With another hat on, as a member and co-founder of Beverley Arts Trust, Anna founded Beverley Puppet Festival in 2005 with just 5 companies in attendance, which has continued as a biennial festival since 2006 with the support of Arts Council England, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Beverley Town Council and later Wykeland’s Flemingate Centre. In 2015 the festival won the Remarkable Hull and East Yorkshire Tourism Award for the best small tourism event of 2014. Anna continues to be a co-artistic director of this festival, which by 2018 involved over 30 companies.
Having come from a family of artists, Anna at first studied Stained Glass Design & Printmaking (BA Hons) at Edinburgh College of Art, followed later by postgraduate studies at Chelsea School of Art & Design. In 1991 she studied puppetry in India at Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal, Udaipur, also in Ahmedabad with Mahipat & Leela Kavi. After this a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (in secondary schools) at Middlesex University enabled her to start developing the education side of her work.
After spending a year at the Desmond Jones School of Mime and Physical Theatre in London, Anna became a freelance puppeteer, performing with various companies including Movingstage Marionette Company (on the Puppet Theatre Barge, 1993) and the Little Angel Theatre (1994). At this time she undertook a lot of work with her close friend and colleague Manju Gregory for her company Kabutar, which was a very formative and inspiring time. Other pillars of support and encouragement from this time were the marionettist Jane Eve and voice teacher Joyce Wren. From 1996-98 Anna lived in Indonesia studying Mask dances of Cirebon with Ibu Nunung Nurasih and traditional Wayang Golek rod puppetry with Pak Asep Sunandar Sunarya and his family in Bandung. She was also introduced to Wayang Kulit shadow puppets by Pak Ledjar Subroto (Yogyakarta).
In 1999, soon after her return to the UK she began trading as Indigo Moon Theatre, initially based in London. Since 2000 she has toured shows nationally in UK theatres, Schools and Arts Centres, and taken international engagements in Singapore, Barcelona, Indonesia, Germany & Abu Dhabi.
Alongside her workshop activities in countless schools (both primary and secondary), throughout her freelance career she has worked on many educational projects in Museums and Arts Centres or Theatres such as The Barbican, London International Festival of Theatre, the British Museum, Abingdon Museum, the Commonwealth Institute, the Mousetrap Foundation, the Ragged School Museum, the Geffrye Museum, The Horniman Museum, Somerset House, the Theatre Museum, the V&A, the Unicorn Theatre and the Young Vic. She has also been involved in many projects for film and TV, including The Storymakers for CBeebies.
For 2 academic years between 2001 and 2002 Anna worked as a visiting tutor teaching The Puppet as an Educational Tool and Puppetry and Special Needs on the HND Puppet Theatre Arts Course at the Scottish Mask & Puppet Centre (at the time accredited by Anniesland College of FE, Glasgow).
In 2004 Anna returned to her home town of Beverley, East Yorkshire and in 2017 moved to Hull. Since 2004 the company toured to more diversely located regions of the UK. From 2005 – 2011, between theatre touring, she carried out ten Creative Partnerships residencies with Haviel Perdana in primary schools in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, N. Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire.
Though continuing to tour, in Autumn 2012 Indigo Moon Theatre moved into their production space at Scrapstore, Hull, where they created a theatre, later to become Scrapstore’s Creative Hub. Their production workshop remains next door to this.