About us

Crooked House is a theatre-making organisation established in 1993 in Newbridge in County Kildare, Ireland. We make theatre with, for and by young people from the ages of 11 to 21. We train young people aged 21 to 30 in Drama Facilitation and support others to audition for acting college.Participation in all our activities is free and open to anyone. Our work is inspired by tolerance, equality, social justice, compassion, and empathy. We aim to create theatre that is ambitious, challenging, aesthetically engaging, and relevant to our audiences. We run one of Ireland’s largest youththeatres (Kildare Youth Theatre), an audition preparation programme (Dréimire Project), an international volunteer programme, and several bespoke programmes for young people in schools and youth projects. We collaborate with a wide network of international partners designing theatre-making projects, training courses, and exchanges.And we work with international actor-training universities to deliver masterclasses and programmes. We are a registered Irish charity (not-for-profit organisation) whose number is 20143534.

We are a Company Limited by Guarantee, registered in Ireland as Number 31330. Our Revenue CHY Number is 20229.

People

PETER HUSSEY

PETER HUSSEY

Artistic Director

Peter established Crooked House is 1993. He is a theatre-maker, lecturer and trainer of actors and directors. He works in universities in Ireland, UK, the EU and Turkey in acting, directing, theatre-making and performance research. He has published on the impact of theatre-making on neurological and social development in young people.

Email Peter
Oğuzhan Şahin

Oğuzhan Şahin

Company Manager

Oğuzhan is an actor who trained in Suleyman Demirel University in Turkey, and a director (Maynooth University). He runs our school and community youth programmes, directs shows with teenagers, and is a theatre-maker with our older company. He is the Supervisor for international volunteers.

Email Oğuzhan
Emily Ditkovski

Emily Ditkovski

International Projects Manager

Emily was born in Santa Monica, California into a family of theatre makers and educators, Emily proudly carries on the family trade as a facilitator, director, arts administrator, and researcher committed to social justice through the arts. She received a BFA in Drama and MA in Educational Theatre from New York University, and an MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University. Emily is a fervent believer in the power of theatre to transform lives and
the necessity of equitable access to the arts for all. In 2023 she relocated to Dublin where she lives with her spouse and three children.

Email Emily
Sancar Çalışkan

Sancar Çalışkan

Resident Filmmaker

Sancar is a filmmaker from Istanbul. He had been working on documentary and commercial films before he arrived in Ireland. He facilitates weekly filmmaking workshops for young people. He creates, organises, and executes the film projects by Crooked House and Kildare Youth Theatre.

Email Sancar

Anna Galligan

Anna Galligan

Drama Facilitation Trainer

Anna worked for years with Youth Theatre Ireland training drama facilitators. She now facilitates and directs Kilkenny Youth Theatre and teaches performing Arts at Carlow Institute of Further Educational and Training. Anna trains our ESC volunteers in Drama Facilitation, and directs work with our Kildare Youth Theatre.

Matteo Polimanti

Matteo Polimanti

Newsletter Editor

Matteo (he/him) studied Performing Arts in Rome and worked with several Italian theatre organizations to organise festivals addressed to the new generations. He volunteered with Crooked House to acquire some project management's and drama facilitation's skills for his future projects. He is currently studying live events’ organisation in Milan. He is responsible for Crooked House's monthly newsletter.

Email Matteo
Özer Gökmen

Özer Gökmen

Administrative Assistant

Özer is an actor who trained in Anadolu University in Eskişehir, Turkey. Prior to that he gained a degree in International Relations Bilkent University, Turkey. He came to Crooked House as an ESC volunteer in 2022. Now he is doing a Master's at ATU, Sligo. He manages the content on our website and helps with other administrative work.

Email Özer
Juan Escalona Corral

Juan Escalona Corral

Erasmus+ KA2 Projects Coordinator

Juan is a theatre-maker and project coordinator that is specialised in managing European grants in the field of youth theatre. He has been part of the coordination team of over 20 Erasmus+ Key Action 2 strategic/cooperation partnerships in different companies. He has been key in the coordination of the projects Drama for Youth Work, Digital Drama Workshops and TENACT - Theatre for Environmental Action in which Crooked House has been part of. He currently works as artistic director in the Spanish organisation FOCO as well as in the planning, implementation and reporting of innovative projects with and in Crooked House.

Email Juan

Ola Al Mamlouk

Ola Al Mamlouk

Ola is a filmmaker from Syria. She has worked with many projects involving all ages, especially with children and youth, as project manager and facilitator. She has several short course trainings in acting, script writing, film editing, interactive theatre workshops, and Theatre of the Oppressed. She makes participatory films about social justice and equality issues.

Carmen Ortiz Victorino

Carmen Ortiz Victorino

Creative Associate

Carmen Ortiz Victorino is an interdisciplinary artist, theatre-maker, director, actress, playwriter and stage manager from Sevilla, Spain. She studied drama in ESAD de Sevilla and screen acting in Laboratorio de Interpretación de Sevilla. Now, she is a freelance drama facilitator for Crooked House Theatre in Newbridge. She has worked with different communities around Ireland doing drama workshops and directing different plays as Memorial Pieces (for Smashing Times), La mujer de Marsella and The Heights; being also assistant of director in King Lear and Hamlet with Crooked House. Moreover, she has participated in a wide range of international projects as “Mouth Off” (Spain), “You mix it” (Sweden), “Mind your body” (Slovenia), “Transmission “(Albania); treating social issues through different acting techniques.

Email Carmen
Moneim Nassef

Moneim Nassef

Abdelmonem studied Law before becoming a theatre director in Cairo. He has worked in tour guiding, and in entertainment and Escape Room companies, and has directed large scale shows in Egypt and in Saudi Arabia. He is also an actor and a playwright.

John Ó Hagan

John Ó Hagan

Youth Theatre Directing/Mobility Projects Assitant

John is a freelance actor, director, and teacher. He holds dual American/Irish citizenship and has spent the majority of his career as a Professor of Theatre and Performing Arts Program Head at a number of universities in the US. In addition to his work with Crooked House he maintains an active creative and teaching practice in both Ireland and America.

Email John
Cian Ó Náraigh

Cian Ó Náraigh

Cian joined Kildare Youth Theatre when he was 16. After his BA degree he gained a place on a playwriting programme facilitated by Dylan Coburn Grey. He then trained as a Drama Facilitator with Youth Theatre Ireland. He co-facilitated the weekly Caliban workshop, and creative writing projects.

Yakup Baş

Yakup Baş

European Solidarity Corps (Cultural Youth Worker)

Yakup is an actor who trained in Suleyman Demirel University in Turkey. He worked as a facilitator in different theatres, agencies and Isparta Social Services and Child Protection Institution. He also took part as an assistant director in several plays.

Email Yakup
Halit Kayacan

Halit Kayacan

European Solidarity Corps (Cultural Youth Worker)

Halit is an Actor from Turkey. He has graduated from Acting Department and been in many plays before collage, during and after. Also, he has managed many drama activities and plays. He has worked with all ages people from 7 to 70 and has taught them what is creative drama and theatre with stage performances. He has written a few plays for children and some of them have performed by some people who are they drama facilitators from all around Turkey. Also, he interested in with filmmaking, play and script writing. He is so excited for been working with people who’s eager for theatre and drama in Crooked House.

Email Halit
Ahmed Moussa

Ahmed Moussa

European Solidarity Corps (Cultural Youth Worker)

Ahmed Moussa is a doctor, sexuality education consultant and a theatre actor who has been worked in creating and directing plays for more than 6 years. He studied theatre and contemporary dance in different open spaces for art in Egypt and Lebanon. He also studied theatre of oppression in The National Centre for Culture and Arts of King Hussein Foundation in Jorden. He recently used (Theatre Awareness Technique) in delivering health messages regarding reproductive and sexual health. He travelled around the world as he believed that art specially theatre can make a social impact and change in people lives.

Email Ahmed
Ceday Kircali

Ceday Kircali

European Solidarity Corps (Cultural Youth Worker)

Ceday is an actor who trained in Suleyman Demirel University in Turkey. He started to build an interest into theatre during his high school years. Before he started his college, he made a theatre for kids tour with Simal Drama School. Furthermore, he participated in psychology workshops about how to develop a character more accurately. He has been actively taken part in theatre projects since then. During period of his acting school, he acted various plays and film projects. Asides his acting school he worked as an animator with children in hotels. He believes drama is a hugely effective to build better communities.

Email Ceday
Pauline Sartori

Pauline Sartori

European Solidarity Corps (Cultural Youth Worker)

Pauline is 23 and comes from France. She's a dancer/performers, choreographer and administrator. At the age of 15, she left the family cocoon in northern France to begin her choreographic and theatre studies (Conservatoires régionaux de Metz et Boulogne-Billancourt, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Cours Florent Paris and Jeune Ballet de Cobosmika in Catalonia). At these schools, she obtained her Diplôme d'Études Chorégraphiques (D.E.C.) and shared her ideas through several group creations. In 2020, she decides to experiment with cultural project management and joins the Institut d'Études Supérieurs des Arts in Paris. During the three years she spent at the school, she had the opportunity to work with a variety of theatre and dance companies, notably at the festival d'Avignon as a production assistant and as a coordinator at the Ménagerie de verre (the first place in Paris dedicated to contemporary dance). At the same time, she created and performed a contemporary dance solo for the Oxfam France association's "Nuit d'encre" event. This year, Pauline graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Performing Arts Production, having initiated the artistic event Reflet de scène.

Email Pauline
Muhammad Zakaria

Muhammad Zakaria

European Solidarity Corps (Cultural Youth Worker)

Mohamad Zakaria is an Egyptian actor director and playwright He holds a Bachelor degree from Faculty of Arts Department of Theatre Acting and Directing Division After graduating he continued working as an actor and tv commercial model then he studied screenwriting and he wrote couple of short films.

Muhammad Farajalla

Muhammad Farajalla

Video Editor

Mohammed is a filmmaker from Jordan. He worked for NGOs, and used his film portfolio to get two scholarships in filmmaking. He always tries to shed the light on social conflicts through the art of filmmaking. He worked as a trainer on filmmaking and he also has social media platforms where he makes tutorials on video and audio production.

Pasha Mikhailov

Pasha Mikhailov

Mobility Projects Assistant

Pavel (pronounced Paul and written in Cyrillic as Павел Михайлов) has graduated with a Masters in Linguistics in Moscow. He took part in theatre and directing workshops since childhood and in university (supported by the Voznesensky Centre in Moscow. Pavel was a stage assistant in projects in Austria and a volunteer in South Korea.

Berta Sipos

Berta Sipos

ESC Volunteer Mentor

Berta Sipos is a former volunteer in Crooked House. Based in France, she got a masters degree in Performing arts. She did her research on contemporary Norwegian theater plays. Currently she is a drama facilitator collaborating with different organizations and educational settings.

Email Berta
Daria Kozlova

Daria Kozlova

Daria first got a degree in Economics and later studied as a puppeteer at the Russian State University of Performing Arts in St Petersburg. She has also worked as a tutor for young people (12-18 years), as a team leader in camps for teens. She volunteered on our ESC project in 2022. Daria is a mentor for some of our ESC volunteers.

Georgina Kakoudaki

Georgina Kakoudaki

Acting Coach

Georgina is a theatre director, dramaturg and arts pedagogue from Athens, Greece. She teaches dramaturgy, theatre history and acting in drama and cinema schools. She is collaborating with the Crooked House in various programs both in Greece and in Ireland and she is also an acting Coache in Crooked House.

Email Georgina
Jerry Iwu

Jerry Iwu

Jerry is an actor who trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. he was in Kildare Youth Theatre for many years. Jerry has appeared in Sex Education and Sister Boniface Mysteries. He helps younger, aspiring performers to audition with one-to-one monologue work on our Dréimire programme.

Mary Linehan

Mary Linehan

Chairperson

Mary was the Arts Officer for Kildare County Council until 2001, when she became Home School & Community Liaison Officer for Scoil Mhuire here in Newbridge. Mary trained as an actor with Deirdre O’ Connell in the Focus Studio in Dublin. She has written plays for young audiences and directed for Kildare Youth Theatre.

Evonne Boland

Evonne Boland

Evonne retired from the International Private Banking and Hedge Funds sector to raise her family in Newbridge. Evonne is chairperson of Newbridge Tidy Towns Association and Newbridge Community Development. She co-founded the Cottage Market in Newbridge and is a member of the Kildare. Environmental Network.

Mary Doyle

Mary Doyle

Mary retired from the financial sector and now works in the area of services for people with additional needs. She has performed locally in amateur drama, and in early Crooked House shows in the 1990s, as well as helped organise local arts festivals. She is a proud supporter of our young people and our work, promoting the organisation locally.

Jerry Iwu

Jerry Iwu

Jerry is an actor who trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. he was in Kildare Youth Theatre for many years. Jerry has appeared in Sex Education and Sister Boniface Mysteries. He helps younger, aspiring performers to audition with one-to-one monologue work on our Dréimire programme.

Charlie Hughes Farrell

Charlie Hughes Farrell

Charlie joined Kildare Youth Theatre when he was 12 acting in several plays that travelled Europe and one that was staged in the National Theatre in London. He trained in Film, Digital Media and French in NUI Galway. He manages our website and assists with our European projects.

Our Values

Artistic Quality
Our work aims to have a professional standard. We want it to be engaging to watch, and to be positively challenging for the performer and audience alike. It should take artistic risks. It should be intelligent in scope, depth and style. We aim to direct and support the performers to strive to be as skilful (in voice, physicality and acting) as they can be given their age and circumstances.
Social Justice
Our programmes are free because of a strong belief in social justice. We believe that every young person should have access to theatre-making and film-making, regardless of their ability to pay for it. We are against charging teenagers fees for artistic expression and exploration. We believe this is a service that the state should pay for, as it pays for education and health. Our concerns for a socially just world are reflected in all of the plays we make, and in the themes of all the projects we run internationally. We try to challenge homophobia, racism, and unfair oppression of minorities. We espouse liberal values and often radical ideas that may cause controversy, but we welcome debate.
Collaboration
All our projects aim to be collaborative in nature. That is, that everyone involved gets the chance and space to share their relevant skills and appropriate ideas if they wish to; that we speak up when the group needs us to, and step back when others need to be heard or seen; that the leaders and directors are equally able to develop their ideas and opinions, and to share their skills; and that creative, independent thinking is encouraged.
Extrospection
We highly value a focus on the world that is outside of our personal selves and is, instead, on culture, politics, society, and people. We are not focused on therapy or on introspection, although they may be by-products of our work. We value people who get involved in community, who think of more than their own development, who are attentive to the needs and wellbeing of others, and who take the risk of being social, engaged, polite and interested in the people around them.
Freedom of Expression
We believe in the freedom of expression, and in dealing with the consequences that come with this human right. We support debate, difference of opinion, passionate argument, rows, clashes of ideas, apologies, changes of mind, and the freedom for others to challenge you and to disagree with what you say. We advocate for researched opinion, reasoned argument and genuine enquiry that opens up discussion rather than closes debate or that confirms prejudice. We do not believe that there is such a thing as 'bad' language: all language is powerful. While language can be used to hurt, provoke or incite, we strive to equip young people with the skills needed to listen, assess, decide and respond.
Intellectualism
Our theatre is a place for the exchange of ideas. Intellectualism is welcome, nerds find a home here. We strive to provoke research, to uplift with thinking, and to discuss and share ideas with our groups and with our audiences. That does not mean that we exclude others. People who favour feeling and emotional expression are always welcome, and those with additional learning needs will be supported and encouraged. We believe in sharing stimulating and complex ideas and in not dumbing down our work. We trust in the native intelligence of participants providing plays, workshops and projects that demand concentrated engagement.
Diversity
Having a variety of different people around us inspires us. We are excited by other cultures, working together with different ages, genders, nationalities, and personality types. We value multicultural groups and mixed ethnicity groups. Our programmes include bringing young actors and artists from outdie the EU, from Arab and Muslim cultures, and from African and Asian backgrounds, to our space for a year. We try to find places in our work for everyone regardless of ability or experience.
Ownership
We strive to give our young people a strong sense of ownership over Crooked House and Kildare Youth Theatre. Our programmes are designed based on their expressed needs. They are consulted and encouraged to take part in all aspects of the organisation. We encourage work experience for TY students, and part-time employment for those with the skills we need from time to time. We believe that if an organisation really values ownership as a principle than the stakes should be high. Ownership is not something we take lightly. Therefore, we give keys to the premises to people who need them, and who are over 17, and who have been involved with us for at least 2 years on a regular weekly basis. They may need to use the studio for audition preparation, or to wait for a bus home, or meet at lunch, or do homework or study, or work on their own creative projects. They receive training in what their responsibilities are, and they are not permitted to be there on their own until they are 18, or to bring in non-members, or to remain after 10.00pm.
Kindness
We value kindness above most things. Selection to take part in international exchanges is based as much on knowing that the person is kind as it is on knowing that they are talented. Kindness and compassion extend to our treatment of others, of animals, and of the environment. We make programmes that aim to enhance and develop this value in all involved.
Previous slide
Next slide
Artistic Quality
Our work aims to have a professional standard. We want it to be engaging to watch, and to be positively challenging for the performer and audience alike. It should take artistic risks. It should be intelligent in scope, depth and style. We aim to direct and support the performers to strive to be as skilful (in voice, physicality and acting) as they can be given their age and circumstances.
Social Justice
Our programmes are free because of a strong belief in social justice. We believe that every young person should have access to theatre-making and film-making, regardless of their ability to pay for it. We are against charging teenagers fees for artistic expression and exploration. We believe this is a service that the state should pay for, as it pays for education and health. Our concerns for a socially just world are reflected in all of the plays we make, and in the themes of all the projects we run internationally. We try to challenge homophobia, racism, and unfair oppression of minorities. We espouse liberal values and often radical ideas that may cause controversy, but we welcome debate.
Collaboration
All our projects aim to be collaborative in nature. That is, that everyone involved gets the chance and space to share their relevant skills and appropriate ideas if they wish to; that we speak up when the group needs us to, and step back when others need to be heard or seen; that the leaders and directors are equally able to develop their ideas and opinions, and to share their skills; and that creative, independent thinking is encouraged.
Extrospection
We highly value a focus on the world that is outside of our personal selves and is, instead, on culture, politics, society, and people. We are not focused on therapy or on introspection, although they may be by-products of our work. We value people who get involved in community, who think of more than their own development, who are attentive to the needs and wellbeing of others, and who take the risk of being social, engaged, polite and interested in the people around them.
Freedom of Expression
We believe in the freedom of expression, and in dealing with the consequences that come with this human right. We support debate, difference of opinion, passionate argument, rows, clashes of ideas, apologies, changes of mind, and the freedom for others to challenge you and to disagree with what you say. We advocate for researched opinion, reasoned argument and genuine enquiry that opens up discussion rather than closes debate or that confirms prejudice. We do not believe that there is such a thing as 'bad' language: all language is powerful. While language can be used to hurt, provoke or incite, we strive to equip young people with the skills needed to listen, assess, decide and respond.
Intellectualism
Our theatre is a place for the exchange of ideas. Intellectualism is welcome, nerds find a home here. We strive to provoke research, to uplift with thinking, and to discuss and share ideas with our groups and with our audiences. That does not mean that we exclude others. People who favour feeling and emotional expression are always welcome, and those with additional learning needs will be supported and encouraged. We believe in sharing stimulating and complex ideas and in not dumbing down our work. We trust in the native intelligence of participants providing plays, workshops and projects that demand concentrated engagement.
Diversity
Having a variety of different people around us inspires us. We are excited by other cultures, working together with different ages, genders, nationalities, and personality types. We value multicultural groups and mixed ethnicity groups. Our programmes include bringing young actors and artists from outdie the EU, from Arab and Muslim cultures, and from African and Asian backgrounds, to our space for a year. We try to find places in our work for everyone regardless of ability or experience.
Ownership
We strive to give our young people a strong sense of ownership over Crooked House and Kildare Youth Theatre. Our programmes are designed based on their expressed needs. They are consulted and encouraged to take part in all aspects of the organisation. We encourage work experience for TY students, and part-time employment for those with the skills we need from time to time. We believe that if an organisation really values ownership as a principle than the stakes should be high. Ownership is not something we take lightly. Therefore, we give keys to the premises to people who need them, and who are over 17, and who have been involved with us for at least 2 years on a regular weekly basis. They may need to use the studio for audition preparation, or to wait for a bus home, or meet at lunch, or do homework or study, or work on their own creative projects. They receive training in what their responsibilities are, and they are not permitted to be there on their own until they are 18, or to bring in non-members, or to remain after 10.00pm.
Kindness
We value kindness above most things. Selection to take part in international exchanges is based as much on knowing that the person is kind as it is on knowing that they are talented. Kindness and compassion extend to our treatment of others, of animals, and of the environment. We make programmes that aim to enhance and develop this value in all involved.
Previous slide
Next slide