Proto-type are a company of multi-disciplinary artists led by Rachel Baynton, Gillian Lees, and Andrew Westerside.
We create original performance work that is diverse in scale, subject and medium. Recently, this has included touring theatre (A Machine they’re Secretly Building), a two-week long theatrical experience using pervasive technologies (Fortnight), a multimedia concert-performance featuring a live laptop orchestra and animation (The Good, the God and the Guillotine) and a radio drama with the BBC (The Forgotten Suffragette).
We’ve been making work and supporting young artists in the US, the Netherlands, Russia, China, Armenia, France, Zimbabwe and the UK since 1997. Critics have called our work ‘an intriguing brush with altered reality’ (New York Times), ‘Smartly intelligent… coolly reasoned theatre’ (The Guardian) and ‘enthralling’ (Zambezi News).
Rachel is an artist, producer and academic working in cross-artform contexts. Her work focusses on collaboration, co-creation, and contemporary cultural production.
A graduate of Dartington College of Arts, Rachel is a professional director, writer, and producer of collaborative and participatory arts projects with national, and international reach. She has worked with diverse public groups around the UK, and with major commissioning partners such as the NHS, the RAF, and the BBC on projects including ‘Fallen’, performed live to commemorate and coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
Her practice includes work with and for community groups, including the creation of a large-scale processional performance with women across the City of Lincoln as part of their Suffrage 100 Commemorations, and a new community show for Paines Plough’s Roundabout. She has worked on exhibitions and collections management at Lancaster University’s Institute of Contemporary Arts (LICA), and is a regular presenter for BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
She is Associate Chair of UK New Artists, who support the development of early-career artists from diverse backgrounds, and is on the board of Trustees for Zest Theatre, an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation working to improve the lives and amplify the voices of children and young people through creative experiences.
Rachel is Associate Professor and Creative Engagement Producer for the School of Creative Arts at the University of Lincoln, where she has steered the student-led Lincoln Company to critical acclaim.
Gillian Lees is a UK based contemporary performance practitioner, working in choreographic, visual/ live art & durational performance contexts.
Co-artistic director of Proto-type, Gillian has performed in a number of performance-works Internationally and throughout the UK since 2004 and directed large-scale pervasive technology works at 6 major UK arts venues. She was an Associate Artist of and collaborator with Third Angel and a frequent collaborator with artists and performance makers across the UK, most recently Directing mid-scale touring work ‘Unnatural Cycles’ by Avital Raz.
Collaborating with visual artist Adam York Gregory, she has exhibited multi-disciplinary works at internationally renowned venues, galleries and festivals in Scotland, England, Belgium, Canada & the US and most recently at Le Centre Pompidou (Brussels), with support from Creative Scotland, Arts Council England, The British Council, Jerwood Foundation, The Heritage Lottery Fund & Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and is the recipient of the Action Hero Fellowship Award. Gillian is also a member of The Workroom, Glasgow.
Dr. Andrew Westerside (Wes) is a performer, writer, director and academic. He studied at Dartington College of Arts and completed his PhD at Lancaster University (2011).
He has performed and toured nationally and internationally and has directed performance works including: The Calmer Future , An Interview with Dorian Gray  and The Good, the God and the Guillotine . He co-wrote and directed BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Leaving Home project (2014), which focused on the story of Lincolnshire’s Beechey family and their losses during World War One. The project is the subject of a forthcoming BBC film. Wes is Senior Lecturer in Drama at the University of Lincoln.
Proto-type are proud to work with some amazing artists and companies, click here to find out more about our associates.
Proto-type was founded in New York City by Peter S. Petralia (1997–2006), relocating to Lancaster’s Storey Institute (2006–2010) and Manchester’s Northern Quarter (2010–2014). They are now based in Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter and are making and supporting work across the region.