Created in 1976 in West Yorkshire, England, IOU is a theatre company that embraces innovation and deconstruction of the status quo. Formed from an international talent pool of actors, poets, musicians, actors and technicians, it acts as a collaboration hub for independent artists who aim to create impactful works and push the dramatic medium.
Despite being a theatre company, IOU's main hope is not purely to create dramatic works but also inspire others to create as well. IOU regularly takes in new volunteers, and holds workshops called "Making It" in which experienced artists teach the skills of their craft. Making It In June 2014 (http://www.ioutheatre.org/events/making-it-in-june-460) consisted of John Coombes, a local animator and film-maker, simply teaching his process of drawing to those enrolled.
Their collaborative mentality is that of unconventionality and immersion. Each piece of theatre is meant to take the audience's senses and invert them in a way that is foreign yet familiar. For example, Eye Witness from 2001 is " a video installation commissioned by the Tramway in Glasgow depicting a series of intriguing scenes from ill-fated adventures, where people in a variety of mortal dangers are projected onto the walls, floors and ceiling all around the observer."
Even Fulcrum, mentioned previously, is only a detailed diorama of a woman's journey through a town literally transformed by technology. Each piece aims to think outside the box in it's own method as opposed to staying in the confines of what we call Modern Theatre. More importantly, IOU acts as a resource centre to enable artists to work from and gather not only tools, but connections. (It is wholly independent. Registered Charity Number 273527.)