“Much practice in the participatory arts sector can be formulaic and dry, resulting in work where the skeleton of the devising process pokes painfully through the body of the performance. The fact that Kate McCoy’s work avoids this trap is testimony to her commitment to her own personal development as a socially engaged artist and facilitator. Her work is of an extraordinarily high artistic quality and remains solidly underpinned by a strong ethical code; she believes in the potential of the people she works with and meaningfully “gives a damn”. This commitment to her work, her self and the people she works with means that she is willing to take risks and consequently succeeds where others fail. Kate’s work has been unerringly of a consistently high quality – something of which I am exceedingly envious.” Simon Ruding – Director of TiPP
Between 1996 and 2005 I worked for TiPP, an organisation that works in the criminal justice system and beyond with the belief that theatre has the power to transform lives. From 2006, I have regularly freelanced for them working in prisons and community settings as well as teaching on The Applied Theatre BA Course in the drama department at Manchester University.
I was involved in a wide range of work including adapting BLAGG!, an offending behaviour programme for use with young people and leading in its development an use in YOTs (Youth Offending Teams) in England and Scotland. I also designed and delivered TiPP’s programme of work with drug users and regularly created participatory performance with a range of groups.
Since leaving TiPP I have continued to develop a working relationship with the organisation and through TIPP became Theatre and Arts Co-ordinator at HMP Styal, a female establishment in Manchester between 2008 and 2011.