Agata Krajewska MA - founder and director
Polish by birth, Agata arrived in the UK to study English language and literature at Emerson College and acting at Artemis School of Speech and Drama. Later she embarked on an international theatre tour with The Rose Theatre Company, when she first fell in love with the sense of presence she experienced on stage.
During her training in Play Therapy and Somatic Psychotherapy, she learnt about psychological development and the body.
She explored embodiment and presence as a student of Movement of Being for the past 18 years.
She is an experienced conscious dance teacher who facilitated"Live Connection" class with live music at Dartington Studio 6, Totnes Dance Collective and Exeter Barefoot Dance.
She was awarded an MA in Performance Training (Distinction) from Plymouth University.
She chairs "Stories for Change" Group, through which in 2017-2021 she led workshops for hundreds of women from various backgrounds, funded by National Lottery.
She is a co-director of School of Rough Diamonds which she founded with her partner Phil Barber.
Agata's particular interest is in performance as a tool for transformation and this she holds at the centre of her work. She founded what was initially Presence Theatre in 2007 and has been facilitating and developing her work since.
Co-director of the annual Totnes Solo Autobiographical Festival "Drop the Story"(www.dropthestory.co.uk), she has enjoyed creating her own solo shows, as well as enabling and directing others, producing 23 solo performances.
Agata developed a very intuitive, yet structured approach to working with people. She is known for her quirky humour and ability to go deep in gentle and unexpected ways. She has a great passion for supporting others in stepping forward with their gifts and releasing their stories.
Theatrical influences and experience include the work of:
Theatre of the Oppressed
Theatre of Witness
"As a young person, growing up in Poland I always felt connected to the miraculous nature of things, though the human world around me was challenging and confusing.
At the age of fourteen, I had a serious operation on my spine, which gave me the first sense of my mortality. Recovering from that experience took the largest part of my youth and taught me a lot about my nervous system and embodiment.
I first told my life story quite a few years ago to an on-going group I was a part of. Then I listened to nine other stories during our week together. There is a saying: "There isn't anybody you couldn't love if you've heard their story," and I found it to be true. Since listening to each person, my sense of them broadened and changed completely. Those little things that irritated me about them became precious battle scars to be respected.
Later, when I chose to share my story with my community, something profound happened. Something in me came to rest and "I let the story go". It was engaging and fun to continue crafting it and making it into a performance piece, but it didn't feel personal anymore. From then on I wanted other stories to be set free."