Spanner in the Works Theatre Company (SITW) was established in Belfast in September 1998 and is led by Artistic Director Patricia Downey –an accomplished director and writer with twenty years experience in theatre and workshop facilitation.
SITW specialises in working with women, young people / schools and people with disabilities to explore a range of social concerns through the medium of drama.
Using drama workshops and devised pieces, the company develops productions exploring contemporary social issues that aim to challenge, provoke and engage audiences. We have addressed a number of important issues including dementia, domestic violence, binge drinking, Internet safety, human trafficking, racism, and legal highs.
Over the years SITW has worked with an extensive and diverse range of partners including PCSP, Youth Justice, Down Special Olympics, Positive Futures: Achieving Dreams, Transforming Lives, Mindwise Downpatrick, The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, MindWise NI, Simon Community NI, Women’s Aid NI, Belfast City Council, Dunngannon & South Tyrone District Council, Mid & East Antrim Council, Omagh District Council and South Belfast Area Project; as well as primary and post primary schools, youth clubs, community groups and traveller’s support groups; and has delivered drama programmes to adults with severe learning and physical disabilities.
The company is managed by Patricia Downey and employs approximately 20 freelance artists.
Patricia Downey is the Artistic Director /Writer and Co-founder of Spanner in the Works Theatre Company. She has over 20 years experience as a writer, director and freelance drama workshop facilitator.
In 2016 she was awarded a residency at internationally renowned Hedgebrook in Seattle, USA, which supports visionary women writers.
In 2015 was awarded the Highly Commended Community Impact Award from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).
In 2012 she was nominated for the Belfast Telegraph Women in the Arts Award
Patricia is passionate about the range of benefits drama workshops can deliver to individuals and communities and is committed to engaging with marginalized groups often overlooked by others. Here is what one teacher in special education said about her:
“Spanner in the Works Theatre Company has worked with me at St. Gerard's school for many years. Our pupils all have special needs and some have emotional and behavioural problems and it can be difficult to find outside agencies who can invest in our pupils. Tricia has given freely of her time to host workshops with our teenage pupils, who can find life very difficult, and Tricia is not afraid to tackle any issue with the young people. At our school we have also had the pleasure of watching Tricia, Bernard and their troupe of fantastic young actors perform. A wonderful experience for all.”
Patricia is the driving force behind Spanner in Works Theatre Company has written extensively for the company, forging a unique style of hard-hitting contemporary theatre that aims to challenge, provoke and engage audiences in raw and immediate ways. She is the writer and director of the internationally acclaimed “Diablo”, which tackles the subject of human trafficking.
In addition to her own projects, Patricia has been commissioned to write for a wide range of organisations including the Youth Justice, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, Belfast City Council, and PCSP: and has worked with Mindwise NI, Simon Community, Women’s Aid, and Down Special Olympics - and schools and youth groups across Northern Ireland.
She holds qualifications in Mental Health and Wellbeing Coaching and Conflict Management; and is trained in Child Protection and Disability Equality.
For further information on Patricia Downey and Spanner in the Works Theatre Company please contact:
Spanner in the Works Theatre Company
56 Divis Drive
Tel: 028 9061 2106
Mob:07719 100 245