Joe Mackenzie


After graduating from the University of York with a degree in Writing, Directing & Performance in 2015, Yoshi toured with The Flanagan Collective’s all-female production of Romeo and Juliet (MAC Birmingham, ArtsTheatre). Yoshi has performed in all of Mind Over Matter's productions thus far, whilst being a talented musician and singer with York-based band LUUNA. Her other acting credits include: Mary in Bryony Lavery’s Nothing Compares to You; Colette in Marivaux’s Les Acteurs, (Black Box and Scenic Stage Theatre), Martha in Polly Stenham's That Face (The Drama Barn) and My Mother Medea by Holger Schober (Theatre Cafe Festival; York Theatre Royal; Company of Angels). 

Jason founded the collective after rallying a group of people together in 2015, to bring Mick Gordon's On Ego to life. He is a recent graduate of MA Screen - Acting at Drama Centre London. He graduated in Writing, Directing & Performance from the University of York in 2015, where he also gained experience in refined puppetry design and construction. Jason wants to make theatre that is frantic, energetic and visceral; in it's subject as much as what you see on stage. He believes in theatre that interrogates an idea that you may never have come across before. Acting credits include
The Legend of King Arthur; Heading for Higher Ground, Twelfth Night (York Theatre Royal), The Smoke of Home (Bloomsbury Theatre), Dostoyevsky's Demons (Common Ground Theatre/University of York), As Director: Where I Lay My Head [verbatim] (University of York). Spotlight: 3813-8949-7027


Ella Dixon


Vanessa Ostick

Tom Leatherbarrow


Katie Barclay

Oliver Brassell

Katie specialised in Producing and Stage Management whilst studying at the University of York, and graduated in 2015. Katie is experienced in creative theatre marketing, as well as having marketed for Film Events (Press & Publicity, LUMA Film Fest, 2015). She creates all images and printed and promotional material for Mind Over Matter. Katie takes both a creative and organizational role in the company. Whilst at York she produced and DSM'd many productions including Room for Debate [Verbatim]; La Dispute by Marivaux; On Ego by Mick Gordon; (Department of Theatre, Film and Television), Black Box & Scenic Stage Theatres, Mother's Ruin by Rosie O'Sullivan [New Writing], Upstage Theatre York; The Pitchfork Disney by Philip Ridley; Lord of the Flies by William Golding; (The Drama Barn) and Nothing Compares to You ​by Bryony Lavery

Amy Warren

Ella is a freelance Stage Manager. She also graduated in Writing, Directing and Performance but has a plethora of skills under her belt. Whilst at York Ella undertook a variety of back stage roles in almost all of the production our other members were involved with. Ella loves it when a good technical challenge is presented to her. Which is just as well, as the multimedia focus of Mind Over Matter’s productions gives Ella plenty to get her teeth into. Outside of Mind Over Matter, Ella is usually touring the country as a Technical Stage Manager, this year working on Love, Bombs and Apples, Melancholy, Be Brave and Slot Machine with Turtle Key Arts and Certain Dark Things Theatre Company. Ella has just finished working on Bryony Lavery's Her Aching Heart at the Hope Theatre.  Ella's creative mind and technical ability is what makes our shows happen!

Whilst studying Writing, Directing and Performance at the University of York, Anna specialised in set and costume design. Crucial to the designing process for Anna is ensuring that the design becomes a seamless part of the storytelling.  An additional challenge is presented in the stylistic projections that have become a signature part of Mind Over Matter productions. Anna loves working with other designers to create the final look of a Mind Over Matter show and aims for the design to be a tool for the other creatives to use in order to tell their story. Anna has designed for both student and professional productions at venues including; The Department of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York, York Theatre Royal, The Drama Barn, The Secret Garden Party Festival and Upstage Theatre. Theatre (design) includes; On Ego, Helver's Night, Lord of the Flies, Room for Debate, La Dispute, Jezebel and Theatre Cafe Festival, York Theatre Royal. 


Jason Ryall

Adam is an actor and writer, and joined the Mind Over Matter team as a Press and Publicity Officer in August 2016 after having an itch to be a part of the collective since its inception in 2015. He has been a longtime reviewer for London-based company A Younger Theatre, and also writes and reviews for Exeunt Magazine as their Northern correspondent. He also works with York Theatre Royal and writes professionally for the University's Alumni Department, and is about to graduate in Writing, Directing and Performance this year.

Harry Whittaker

Lauren Moakes

Adam Bruce


Amy works as a movement director on all of Mind Over Matter's productions. Her work is integral to every piece of work we make. Amy is a lover of body language and expression, and believes the body can express as much, if not more, than words. Her approach is centered around connecting emotion to physicality, and is particularly interested in movement psychology.  Her work seeks to represent action through movement. Amy graduated with a First Class Honours in Writing, Directing & Performance from the University of York in 2015. She is also an experienced dancer and is a member of both The National Youth Theatre and the National Youth Music Theatre. As Director: Greek by Stephen Berkoff, Two by Jim Cartwright. As Assistant Dir./Movement Dir: Where I Lay My Head [verbatim], La Dispute by Marivaux , Igor Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale (University of York) and Romeo and Juliet ​(Union Theatre). 

Meet the team



Oliver Henn


Harry Graduated from the University of York with a degree in Writing, Directing & Performance, alongside a myriad of comedy and radio accolades. Harry won Best Entertainment (Gold) at the 2015 Student Radio Awards and can now be heard everyday as Harry Hometime on Minster FM's drive time show. Whilst at York Harry was a member of York’s Premier Improv Troupe, The Shambles and has appeared with them for four years running at the Edinburgh Fringe. Harry hosted The Harry Whittaker Show on URY from 2012-2015 alongside performing with York Comedy Society. Acting credits whilst at York include Razor in The Provoked Wife  by John Vanbrugh, Otway in Playhouse Creatures by April D'Angelis (Department of Theatre, Film & Television), Hugo in Posh by Laura Wade and Ian in An Evening with Gary Lineker by Arthur Smith and Chris England. 

Anna Mawn

Yoshika Colwell

Scott specializes in original music composition for theatre, and in his own words 'adds to the pot whilst it's cooking'. Scott is often present in a Mind Over Matter rehearsal room, working closely with the technical and creative teams, providing both theatrical and musical inspiration. Scott graduated from the University of York in 2016 in Writing, Directing and performance, but also harbors a love for film production. Whilst in York he collaborated on many film projects with the neighboring Film & Television Production course. Recent composing credits include: [Sound design] Vernon God Little, Dir. Connor Abbott; Hyde Park, Dir. Michael Cordner (Department of Theatre, Film and Television); State of Affairs, Dir. Connor Abbott (Camden People's Theatre)

Oliver graduated from York in Writing, Directing and Performance in 2014. Since then he trained in repertory for two years with Fourth Monkey Theatre Company, joining Mind Over Matter for their 2016 Edinburgh run. His theatre credits include, Odysseus in The Odyssey, Terrorism by the Presnyakov brothers (Fourth Monkey), Presley in Philip Ridley's The Pitchfork Disney, Katurian in Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, Toby in Laura Wade's Posh, Larry in Patrick Marber's Closer (University of York). Spotlight: 1892-4506-6206

Scott J Hurley


Oliver moved from New York three years ago to study Writing, Directing & Performance at the University of York. Specialising in acting whilst studying, Oliver's theatre credits include: Vernon in Vernon God Little by DCB Pierre/Tanya Ronder, Dir. Connor Abbott ; Alex in On Ego by Mick Gordon (Department of Theatre, Film and Television), Kerry/Liputin in Dostoyevsky's Demons (Common Ground Theatre), Scenic Stage Theatre/The Fleeting Arms, Dir. Tom Cornford, and Earl Rivers in Richard III, Dir. Joseph D'Angelo.

Joe has been a freelance dramaturg since 2015, working with companies to bring academia and research into their creative processes. Beginning as a historian at the University of York with a love for theatre, he has brought research and an analytical eye to develop devised and scripted work. Working with Mind Over Matter he maintains a flow of scientific research to stimulate the artistic process and takes the audience's perspective whilst in the rehearsal room to oversee development. Previous works with other companies include Company by Sondheim, Two by Jim Cartwright and Romeo and Juliet ​at The Union Theatre. Published works include: "The Merger of Three Cultures," Myanmar Studies Journal (No.5), Dec. 2015.

Tom graduated from the University of York with a BSc in Film and Television Production. Tom is a freelance film director and camera operator. He creates all of Mind Over Matter's visual material. Tom is the man behind what you see projected in our shows, and all of our promotional material. He is also Artistic Director of Datura Productions; a film and theatre production company based in Manchester UK.  Primarily a film maker, Tom dabbles in cinema's older cousin, having directed all Datura's theatre productions, bar one. Credits include Disco Pigs by Enda Walsh and Gaggle of Saints by Neil LaBute (The Fleeting Arms, York), A Clockwork Orange (The Drama Barn), Obisidian by Kate Burke (Kings Arms, Manchester). He is to shoot his film After The Sea in Spring 2017, as part of Datura's mental health season.


Vanessa is a freelance producer who came to join the team in early 2016 in the run up to our Edinburgh run. Vanessa makes sure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes. She is also the company's Deputy Stage Manager and makes sure every technical cue runs at exactly the right time. Vanessa graduated In Writing, Directing and Performance in 2016 and is also a member of The National Youth Theatre. She has previously worked with The Belgrade Theatre's Youth Theatre. Vanessa took on many different roles whilst at York, recently producing a Comedy Double Bill including The Suitors ​by Jean Racine and George Dandin by Moliere in the Department of Theatre, Film & Television. As Director: This Is a Public Announcement [verbatim] (University of York/York Theatre Royal/National Railway Museum)



Lauren is an actress and theatre director. She founded Mind Over Matter whilst studying Writing, Directing & Performance at the the University of York, and is currently studying on the one year course in Acting at The Oxford School of Drama, graduating in 2017. Lauren loves nothing more than seeing a good plan come together. She loves an intense, knotty, collaborative rehearsal process and the company of the people she works with. She likes theatre that is bold and emotionally engulfing. Lauren is a member of the Young Vic's Director's Programme & Genesis Network, and of the National Youth Theatre. In 2012 she trained with the Royal Shakespeare Company as a company member of Pericles (The Courtyard Theatre). As a theatre director: Snowflakes by Hannah Davies (Company of Angels/York Theatre Royal); The Pitchfork Disney by Philip Ridley, Playhouse Creatures by April D'Angelis (University of York), This Isn't Over Till Everybody Gets High, (Etcetera Theatre). 

Mind Over Matter are an eclectic bunch with a range of different skills in film, composing, movement, performance, technical design and even history and philosophy. We met at the University of York, and it was here and in the York area that various members collaborated with others on lots of different projects.
Mind Over Matter was created in 2015 and has since expanded to both a London and York base, recruiting more creatives, curious minds and technical skills.
We'd still love to meet many more passionate people to collaborate with and we love a good chat. ​
​If you want to get in touch with any of us: