatre. She also oversaw the bookings and rentals of the classrooms, conference rooms, art galleries, and history museum. In 2009 she returned to the United Kingdom and in 2015 had the fortune to meet and become friends with Hannah de Quincy. Anna is delighted to now be a part of the Moonstruck Astronaut company supporting it’s growth from the ground up.
Acting credits include: Queen Harrietta, Harrietta V (Henry V); Lady Capulet, Romeo and Juliet; Devisor/ Ensemble, Quod Me Nutrit, Me Destruit; Adriana, The Comedy of Errors; Aaron, Titus Andronicus; Griselda/ Nell/ Jeanine, Top Girls; Ensemble, Tongues; Olivia, Twelfth Night; Isabella, A Company of Wayward Saints
Directing and Devising credits: The Comedy of Errors, Harrietta V (Henry V), Quod Me Nutrit Me Destruit, Titus Andronicus, Apollo and Cassandra (from Tantalus)
Grethe Mangala Jensen
Actor/ puppeteer/ singer
Illustrator who designed the Moonstruck Astronaut logo www.jilltytherleigh.com
1. To serve the people of the Midlands.
2 .To promote community cohesion.
3. To encourage intergenerational and intercultural dialogue.
4. To inspire creativity and confidence among the young and old.
5. To attain a consistent standard of creative excellence.