The fine line between genius and madness...
We make challenging work for inquisitive audiences with the aim of transcending the boundaries of modern theatre and your perceptions of mental health, claiming the territory between inspiration and medication.
We are Out of Character.
We formed in 2009 as a theatre company of artists and performers comprising of people who use or have used mental health services, and include students and volunteers.
We are also a Registered Charity (1161399). If you would like to support our work with a gift, however big or small, please click on the donate button below.
We have devised, written, performed and collaborated on many projects both in York and nationally. Some of our work is about mental health, but not everything. We’ve created very personal pieces specifically for audiences interested in mental illness; we’ve devised site-specific durational performances; we’ve performed scripted works; and we’ve collaborated with York Theatre Royal, Intar, Love Arts, Arts & Minds, the Wy-Fi project, the NHS, and many medical schools.
You can read about our past productions and projects here.
The company grew from an inspiring initiative at York St. John University to provide introductory theatre courses to mental health service users. The course was initially led by Nick Rowe with support from York St. John students and focussed on arts practice rather than health. It formed the basis for Converge, an initiative established by Nick Rowe and Gemma Alldred, which now includes courses in dance, music, choir singing, writing and art. In 2013 Converge received national recognition by being shortlisted in the Times Higher Education Awards.
Each year we receive a number of enquiries about our work from students, please find our responses to the questions we’ve been asked in the past here.
If you have other questions or would like additional information, we will try and respond to your request as quickly as we can.
Gemma Alldred was the company’s Artistic Director between 2009 – 2012, directing and supporting the company’s artistic and stylistic development into the truthfully heartfelt-darkly absurd creature it is today.
Gina Vickers, a former student and performer with the company, made the transition as Artistic Director all too briefly between 2013 – 2014.
Paul Birch is the company’s current Artistic Director, now over-seeing a larger company and aiming to push it into new found artistic realms.
Our Trustees are Juliet Forster (Chair), Nick Rowe (Secretary & Treasurer), Christie Barnes and Simon Newton.