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Helen Denning

Creative Freelancer (She/Her)

What I do:

Hi! I’m Helen, a creative freelancer with skills in digital and social media coordination, content creation, photography, theatrical producing, directing and acting.
Company Manager and Co-Founder of Black Bright Theatre Company. We create female-led, story-driven theatre with complex female characters at the forefront.
Based in Sheffield.

What steps I took to get where I am now:

After sixth form, I earned a place on the Foundation Acting course at Birmingham Conservatoire (formally Birmingham School of Acting) and achieved a distinction. At the University of Sheffield, I studied for a degree in Philosophy and Religion. My fervour for the arts continued at Sheffield University Theatre Company, here developing myself as a core Producer on a variety of productions and was elected as the society secretary in my final year.

During the 2020 lockdown, I used the skills I had developed to produce and co-direct a play written by my friend and collaborator, the result of which was the feminist, post-apocalyptic horror play The Hunger.

In July 2021, I started a 9-month traineeship at Sheffield Theatres working in the Programming, Fundraising, and Communications departments. At the same time, as a result of The Hunger’s success, I became the company manager of the newly established Black Bright Theatre Company. In spring 2022 we embarked on a successful two-week tour around northern England.

From March 2022 – January 2023 I held the position of Communication and Press Officer (maternity cover) at Theatre Royal Wakefield. This is when I became aware of how much creativity and culture Wakefield has to offer. I previously worked as a freelancer with Creative Wakefield as their Digital and Social Media Co-ordinator.

What creative opportunities I'm looking for:

Creative Producing, theatre producing/creative team, social media coordinating, networking, funding.

My proudest moment:

In my second year of university, I raised over £2000 for Sheffield-based Cavendish Cancer Care when I produced the 24 Hour Musical with Sheffield University Theatre Company (SUTCo). This was my very first experience as a producer!
The 24 Hour Musical was planned by a small production team over a period of 8 months before we revealed to the cast, crew, musicians and public that we were performing Grease. 24 hours later, after a lot of rehearsal and very little rest, it was show time!

My dream creative collaboration:

Working on a stop motion project. If Aardman Productions want me, they’ve got me!

What does Wakefield mean to me?
Creative discovery, opportunity, and world-class culture.
Digital Technology
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