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Alumni: Theatre Companies, Venues and Arts Administration

On this page you'll find alumni who have gone on to set up their own theatre companies or to work in venues or arts administration. If you're a member of our extended family of alumni and want add your story to our Alumni Case Studies Library, please complete this quick form.

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Jones, Ollie

Course: BA Theatre & Performance Studies

Graduated: 2010

Job Title/ Company: Co-Founder & Creative Director, Swamp Motel

Date of Case Study: August 2020

Biography: After leaving Warwick, Ollie found himself operating as a full-time waiter in London and ‘working’ as a ‘playwright’. During these wilderness years, having written zero plays and achieving little more than a worrying dependence on the free spaghetti bolognese provided to him by his place of work, he co-founded theatre company Kill the Beast with some fellow Warwick grads (they created four shows; The Boy Who Kicked Pigs, He Had Hairy Hands, Don’t Wake the Damp and Director’s Cut and a couple of podcasts). Alongside this, Ollie worked a variety of jobs to support himself - most excitingly at Punchdrunk, least excitingly writing copy for an aeronautical parts manufacturer. In 2017 he and his KTB co-founder Clem started Swamp Motel, with a focus on creating immersive experiences for brands but using genuine theatrical expertise. In 2020, during the Coronavirus pandemic, they began to also create their own online digital experiences.



Knox, Rozzy

Rozzy Knox

Course: BA English and Theatre Studies

Graduated: 2015

Job Title/ Company: Executive Director (Maternity Cover) / Middle Child

Biography (max. 150 words): On graduating Warwick I began working in the finance department for the Ambassador Theatre Group as an accounts assistant despite having no accounting experience – I was just keen for a job anywhere in the industry that would take me! I started as an accounts assistant for regional venues, and then became a trainee production accountant for the productions team for Sonia Friedman Productions and ATG Productions.

After this, I became part of the inaugural team for Nick Hytner and Nick Starrs new commercial venture, the Bridge Theatre, first as a production assistant then assistant producer. Whilst here, I also attended Birkbeck (University of London)’s business school in the evenings to achieve my Masters degree in ‘Management with Creative Industries’.

In July 2019, I left London for Hull to work for Middle Child, a gig theatre company, as the maternity cover for their Exective Director.

Date of Case Study: June 2020



Spiller, Ben

Ben SpillerCourse: BA Hons Theatre and Performance Studies

Graduated: 2000

Job Title/ Company: Artistic Director, 1623 theatre company

Date of Case Study: July 2020

Biography: I gained BA (Hon) in Theatre and Performance Studies at Warwick, where I was President of the award-winning Drama Society, with whom I acted, directed and produced for productions at Warwick Arts Centre and beyond including the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF). A year later, I graduated from the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance in 2001 with an MA (Distinction) in Culture of the European Renaissance. While at the Centre, I developed my keen interest in Shakespeare by exploring the playwright's work in a European context.

Working as Artistic Director of award-winning 1623 theatre company - based at QUAD, Derby's international arts centre - gives me the opportunity to put into practice my passion to inspire, surprise and affect people with Shakespeare's inspirational language, vibrant characters and exciting sense of theatre, while working towards social justice through shows and workshops.

Directing credits include: Florizel and Perdita (Graeae); Queer Lady M (1623 national tour); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Barefeet Theatre); Lear/Cordelia (Attenborough Arts Centre and Derby Theatre); Troilus and Cressida (London 2012 World Shakespeare Festival); Emergency Shakespeare (Watch This Space Festival at the National Theatre); Shakespeare’s Summer of Love (Glastonbury Festival); Sinful ShaXXXpeare (RSC Fringe); Ha Ha Shakespeare (Derby QUAD); Midsummer Magic (World Heritage Festival); Ellen Terry - Shakespeare's Leading Lady (National Trust); Macbeth (Derwent Valley Mills); Hamlet (Poole’s Cavern); and scenes from Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest (Shakespeare for Schools DVD).

Acting credits include: The Tempest (Graeae); Stand-Up Shakespeare, Hamlet, Macbeth and Sinful Shakespeare (1623); The Canterbury Tales (Distraction); The Shovel (Ritz Films); The Crucible and A View from the Bridge (Warwick Arts Centre); and Shakespeare in the Hotseat (Headline History).

Dramaturg credits include: Safe Space (D&O Productions); Fair is Foul (Deaf Hearing Ensemble); Troilus and Cressida, The Course of True Love; Sinful Shakespeare, Stand-Up Shakespeare, Star-Crossed Lovers, Emergency Shakespeare, Ellen Terry - Shakespeare's Leading Lady, Ha Ha Shakespeare, Midsummer Magic, and Supernatural Shakespeare (1623).

Writing credits include: articles in Shakespeare Bulletin, Early Modern Literary Studies and the Renaissance Journal; and an essay in Goddesses and Queens: the iconographies of Elizabeth I, edited by Annaliese Connolly and Lisa Hopkins for Palgrave Macmillan.

Awards include: BAFTA for Children’s Learning; Creative Industries Network Award for Best Live Event; and the London 2012 Inspire Mark for The Great Shakespearean Workout.

Further to working with professional artists on Shakespearean productions, I have facilitated Shakespeare workshops with people of all ages at all levels of ability and from various backgrounds including young people and adults with special educational needs, school teachers on their inset days, business managers on their away days.

Other experiences include: judging a regional heat of the BBC Off By Heart Shakespeare schools competition; teaching Shakespeare at the Universities of Oxford, Warwick and Nottingham; Assistant Performing Arts Officer at Arts Council England; A-level Examiner for English Literature and Drama; and facilitating Shakespeare workshops in schools, colleges, universities and youth theatres across the UK including the National Youth Theatre.