Dante or Die makes bold and ambitious site-specific performances that tour across the country and internationally. We gently transform ordinary spaces to create unique and intimate theatrical experiences.
Led by co-founders Daphna Attias and Terry O’Donovan, our original productions interrogate and celebrate contemporary human stories that take place in everyday buildings - from hotel rooms to swimming pools to cafés.
We have collaborated with leading arts venues across the UK including Traverse Theatre, The Lowry & The Almeida alongside grassroots organisations in the localities in which we make work. Dante or Die are SITELINES Associate Artists at South Street Reading, which champions performance in unusual locations.
Making performances in different spaces opens up unexpected and exciting opportunities to create wide-ranging partnerships with organisations, businesses and communities, locally, nationally and internationally. We collaborate with local people wherever we work, whether that’s in our research phase, in rehearsals or spreading the word about seeing a show or getting involved. You can read more about this here.
The team at Dante or Die is passionate about developing audiences, and making our projects open to as many people in every community that we work. This includes a commitment to embedding BSL interpretation or captioning in all performances. Our participation and training initiatives nurture new talent, helping young people and those changing career paths to find employment in the arts.
The name Dante or Die comes from the site where Daphna and Terry first made a site-specific performance together in the skate park of Kennington Park many years ago. The grafitti containing the words Dante or Die are still scrawled there...
Co-Artistic Directordaphna@danteordie.com peutetretheatre.co.uk Biography
"Immense care is taken to create a feeling of intimacy. Under Daphna Attias’s direction, Terry treads around tables, his live monologue gently filtering into our ears." - The Guardian on User Not Found
Daphna is Co-Artistic Director of Dante or Die Theatre. She has directed all of the company's work to date.
She is also Artistic Director of Peut-Être Theatre, where she creates unforgettable early theatrical experiences. Her directorial work with Peut-Être includes Tidy Up, Shh...Bang!, The Tin Soldier, Dare to Sea, Draw me a Bird, The Bug and the Butterfly & This is a That. In 2017 she received a prestigious Action for Children's Arts Members Award for her prolific theatre productions which now tour the world.
Her work has been presented and performed nationally and internationally at venues such as Almeida Theatre, Roundhouse, Royal Albert Hall, Brighton Festival, Southbank Centre, The Place, Royal Opera House, The Lowry, Barnsley Civic, The Arc Stockton, The Egg Bath, Polka Theare, National Theatre's Watch This Space, Drama Centre Singapore, Ziguzajg Festival Malta, Israel Festival for Children in Israel.
Co-Artistic Directorterry@danteordie.com tootmaketheatre.org.uk Biography
"It feels like a privilege to listen to and watch O’Donovan so intimately." - The Stage on Terry's acclaimed performance in User Not Found
Terry has worked as an actor, director and producer since 2005. As Co-Artistic Director of Dante or Die he has co-created all productions and performed in most. He specialises in creating intimate and immersive performances.
In 2012 he co-founded TOOT to make Ten Out of Ten, an Ovalhouse commission toured throughout 2013 & 2014. Since then he has co-created Be Here Now and Focus Group* which have both toured the UK. The company has collaborated with a variety of organisations such as Shoreditch Town Hall, Cambridge Junction, South Street & New Wolsey Theatre to make accessible and challenging interactive work.
On The Wire, Terry's original production for Irish company Wildebeest Theatre was nominated for Best Production in The Irish Times Theatre Awards in 2015. Other directing credits include The Secret Princess of Severndroog (Look Left Look Right commission for Greenwich & Docklands International Festival), Bread Not Profits by Mike Finn (Belltable, Ireland) & Blackout R&D (China Plate with Katie Lyons & Ella Grace).
Sophie Ignatieff is an experienced creative producer who has produced in house and touring productions across a range of scales and audiences for West Yorkshire Playhouse, Manchester International Festival and the National Theatre. Prior to joining Dante or Die, she was working freelance with independent companies Look Left Look Right and tiata fahodzi, as well as emerging theatre-maker Miriam Sherwood on the development and touring of her new cabaret, Rendezvous in Bratislava. She joined the Dante or Die team in April 2018, and collaborates across all live and upcoming projects including producing the current User Not Found and Take On Me.
Executive Producerlucy@danteordie.com Biography
Lucy Atkinson is a creative producer and consultant with a track record of artist and production development in a multi-disciplinary environment. Lucy’s expertise is in commissioning, creating and delivering festivals and productions with an emphasis on an artist led approach, site specific work and community engagement.
She was a Senior Producer at Roundhouse London from 2011 - 2017, responsible for developing and producing all Roundhouse performing arts commissions, productions and incoming shows. Developing partnerships and projects with companies and artists including Ron Arad, Conrad Shawcross, Akram Khan Company, Studio Wayne McGregor, Mark Storor, Tall Stories, Peut-Être, Look Left Look Right, NonZeroOne, FUEL, Paines Plough, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Opera House, the Royal Ballet, Sadler’s Wells and LIFT.
As Executive Producer for Dante or Die, Lucy leads on organisational strategy and business development. Lucy sits on the Board of Trustees at Stratford Circus in Newham London.
Associate Artistanna@danteordie.com Biography
Anna Woolhouse is a contemporary dancer, choreographer and theatre practitioner who trained in the UK at London Contemporary Dance School and Northern School of Contemporary Dance. She has worked on five productions with Dante or Die since 2010 in varying roles as a performer, devisor, workshop leader and rehearsal director. She specialises in developing the physical language of site-specific venues, using her experience in dance to inform the interpretation of narrative within real working spaces.
Outside of her role as Associate Artist, Anna performs regularly with Peut-Etre Theatre touring nationally and internationally in shows Tidy Up and Shh.Bang! as a performer and devisor. She has previously preformed and devised works with Emergency Exit Arts, Maresa Van Stockert’s Tilted Productions, Birdsnest Theatre, Imogen Knight, visual artists including Genetic Moo, Lucy Thane and Dan Chilcott, and BAFTA award winning director Aneil Karia. Music video credits include Deptford Goth, Slow Club and BYFYN.
Rebecca Atkinson-Lord, Daphna Attias, Gemma Cook, Faith Dodkins, Liz Eddy, Gareth James, Terry O'Donovan, Tom Smith, Jen Tait, Lib Taylor, Vicky Wilson.