Why We Do It

‘Theatre should not be something that takes place in a priviliged bubble. It should be rooted in everyone’s lives; relevant, a means to gather, to express and to celebrate our collective humanity’ 

Rachel Aspinwall, PECo Artistic Director

Rachel first brought PECo to life in Cambridge in 2006, as an artist collective exploring site-specific interdisciplinary theatre.

The company then moved to Plymouth where in 2008 – joined by Plymouth based theatre maker Ruth Mitchell  – it produced the Hidden City Festival, a large-scale event that celebrated artists, communities, sites and spaces across the city.

The founding principles for PECo were based on artistic partnerships and creative exchange, where artists and others inspired by their shared environment, in all its diverse forms and varied themes, could connect, find a sense of community and create.

Ten years later and a move to Bristol, those values are still the same; rooted in an aim to connect, interact, create and have impact

We are committed to making work that matters, to transform the way we engage with each other, our society, the environment in which we live and the planet on which we rely and to do this through an imaginative inquiry into how, where, for and by whom theatre is created and experienced.

We want to push at the boundaries of what theatre is and to engage the widest possible audiences and participants including those who might otherwise have no access to it.

Our work can be separated into the following interconnected areas:

Create and nurture innovative, accessible new theatre and working practice. Established writers, artists and others, multi-disciplinary collaboration, practice-based research leading to new ways of working, new forms of theatre, sharing creative processes, tools and learning on-line and in the real world.

Identify and nurture talented emerging writers, artists and others. Opportunities for emerging writers, artists and others to develop their work through shadowing or mentoring by established professionals, by access to company online and real-world learning and by having individual practice developed and produced in inspiring professional environments.

Produce work of significant impact. To be a catalyst for positive social change, through the work itself and the themes with which it engages and through socially engaged theatre making approaches that incorporate non-traditional arts audiences in the transformative processes central to the creation of our productions and events – and instrumental in audience and cultural development.

Cultivate partnerships and collaborations. To link into regional, national and international initiatives, organisations and agencies across sectors, supporting a joined up approach that create the conditions in which to grow and produce high quality professional work within a sustainable creative culture.

Support cultural regeneration and renaissance. To create processes, performances and events that engage, celebrate and draw positive focus, positively impact health and well being, community cohesion and sense of place, the creative economy and grow the creative community.

Leave a long-term legacy. To develop and produce work that creates a long-term impact or legacy for communities, participants, artists and audiences alike.