MAP OF WORK                           Performances       Positions        Research       Digital      Censored Work

INTRODUCTION

         I am a director, theatre-maker, writer and creative producer, whose practice intersects with activism, civil disobedience, politics and community organising.

         I collaborate with some of the world's most radical theatre companies, artists and individuals. Together we use culture to fight for social and political change, building spaces where complex, radical, and censored stories can be told.

 

         I have taken productions to over 20 countries, including the Schaubühne, Berlin and Skirball, New York, as well as 40 stages in the UK, from the Young Vic, Nottingham Playhouse, Liverpool Everyman, The Lowry, The Tron, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Oxford North Wall.

 

I am represented by Adam Welsh at Divergent Talent.

e63a5f63-da92-4526-9ec6-300e6e23209e.jpeg

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

WINNER - BEST PRODUCTION

Sharm El Sheikh International Festival

And Here I Am

My Role: Director & Dramaturg

WINNER

K&C Mayor Award

Mutual Aid K&C

My Role: Co-founder & co-coordinator

NOMINATED -  WRITING FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Writers Guild Award

The Host / Writer Nessah Muthy

My Role: Director & Dramaturg

NOMINATED - BEST PERFORMER

UK Offie Awards

So Many Reasons / Performer Racheal Ofori 

My Role: Director & Dramaturg

PROCESS

 

       I research, work and mobilise on the frontline with local and international artists, communities,  justice movements and change-makers who are radical in thought & methodology and employ diverse tactics in the fight for equality and justice. This has taken me to the heart of pressing issues in the UK, including racism, housing rights, police brutality, austerity and mental health.

 

       Internationally I have a unique and extensive track record of collaborating on the ground in multiple human rights struggles. This includes the occupation in Palestine, wars in Afghanistan and Yemen, disaster capitalism in Haiti, the refugee crisis in Lebanon, Jordan & Europe and undercover in the Syrian revolution. As well as The Marshall Islands, where the USA tested over 67 nuclear weapons and is soon to be underwater due to the climate crisis. 

        I collaborate with a diverse range of people from youth, refugees, activists, war correspondents, civic journalists, resistance fighters and everyday members of society.  I work from the initial conception of an idea, often using devising, verbatim, testimonial theatre, adaptions, and supporting as a dramaturg throughout the process. I have also developed projects with some of Britain’s most exciting playwrights, including Anders Lustgarten, Nessah Muthy, Luke Barnes, Bola Agbaje, Hassan Abdulrazzak, Sonali Bhattacharyya and Racheal Ofori

rework5.jpg
IMG_1547.jpg

THE FREEDOM THEATRE, PALESTINE - ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

 

         The key ideas behind the productions I create began to be formed in 2010 when I started work at The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp, Palestine. Co-founded by armed resistance fighter Zakaria Zubeidi and actor and director Juliano Mer Khamis, the theatre is renowned for its use of culture as a form of resistance and individual, social and political change through art. My experiences as an Associate Director across eleven years has allowed me to work in a 400-seat venue and drive a vision that combines politics, activism, community, youth and professional productions. 

         In 2011 Juliano Mer Khamis, the Artistic Director, invited me to co-direct an adaption of Alice in Wonderland. After 40 sold-out performances it became the theatre's most successful production at that time. One week after the final performance, Juliano was murdered outside the theatre.

 

         In the immediate months and coming years, I worked as part of the team that continued the theatre’s vision, circumnavigating the void that Juliano left. The artistic and practical challenges have been immense. The Israeli army has attacked the building, death threats have been sent, and members of the theatre have been arrested and imprisoned.

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL TOURING 

         I have toured work to international festivals and theatres, including the Schaubühne in Germany, Skirball Theatre in New York, D-Caf festival in Egypt, HIFA in Zimbabwe, Vårscenefest in Norway, Red Theatre in Japan, Palestine Performing Arts Network, and Arab Arts Focus at Edinburgh Festival. I have also toured extensively in Europe, including France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. I was part of the Next Stage at the Dublin Theatre Festival, later being invited back to talk at The Abbey Theatres Symposium of Change.

         I have toured work to main regional spaces, including Nottingham Playhouse, Liverpool Everyman, The Lowry, The Tron, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Oxford North Wall, and studio spaces including Birmingham Rep, The Unity Liverpool, Slung Low, The Boat Shed, Alphabetti and The Cut in Halesworth. 

NYT_The Last Harvest Extra_Helen Murray48.jpg

SITE-SPECIFIC PRODUCTIONS & FOUND SPACES >>

         I create performances for site-specific and found spaces, that are creatively exciting, enhance the story and have a resonance with the community the piece represents. This includes directing an epic immersive theatrical experience across 1km of farmland, large-scale projections onto Parliament, Tate Modern and Trelick with artwork designed by Jamie Hewlett from the Guerrillas, and making a 30-foot loch ness monster to launch into the river for a performance at COP26. Other spaces include the street, refugee camps, community centres, prisons, schools, a caravan, a boat shed, and a church.

WRITING, DRAMATURGY & DEVELOPING NEW WORK >>

 

          I have written multiple plays, including ‘The Fear Of Breathing’, which I researched undercover in the Syrian civil war. It was Time Out Critics Choice, featured on Al-Jazeera, BBC, and Sky News, was published by Oberon and transferred to Japan. More recently I wrote 'The Revolution’s Promise’ which uses a model of mass mobilisation to build cross-cultural solidarity and circumnavigate censorship and borders. So far it has been read and performed in Catalonia, the USA, France, Tunisia, Ireland and the UK. 

          I have written multiple articles for The Stage, and contributed to the books Rehearsing Freedom and Reshape. Funded by the Arts Count England DYCP grant, I am currently writing a book exploring movements that intersect between armed resistance, civil disobedience and culture and what we can learn from these in light of the climate crisis.

29664821_1612190138871485_4065887563976642516_o.jpg

PLAYWRITING

The Fear Of Breathing

Finborough Theatre

Published by Oberon Books

Breathing Space

Soho Theatre

Off_Record

Soho Theatre

I Don't Know What To Do

Vault Festival

Evening Standards Pick Of The Festival

The Revolution's Promise

Northern Ireland, Britain, USA, Tunisia, France, Catalonia

WRITING FOR VIRTUAL REALITY

In A Thousand Silences

Released 2022

PUBLISHED BOOKS 

as a contributor

Rehearsing Freedom,

Left Word Books  

Reshape

Creative Europe

Signal Fires

Fuel / TJ Books

DRAMATURGY 

PUBLISHED PLAYS

So Many Reasons

by Racheal Ofori

Lost Boys

by Luke Barnes

And Here I Am 

by Hassan Abdulrazzak

Keepers of Infinite Space

By Omar El Khairy 

FOR DANCE 

The Purple Jigsaw

Shoreditch Town Hall

 

I Can’t Breathe

Protocol Dance

 

Elephant In The Room

Camden Peoples Theatre

US TOO

DIGITAL COLLABORATION & VIRTUAL REALITY >>

 

         I have worked with digital mediums to collaborate with people who are isolated because of war, borders and military occupation, circumnavigating censorship and physical restrictions by using social media, VR, documentary and live streaming.

       I am currently creating ‘In A Thousand Silences’, a virtual reality film, celebrating Palestinian culture whilst highlighting the brutal censorship of artists. Combining dance, music, poetry and storytelling with performances from some of Palestine's most renowned artists, including actor Mohammad Bakri, musician Suhail Khoury and poet Dareen Tatour.

 

        During the Pandemic I collaborated with two hundred young people from the National Youth Theatre, academics and community members on ‘Melt’. Together we explored the effect the climate emergency will have on the East Of England, creating digital responses including virtual reality, animation, film and music.

 

        Other collaborations include a 10-year digital exchange with Theatre For Everybody, Gaza and AZ Theatre, London and a British Council-funded project with Ukrainian artists in Kharkiv, where we responded to the theme ‘Fear Into Action’.

DOCUMENTARIES

 

          I was the Associate Producer on Lost Nation a documentary following the effects austerity policies had on people across the UK directed by Topher Campbell.

          My productions have featured in documentaries including World to Hear about the UK tour of the Queens of Syria and The Journey of Others with music by Roger Walters following the obstacles we faced from borders to deportation as we toured The Siege in New York.

SO MANY REASONS

TEACHING, WORKSHOPS & YOUNG PEOPLE

           In the UK, Palestine and internationally, I lead workshops for people of all ages to discover who they are as actors and artists. I specialise in techniques that use arts to fight for change, devising from lived experience, verbatim, cultural leadership and applied theatre.

 

           I was an associate artist at the National Youth Theatre developing new work and directing multiple productions including, 'The Last Harvest' devised by the company, 'Lost Boys' by Luke Barnes and 'The Host' by Nessah Muthy. I have also facilitated workshops, led auditions and mentored young directors, stage managers and creative teams. 

 

           I directed ‘Made In China’ by Dalia Taha for the 3rd year at RADA, devised ‘Tiny Acts’ at Shoreditch Town Hall for Central School of Speech & Drama, and taught in drama schools and universities across the UK and internationally from New York, to Catalonia, to Eygpt. 

 

          I am regularly invited to speak about my creative practice and collaborative process at conferences, most recently for the Clore Leadership Annual Conference and the Europe Union of Theatre Schools and Academies..

ARTISTS ON THE FRONTLINE  - FOUNDER

 

         Artists On The Frontline is a creative space for radical artists working at the forefront of social and political change and in the intersection between arts, activism, politics and community organising,

 

         Whether through the latest digital technology, on the streets, or by inventing new prototypes, our work creatively responds to the multiple crises the world is facing.

         Projects bring together agents of change who are challenging and rethinking the injustice systems we live in, finding ways to disrupt the status quo and contribute to large-scale systematic transformation. 

LOST BOYS
Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 20.31.54.png

LIVERPOOL ARAB ARTS FESTIVAL

- TRUSTEE

I am currently a trustee of the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival the UK's longest-running Arab festival.

Previously I was a trustee of Papatango Theatre Company advising them across four years and as a youth board member at The Red Room

OLD VIC 12 -

DIRECTOR ON ATTACHMENT

 

I was a director on attachment at The Old Vic as part of the Old Vic 12, working across one year in a laboratory with writers, designers, a composer and a choreographer.

CONSULTANCY - ART WORKER'S RIGHTS

 

         As my practice intersects between culture, activism, politics & community organising, I have unique grassroots knowledge of working dynamics that are non-hierarchal and prioritise anti-racist, anti-capitalist, decolonial, queer intersectional feminist approaches. 

          I have worked as an artistic consultant on multiple initiatives, including across three years on ‘Reshape', a Creative Europe project conceived by major foundations including the British Council, Onda & Goethe Institute. 

Using our experiences as independent artists, we outlined the problematic dynamics that are often adhered to in mainstream arts. We established 25 different areas that cause discrimination, exclusion and access.

Performance action at BP-sponsored Scottish Ballet 2(1).jpg

THE RED ROOM - ASSOCIATE ARTIST

          I was an Associate Artist at The Red Room led by Topher Campbell. We created work that combined theatre, activism, debate and multimedia, leading the conversation around equality, diversity, race, sexuality, feminism and class.

 

          One of the highlights for me was building 'The Oikos Project', a pop-up theatre space made out of recycled materials designed by award-winning Berlin architects Kobberling and Kaltwasser, and built with over 1000 volunteers. The project specifically explored how sustainable theatre can be made and was nominated for the What’s On Stage Event and the Urban Intervention Award (Berlin) and won the AJ Small Projects prize and AJ Sustainability prize.

TheOikosProject.jpg
278692642_4972124069490063_296249585988038818_n.jpg

ICE & FIRE - CREATIVE PRODUCER

 

        I was a Creative Producer at Ice & Fire one of the UK’s leading human rights theatre companies. Actors For Human Rights was specifically designed to create sustainable low-cost performances that could be performed anywhere. This unique model combined activism and theatre and consists of over 700 actors across Britain, who come together to perform weekly at conferences, festivals, churches, universities or similar spaces. 

EDUCATION

 

Bachelor of Arts, Directing

Drama Centre, Central St Martins

Vakhtangov School, Moscow

Acting & Directing

London Metropolitan Film School

Short Film Making

ACTIVISM, COMMUNITY ORGANISING & POLITICS

 

          Outside of theatre, I ran in the E.U. elections in 2019 under the banner ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency’, and established and co-ordinated a team of activists working on climate issues within my local area.

          I have collaborated on multiple direct actions with BP or Not BP to get oil out the arts, successfully getting the Scottish Ballet to drop BP sponsorship. As an activist at COP26, I collaborated with groups including Jubilee Debt and Glasgow Get Polluters Out. I am a member of the Stop Shopping Choir UK and currently collaborating with socialist political group Momentum on a reading group for Palestinian artists rights.

          I co-founded and co-cordinated my boroughs award winning mutual aid group set up in response to coronavirus. It included a food bank, online advice hub, lunches and response to needs of refugees housed locally.

Screenshot 2022-02-26 at 21.18.16.png