Meet Our Team

Hitcher Encounters is led by two individualistic women with a shared passion for interactive theatre and a strong drive to create pervasive, experimental work. Through our company journey, we hope to branch out and explore more avenues of immersive work that caters to our individual interests. As we do so, we also wish to collaborate with other artists. 

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Arathi Suresh | Artistic Director & Producer 

‘I am a storyteller. I always have been. From narrating bedtime stories that my parents told me back to them, to acting out Indian myths during my training in classical dances, to designing and orchestrating ‘The Labyrinth Project’ with my Co-Artistic Directors.’

 

Arathi comes from a traditional theatre and dance background with a wealth of cultural performance experience in both India and Oman. Born in India, raised in Oman and now living in Leeds, Arathi Suresh is an Indian Classical Dancer who recently found herself passionately immersed in bespoke, interactive performances. Being truly enamoured by the power of stories and its ability to evoke emotions in people, she aspires to create authentic productions that remind today’s world of the significance of true human connection. 

Co-Founder of Hitcher Encounters

Hetty Bater | Artistic Director & Producer

Co-Founder of Hitcher Encounters

‘Our audiences are such a goldmine of imagination and storytelling. You can create the most thrilling and unexpected stories from their vivid imagination, why would we not use that? 

 

For me the utmost important part of a Hitcher Encounters experience is the way the audience feels the second the show ends. You should hopefully feel exhausted, a little in shock maybe, but above all exhilarated. I love the idea of being whisked away into a thriller or a fantasy novel, where you approach the next step with a nervous excitement, even though the control lies in your hands. This is what I believe Hitcher Encounters is, a new way of telling stories with each individual audience member at the heart of every thought, utterance and encounter. 

 I specialise in one-to-one interactions in theatre performances, having worked on several one-to-one digital shows. I am very excited to expand my practise out into in-person shows and bring each audience member a unique experience.

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Hetty Bater | Co-Founder & Co-artistic Director

‘The fact I can’t stop talking says a lot about me! I love to get involved with ideas and creating new stories. It’s beautiful, developing a story over time, and I think having more experience in less traditional theatre has helped me discover that.’ 

 

Hetty has always been captured by fantastical novels and so was blown away when she discovered the intricate living worlds of immersive theatre. She loves to explore physicality and live presence in performance. She wants to play games with the audience and encourage them to get stuck in.

 

Having grown up in a small town, coming to Leeds was a big change for Hetty. The exposure to more theatre has inspired her to recreate that escapism and live tension for others. She wants to delve into the physical elements of Hitcher shows and how we can create that without being in person.