We make work about you, me and the world.  

We collect stories.

We share stories.



Our work enables people to express, connect, imagine, empathise and see everyday surroundings in a new light, creating a dialogue through difference - whatever that difference might be: age, body, economic, ethnic, political, religious.

Our work enables people to explore, celebrate and question commonality and differences; the past, present and future of themselves and the places they live and work.

Our work enables people to tell and listen to stories. 


"I would recommend take stock exchange to other agencies unreservedly and I would welcome their return" 

Mick Parker, Projects Co-ordinator, The Woodbine Centre

why we do it


People feel increasingly disconnected from the places they live, and the people they live and work with.

Our single aim is to address this issue by encouraging empathy and understanding, and developing a sense or perspective and civic pride. We do this by creating what we call a dialogue through difference. Through the power of conversation, expression, listening and storytelling we can create, contribute to and live in a healthier, happier and more progressive world.

"... it sparked inspiration, discussion and thought within the group especially with regard to racism and perception... it was very effective, particularly listening to stories from others outside the group.  It brought up unexpected discussions.  It was also fascinating to see how dynamics of different groups influence thinking and perception... people didn’t want to leave and the workshop could easily have gone on longer... I would love to work with take stock exchange again." 

Nina Simon, Library Service Manager and coordinator of Write Next Door

How we do it

We work with people from all sorts of different groups, organisations and companies, running a variety of projects all based around exploring the relationship between people, the place they live or work, and the wider world…

you, me, the world and…

“It is our pleasure to strongly recommend take stock exchange’s ‘You, Me, The World...’ project. We were delighted with the results. Nick and Olly delivered sensitive and stimulating workshops with great care and attention. At the end of the project we worked together to produce a public sharing of stories, which packed our theatre with a vibrant audience, most of whom had never attended the theatre ever before. The sharing was incredibly well-received and a beautiful testament to the work that had happened over the preceding months, and the stories it contained.”

Katherine Igoe Ewer, Local Producer, The Yard Theatre


You, Me, the World and… is a recurring project that we’ve run in all sorts of places, all over East London. These projects explore and celebrate the similarities and differences that people have, to help create communities that better understand and empathise with themselves.

You, Me, and the World projects have two parts.

In the first part

we take stock

We listen. We work with as many different groups of people in the area we’re working in as possible, and run bespokely designed workshops to meet their needs.

In these workshops, we enable people to share stories, ideas, opinions and experiences with one another - and we collect them as we go. In doing so we try to work out what the collective sub-conscious of the area is  - what are the issues that unite, and divide people?

But we’re also looking for everything and anything else, we hear about people’s amazing adventures, but also their everyday lives. What emerges is a picture that contains the broad brushstrokes, but also the finer details.

It is the collective subconscious, alongside this broad and detailed picture that, we then use in Part 2...

In the second part

we exchange

We take a selection of the stories we’ve heard and weave them together into one longer story. Then, we revisit all the groups we’ve previously met, sharing this longer story with them.

Finally, we have a public performance to which we invite everyone that we’ve worked with and people that work and live in the area to come together, to share food, to listen and to have conversations.

The stories, ideas, opinions and experiences that people shared in Part 1, cross pollinate with each other. The result is a community that is better connected, better equipped to empathise and to understand, to have a greater sense of perspective and civic pride.

what’s the impact?

The process was gentle and affirmative and very powerful. This says - you have been heard - your story is valid and is shared and becomes bigger and part of other people's experience. On seeing the performance, we recognised our own community and heard a story about the people who live round here through a different frequency. The project delighted and warmed participants and helped us to recognise our interconnections and our ties to the local area.

Polly Mann, Community Development Worker and Wick Award Committee Member, Hackney Wick


"Participants developed a shared identity with others in the local and world wide community. There was a very liberating and creatively excellent follow up which was entertaining and there was freedom to experiment. 10/10."

Marian Laing, Head of Drama, Ursuline Academy

"Participants got a lot out of hearing other’s stories. It really got them thinking about things in a different way. They empathised with different groups of people that they previously judged. Some carers related to the stories, for others it changed their perception of Ilford and its people.”

Emma Smart, Young Adult Carers Manager, Redbridge Carers Support Service


We collaborate with community groups, corporations, charities, local authorities, funding bodies and buildings to make the work happen...

We rely on funding from local authorities, funding organisations and the generous support of other organisations and individuals.

If you would like to find out more about supporting the work we do please click below. 

If you would like us to work with your group, a group you know, or in your area please get in touch. 


Who we are 


Nick Cassenbaum

Co-Artistic Director

Nick is a theatre maker whose work asks audiences to think about how they engage with spaces, places and people. Aside from his work with take stock exchange, Nick’s work has toured internationally, selling out in venues around the world. He has written plays, created and performed solo work and made street performances in collaboration with some of the country’s most celebrated venues, including The Royal Court, Soho Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre, and he has broadcast podcasts for The Guardian.

He has an MA from Goldsmiths in Writing for Performance and is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme.


Olly Hawes

Co-Artistic Director

Olly makes performance, delivers workshops and works one-on-one with people. His performance work combines storytelling, theatre and live art, explores how we connect with each other and the wider world and looks to create a conversation between people. His work has toured nationally, and he has worked with some of the countries most respected arts organisations, including Arcola, The Bush, Camden People's Theatre, Create Arts, Fevered Sleep, Latitude, The National Theatre, The Old Vic, Pentabus, The Pleasance, The Watermill, The Yard, and The Young Vic.

He also works with a variety of organisations - charities, corporations and education bodies as a workshop facilitator, and with individuals as a coach. He was selected as a Clore Emerging Cultural Leader in 2016.


Our Collaborators

Danny Braverman - Theatre Maker  •  Femi Martin - Storyteller  •  Bethany Wells - Designer •  Martha Crawford - Academic  • Jane Nash & Dan Milne / Narrativ • Anna Lowenstein - Musician • Arte Atermiou - Academic