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Persona Collective brings together community members and creative practitioners to devise and perform site-specific, immersive theatre & Filmmaking. 


We aim to directly involve the community in the art-making process and live events. Persona is a vehicle to create an accessible platform for community-led arts education and creation. 


“We bridge communities and take art, design and performance out of their traditional ghettos.
We create and stage extraordinary events in unexpected places layered with cultural heritage but at risk of slipping from living memory”


To each production we invite a team of artists, designers and creative directors from the fields of theatre, dance, film, music, architecture, design and education; creating a space for experimentation and innovation through cross-disciplinary, collaborative working. 


Persona sprang from the arts community in Hackney, East London, and was founded by Rocio Ayllón and established as a community interest company in 2017. 

How we work 

All our projects follow a key process

1 - Finding a space which encompasses a common interest to the local community and a significant cultural and historical heritage. 


2 – We invite artist to the space as part of the new project. From the start we run weekly labs in order to explore, test and document together the use of immersive design within the venue and the narrative

of the final show. We create a space for cross collaboration and exchange, feeding into
each other’s
ideas and experience. 


3 - Research into the history of the site, its urban context, and its past uses and users. This documentation heavily influences the role-plays and the narratives of the final show. This means that the story is tailored to, and emerges from, the building and its history. 


4 - Each of our performances is created organically through a series of drama and dance workshops open to communities linked to our venue. Through open calls we aim to invite as diverse group as possible offering a realistic cross-section of society and the community local to our host site.

Find more in more in our community section


5 – These ‘hosts’ will participate in the temporary and partial transformation of their spaces through changes in light, soundscapes & music, set and costume design.  At the end of the process we open the doors to the public to our final Immersive Theatre piece.


6 - After the live performance period we will make a feature length film version of the performance. 

Our projects are developed collaboratively with a focus on education, research and experimentation. We use the resources available to us, letting the personality of our cast, our artists, the local history and our venues tell their stories. We constantly question the relationships with the audience ‘Blurring the boundaries between fiction and reality’

The Halfway House (2020) old Central Saint Martins, Holborn, London

The Halfway House was a site-specific, immersive theatre piece that was devised and staged in the old Central Saint Martins campus on Southampton Row, Holborn, comprising of the 100 years old W. Lethaby - Grade II* Listed building, a 70’s Tower block, and the Cochrane Theatre, built in the 1960’s. This iconic Arts School was vacant for many years and is eventually due to be redeveloped as a high-end hotel.  


The Candidate (2019) - The Langham working men’s Club, Green Lanes, London

The Candidate was a site-specific, immersive theatre piece that was devised and staged at The Langham Club; a traditional Working Men’s Club on Green Lanes. The Club has existed for over 100 years but its numbers were really declining and they struggle to attract new people into the venue. The Working Men's Club are a type of private social club social first created in the 19th Century in industrialised areas of the UK to provide recreation and education for working class men and their families. 

Outside Inside-out (2017) - The Harringay Warehouse Arts Community, London

Outside Inside-Out was the inaugural show of the black box ‘Exfed Theatre’ in Harringay’s Warehouse District. The performance was a dance theatre work, staged in a sound and light installation designed by artist Jack Wates. The space was conceived as an instrument comprised of translucent screens and a forest of thick elastic strings that were animated though dynamic lighting.


‘In ancient Latin the word persona meant, "mask." The word also can refer to a character played by an actor. While a persona is not considered a lie or a falsehood, its meaning implies that it is only part of the truth. Like all masks, there is "real" person beneath. Often a performer will take on a persona to express certain parts of himself’

The Trees of Life (1983) by Figurentheatre Triangel

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