Gaynor La Rocca is a Liverpool theatre director, writer, producer, event manager and qualified drama teacher. Gaynor started her career in 1991 as an actor and workshop facilitator for a local theatre-in-education company. She went onto set up her own TIE company in 1995, working with Liverpool Football Club, the Home Office and 5 local authorities to develop touring TIE programmes tackling important issues facing young people such as drugs and alcohol misuse, homophobia and anti-social behaviour. Simultaneously Gaynor worked as a Lecturer in Performing Arts at Knowsley Community College and has since worked as a drama teacher, lecturer and practitioner in schools, colleges and 3 universities.
From 2004-2009 Gaynor was employed as a Creative Communities Manager for Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008; working with schools, colleges, universities, multi-agency partners, artists, and arts and cultural organisations (locally, nationally and internationally) to develop and creatively produce performances, festivals, conferences, films, concerts and large-scale events such as the Children’s River Festival and the first Liverpool ‘Light Night’.
One of the flagship programmes Gaynor developed for Liverpool Culture Company was the nationally acclaimed DCMS Cultural Pathfinder programme ‘It’s Not Ok!’; a series of hard hitting films and educational resources addressing issues such as arson, anti-social behaviour, homophobia, alcohol misuse and gun crime. Gaynor also worked as a creative producer on Liverpool’s 800th birthday celebration events throughout 2007, the annual Mersey River Festival, and with local artists and other creative producers to develop an exciting creative communities programme for the Opening Events of Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008.
With a passion for Liverpool people and for community arts, throughout her career Gaynor has worked as a prolific community theatre director and producer. Gaynor set up MATE in March 2000 in response to a local need for a community theatre company with professional standards, led by professionals, that would provide a training ground and exciting opportunities for both aspiring professional performers, and for community performers who had chosen to pursue other career paths (or made other life choices) but retained a passion for the arts.
Since 2000 MATE Productions has produced more than 25 quality productions, both independently and working with exciting creative partners such as Spike Theatre, St Georges Hall, Croxeth Hall, Knowsley Cultural Services, National Waterways Museum and Mikron Theatre. MATE Productions continues to grow and flourish with Gaynor at the helm; in 2012 following 5 star reviews and sell out shows for ‘The Yarn’, MATE was listed in MADEUP in Liverpool as ‘Best Community Production’ in their ‘Best of Liverpool Theatre’s 2012’. From 2013-14 Gaynor directed and produced a new play ‘Grace and the Sea’, written especially for the company by playwright Rob Brannen, (commissioned by De Montford University and funded by the BBC and Arts Council England) that toured locally and to the Edinburgh Fringe. In October 2014 the company were awarded ‘Artistic Group of the Year’ at the Knowsley Sports and Cultural Awards. MATE Juniors running opened in 2012 and MATE Studio and MATE Young Actors Company opened in 2014.
Gaynor is presently directing and producing a large scale promenade community production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to tour to parks and outdoor community spaces across Liverpool and Knowsley in 2015, supported by MATE the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare North.
To contact Gaynor telephone: 0151 281 8461 / 07833 204058 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org