SPECIFIQ was founded in 2011 to create site-specific theatre based on true stories in the places where those stories originally happened. Every SPECIFIQ production seeks to highlight the factors that make its site unique; our shows offer a dynamic way to expose parts of a building that would otherwise remain unseen. Whether the history of a site, or the story of a person, we believe there is something truly magical about our brand of theatrical archaeology.
Site-specific theatre is at its most effective when it is just that – specific to its site.
Send us an email, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook with the links below.
For almost 200 years, autumn has brought a buzz of excitement to Durham Castle: a new class of students, stumbling in with gusto and trepidation. Within weeks, this Castle, England’s most enduring symbol of the Norman Conquest, will become their home. Its stories linger - tales of pranks, camaraderie, the thrill of victory and the shock of tragedy.
Warped by the weight of its own history, the Black Staircase is out of bounds. From steps worn smooth, legends abound.
The Black Staircase was performed in association with the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Durham in November 2011 and sold-out every performance.
The Black Staircase
The sumptuous rooms of Micklefield Hall play host to a roaring 1920s party, a gathering of old and new friends, a celebration of spring and a toast to the coming summer. Roam freely through this evening of romance and revelation, as six friends weave their sides of the story around the labyrinthine house, drawing their guests into an immersive world of chiffon and champagne.
Whisky Dusk played a sell-out run in May 2012 at Micklefield Hall, in Hertfordshire.
Oscar Blustin has directed immersive or site-specific theatre in sites across the UK, including Micklefield Hall, Alnwick Castle, Bolton Castle, Horton Priory, Great White End, Charlton Park, Glemham Hall, and Mapperton Gardens, and is committed to exploring new ways of writing for non-theatre spaces.
In 2009 and 2010, Oscar ran the week-long Durham Drama Festival and devoted it to supporting emerging writers, a cause he continues to promote with SPECIFIQ. Oscar works frequently in America, and has directed full-scale productions in regional American theatres, most recently ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at Northern Stage, VT, as well as running workshops in New York and lecturing on theatre at Keene State College, NH. Oscar has also directed international touring productions of ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Macbeth’, and was awarded 5 stars by the Daily Telegraph for a sketch comedy show he directed at Edinburgh Fringe 2011, described as “relentlessly hilarious…craftsmanlike in concept, writing, and delivery.”
Full biography available on request.
Adam Usden is a recent graduate of the Royal Court Studio Group. His first play, 'Steve And Then It Ended', premiered at the Hen and Chickens Theatre in London, received a day-long workshop and reading at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and is now being developed by Live Theatre, Newcastle. His new play, Hearts On Fire, was produced by Peculius Stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012. He is a double-winner of Short Cuts, a short play competition run by Live Theatre, and is currently developing a radio play with the BBC.
Seb Enser-Wight is a producer and project manager with worldwide experience. After starting in the industry as a lighting designer and working on a variety of events including award-winning theatre at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a gala concert at the Piccadilly Theatre and a private production in Windsor Castle for the Queen's 80th Birthday, Seb subsequently worked as a technical director focusing primarily on large-scale firework son-et-lumieres.
As a project co-ordinator, Seb has worked for a wide variety of clients including the launch of BAA’s Heathrow Terminal 5, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’ logo launch, the Vodafone Global Marketing Conference in Germany and the Saud Bahwan Lexus Launch in the Sultanate of Oman.
Seb production managed Lisa Kron’s 'Well' in the West End, and has recently returned from working on the Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe where he acted as a company manager for ‘When Angels Weep’.
Matt Jared brings nearly two decades of experience in the entertainment industry to SPECIFIQ. Currently, Matt is an Associate Producer for The King’s Speech on the West End/Broadway and an Executive Producer for the reality show American Vampires.
Matt produced the feature film, All God’s Creatures, and sold it to Osiris Entertainment for worldwide distribution. Previous projects include the Off-Broadway portion of the Castle Theatre Company’s UK/US tour of Macbeth, The Eternal Husband at the Off-Broadway house, La Mama, hundreds of “live streamed” programs for The Learning Annex/Yahoo, the web-series’ Bad Apples and Yogini as part of the core line-up of Clickvision.com, and more than a dozen commercials.
Tim Mackabee is a Set Designer working in the US and UK. His credits include: ‘Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth’ (Scenic Design/Broadway), ‘Fela!’ (Associate Set Designer/Broadway, West End, Africa, Amsterdam, US & UK Tour). Other associate/assistant: [title of show], How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Color Purple, Ring of Fire, ‘night, Wonderful Town and Little Women.
Regional: Yale Rep, Asolo Rep, Florida Stage, Philadelphia Theater Co., Maltz-Jupiter, North Shore Music Theatre, Northern Stage, Everyman Theatre, Studio Theatre, Weston Playhouse, Dance: Alchemy (Doug Varone & Dancers) Raw, Beyond The Red (National Tour), and Seed, all for Cedar Lake Dance. Corporate event design for Target stores.
BFA: North Carolina School of the Arts, MFA: Yale School of Drama.
Sarah Cubbage is a costume designer working in the US.
Sarah's credits include: Off-Broadway: Reflections of a Heart. Regional: MoM: A Rock Concert Musical, Mahida’s Extra Key to Heaven (New Jersey Playwrights); Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods (Premiere Stage); The Ladies Man, Corpse! (Curtain Call Theatre); Catch-22 (Aquila Theatre Company). Film: A Clerk’s Tale, dir. James Franco; So Over You, dir. Karen Odyniec. Dance: Sarah is the resident costume designer for Kate Weare Company and a frequent collaborator with Kyle Abraham, Radio Show (Bessie). Other NYC: Hater (Ohio Theatre); Alice In Wonderland (Center For Contemporary Opera); The Magic Flute (Manhattan School of Music); Don Giovanni (Hofstra). MFA: NYU; Member USA 829.
Brooke Wetzel Ciardelli is the founding artistic director of Northern Stage, USA. Brooke has directed over 65 productions in association with Northern Stage. She worked with Arthur Miller on his then-unpublished script ‘Resurrection Blues’ and has directed Patrick Stewart and Lisa Harrow in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’. Brooke has adapted a number of classical texts for the stage, all of which have been professionally produced. Currently she is adapting Arthur Miller’s ‘A View from the Bridge’ for a modern, Arab-American cast.
Giles Ramsay is an independent theatre director and producer who specialises in creating new work with artists in developing countries. He is the Founding Director of the charity Developing Artists, a Fellow of St Chad’s College, Durham University, and Course Leader in Modern Theatre at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Ben Starr is a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and has been an associate of SPECIFIQ since its inception.