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Quarantine was established in 1998 by directors Richard Gregory and Renny O’Shea with designer Simon Banham. We make original theatre, performance and public events with and about the people who are in it. Whatever form it takes, our work begins and ends with the people in the room. Over the last 20 years, we've collaborated with a shifting constellation of artists, performers and people who've never done anything like this before. Our work seeks to create the circumstances for a conversation between strangers...


2020-21 | Europe

Ark is a major public project that is being delivered in seven cities across Europe in 2020-21.  Proposed by Quarantine and commissioned by ‘Moving Borders’, the project is led by a consortium of theatres, festivals and public bodies with funding from the European Union’s Creative Europe programme.

Ark will be delivered collaboratively by Quarantine, the Moving Borders consortium, local partners and local people in Strasbourg, France; Athens, Greece; Utrecht, the Netherlands; Dresden and Mülheim, Germany; Porto, Portugal; and Warsaw, Poland.

In each of the seven cities, we’ll invite local people – artists, activists, experts (of many kinds) and others  – to create the ark they want to make. Each ark will take a different form and become a site for encounters, the exchange of knowledge and ideas, and conversation…

Through Ark, we hope to bring people together who would not usually meet and find a methodology for dissent. As we face deepening political divisions across Europe, heated debate around migration and rights of belonging, and the accelerating climate crisis, Ark will configure the circumstances for a progressive democratic space. The kind that political theorist Chantal Mouffe describes as agonistic pluralism.

Each iteration of Ark will respond to its local context, but they will be united by an interest in the notion of ‘borders’ and how they manifest in our cities and in our lives – in both productive and unproductive ways.  The current pandemic will inevitably affect the way we relate to one another and to public space, and we’re challenged and fascinated to see how this filters into and influences Ark.

The development of Ark has begun through online conversations between Quarantine and each of the local partners.  Moving Borders will continue with laboratories and workshops in autumn 2020. Ark will be delivered across Europe in spring and summer 2021. Find out more and follow the progress of the project, here: movingborders.org


Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union

An ark is a place to imagine, argue and plan for a new and better world. It can transport you there. It’s a refuge.


The two-year Moving Borders project is being led by Hellerau – European Centre for the Arts in Dresden. The other partners are: Ringlokschuppen (Mülheim, Germany); Le Maillon (Strasbourg, France); Teatro Municipal do Porto (Portugal); Onassis STEGI (Athens, Greece); Performing Arts Institute Warsaw (Poland); and SPRING Performing Arts Festival (Utrecht, the Netherlands).

Quarantine ‘Ark’ team

Simon Banham, Designer

Kate Daley, Artist & Producer

Alison Dunican, Producer

Richard Gregory, Co-Artistic Director

Renny O’Shea, Co-Artistic Director & Dramaturg