Hannah de Quincey – Artistic Director (AD)

Hannah is an experienced 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.

From September 2017, she has been enjoying establishing Moonstruck Astronaut CIC as a community theatre company  in Newport, Shropshire alongside being a present mum to her son who attends a Newport primary school.  From 2020 to 2021, she taught students at Wrekin College, online and face-to-face, towards LAMDA Acting, Speaking Verse and Prose and Devising exams which they all excelled in.  As AD 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 Anniverary, 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 designed for sixty secondary school students who were challenged to solve a zombie flu outbreak in a day.  In summer 2015, she directed and organised ‘Wulf’s Quest’, a unique family adventure where the audience were the heroes and solved timed challenges around the Potteries Museum, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.  In 2009, she directed and organised ‘The Man in the Moon’ by Enda Walsh and Jack Healy which sold out at the Albany Theatre, Deptford, London and was chosen to also perform at the Little Angel Puppet Theatre as part of the Central School of Student and Drama’s International Puppet Festival.  Balloon Boy, the star of ‘The Man in the Moon’, MA’s first show, remains the theatre company’s mascot and ‘boss’ as he is an emblem of all the children we serve (see photo).

NB.  The film of ‘Harry and Dolly’ is available to view for free on the MA CIC You Tube channel. The films of ‘The Man in the Moon’ and ‘Wulf’s Quest’ will be up soon.

On a more personal note, Hannah lost her incredible mum Marion to cancer when she was 18 and her mum 50.  Marion Pantin was a Year 6 primary school teacher who had a special talent for nurturing and encouraging children.  Hannah is proud to follow in her footsteps, honouring her beloved mum’s example through her work with children and communities. She wants her mother’s values of equality, fairness, fun and kindness to be at the heart of the CIC. What she has learnt from losing her mother and managing her still keenly felt absence is at the core of her bravery and determination to use her talents and training to contribute to birthing a more uplifted, united, trusting and openly loving world.

Anna Truman – Projects Consultant

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 staging shakespearen and early modern texts in found spaces.  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 Centre for the Arts and Humanities as the House Manager and Facilities Co-ordinator.  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 had the good fortune to meet and become friends with Hannah de Quincey.  Anna is delighted to now be a part of the Moonstruck Astronaut company supporting its’ 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)

Becky James – ‘Drama in the Forest’ Assistant Facilitator

Becky is a self-employed Forest School Leader with twelve year’s prior experience as a nursery practitioner.  She has been teaching outdoor skills for many years.  Her roles have enabled her to learn and believe in herself which she would love to pass on to the children she teaches.  Becky is a born and bred Shropshire lass who loves being in nature, particularly with children around her. 

Jack Rennie – Music Volunteer

Jack Rennie is a specialist in music composition and performance. He qualified from the University Of Wales in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and he loves to find interesting ways to bring musical projects into the local community. Jack has written a symphony, several albums and countless advert jingles and has been a proud resident of Newport for the last 3 years. He believes Newport is a magical town where people can go to find, or re-find, their creativity.

We feel immensely lucky to have recruited Jack as our music specialist volunteer. He is brave, reliable, full of fun and talent, really supportive and a total joy to collaborate with.

Listen to our fab volunteer Jack Rennie’s 4 minute interview about how he found out about the theatre company and his first impressions: