Notnow Collective was founded by Tina Hofman and Kristina Gavran out of necessity to make our caring roles visible and explore ways of integrating parenthood into both professional practice and quality theatre experience. We are rehearsing with our children present in the rehearsal room and we offer baby-friendly matinees to our audiences, making theatre accessible to parents and carers of small children. This is what we call baby-friendly and baby-proof.

We are both Croatian artists who (completely independently from each other and with some years apart) found their home in Birmingham. After having children we realised we still wanted to continue working as artists. Nevertheless, we soon realised this is not an easy option: theatre industry is notoriously inaccessible for parents and carers, both as audiences and as practitioners. Our roles as a parent/carer is better concealed within the industry and the range of work quite dramatically changes with having kids.

Were we able to soother both our babies and our ambition?

We came to accept the change. Of course, we had to: having kids can be a most dramatic change in one’s life. So, it was sure that our work was going to change, too. Whilst we were frustrated by the state of affairs on one side, we were also deeply inspired by the positive experiences we had with some of our colleagues and companies who respected our roles as parents/carers and professionals. A regular chilcare is not an option for us, so at times we have to make provision for having chidren at work. This surely makes for a very different place of work: sometimes very chaotic, and sometimes very focused and productive. Time is most highly valued. It also feeds another element into our artistic output, a sublime game between impossible and ridiculous.

TINA HOFMAN

x349 Tina trained in physical theatre at the Desmond Jones School, and got her degree from Rose Bruford College. She works internationally as performer, director and mentor. Tina is dedicated to exploring new performance forms and telling intimate forms. In 2012 she worked with the leading UK theatremaker Adrian Howells to develop Talking to Shiran, which investigates position of a pregnant performer and intimacy.

She works with Mala Scena (best independent Croatian theatre for 2013) and SKROZ Collective on devising and performing Story About Sound, a physical theatre piece for 0-5 year olds exploring sound and listening. In 2014 her proposal is selected for Conflux International Residency in Glasgow and there she develops Lucid Interval, a solo piece about sleeping alone after a sudden death of a loved one. She directed a varied range of projects: an outdoor TheMowgli Stories (Illyria Theatre), a promenade A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Taking Flight Theatre, Wales), numerous studio performances , Messy Jessie for Blue Orange Arts (a first theatre experience for young audiences) and That’s It?, a piece about loss aimed at Early Years (Tirena Theatre, Zagreb).

She also co-runs Dreamscape Theatre which co-produced critically acclaimed Turn of the Screw and Lady Chatterley’s Lover at Birmingham’s premier independent venue Blue Orange Theatre.

 KRISTINA GAVRAN

xphoto2Kristina Gavran is a writer and a dramaturg from Croatia. She got her MA at The Academy of Dramatic Arts (University of Zagreb) before training as an intern at Blue Orange Theatre in Birmingham, an opportunity funded by Erasmus Internship scholarship. Her play Ready was awarded the First Prize by the Croatian Ministry of Culture in 2012. The play was produced by zekaem, internationaly established Croatian theatre.

Kristina has written plays for children which were subsequently produced by numerous Croatian theatres: A Magic Cake (TheatreTirena), A Boy and his Kite (Theatre Scena Gorica), No, you not! (Theatre Mala Scena). She won two awards for the best play for children: A Boy and his Kite (2012) and Corruptivitis in the Mousetown (2013). Her plays were produced by Croatian National Radio, as well as published in anthologies and literary magazines.

In 2014 she was selected for REP Foundry programme for emerging writers and challenged herself to write in her second language, English. Kristina was selected for China Plate’s Optimist 2014 programme. She wrote and performed Translate This!, commissioned by mac, Birmingham and Stans Cafe. Her two pieces It’s easy to say I love you, isn’t it? and Life in a Suitcase were presented at the Pulse festival 2015. She wrote site specific piece Spiced Indian Air for RSC PILOT.