NEWS RELEASE 11 NOVEMBER 2021
We are delighted to announce that thirteen artists have been selected to take part in the Total Theatre Artists as Writers scheme, which will run from November 2021 to March 2022.
The chosen participants will take part in a series of online workshops, and will then work in smaller groups, and receive one-to-one mentoring sessions. Participants will have their work published by Total Theatre Magazine at www.totaltheatre.org.uk
We will also be commissioning a number of new long-form articles from established artist-writers.
There will be three main strands of research that participants will pursue throughout the programme:
Reflecting on and writing about the artist’s own journey and current practice
Research into the work of other artists, companies, organisations, or artforms/strands of practice (contemporary or historic) that the artist has a particular interest in – with reference to the Total Theatre Archive and/or other archives or resources
Reflection on the diversification of the theatre/performance/outdoor arts/circus sectors, with sessions delivered by guest workshop leaders, and an encouragement to research and create articles written by or about artists of colour, LGBTQ+ artists, artists from working class & migrant communities, and on community responsive theatre- and art-making
As always, our interest will be on the cultivation of the artist’s voice, with the emphasis on practice-based (rather than academic) research, reflection, and writing.
We have selected a diverse (in every sense of the word) group of people representing different artforms and modes of practice within the Total Theatre sector, with a good geographic spread across the UK; and we have included emerging, mid-career and established artists. We had a high number of overseas applicants, and allocated 25% (three places) accordingly.
The project is funded by Arts Council England and a number of key industry partners: Out There Arts, Without Walls, London International Mime Festival, Polari LGBTQ+ Literary Salon, and Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. We thank all of our partners for your support.
A full list of participants in Total Theatre Artists as Writers 2021 follows, with short biogs for each artist.
Dorothy Max Prior
On behalf of the Total Theatre Magazine Editorial Team
Contact Max on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured image (top): Naomi Silman. Photo Juliana Hilal
TT Artists as Writers 2021 – Participants List
Lorna Rees is an outdoor artist. She is artistic director of Gobbledegook Theatre, a multidisciplinary arts practice who make innovative, national and international touring work, usually inspired by Earth Sciences. Lorna is also an activist, with a long history of socially engaged practice making interventions under the title of ‘Disruption & Joy’.
Talita is passionate about diversity, access and equality in their broadest sense and has earned her stripes in the arts industry as a dancer, teacher, project manager then producer. This year Talita has returned to the studio to lead and direct her original concept piece The Paradise Bar bringing together an all-black cast of Deaf and hearing performers to share aspirational stories through a fusion of dance, spoken word, BSL, music and film.
Lane Paul Stewart
Lane’s theatre practice speaks strongly of his northern working class origins and the LGBTQIA+ community, challenging overused representations of these groups and championing the notion of the ‘other’ with material that advocates non-elitist theatre, critiques social inadequacy and is always hopeful for change. Lane completed his masters degree at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and presents work through his company, Facing North Theatre.
Instagram: @lanepaulstewart & @facingnorththeatre
International Art Clown Jamie Wood is a performer, director and teacher renowned for creating striking and accessible theatre. His work reflects a training in fine art, theatre, clown and dance. Over the last ten years he has focused on touring his trilogy of critically acclaimed solo shows, Beating McEnroe, O No! and I am a Tree.
FK Alexander is a Scottish performance artist who works with noise music to make action-based live art. The pieces are often durational, site responsive or unrepeatable. This work frequently involves hammers, strobes, volume, sensation, destruction, and Judy Garland. FK has gratefully received various awards, and has toured extensively across the UK, Europe and America.
Instagram: @f.k.alexander @thewretchedpast
Naomi Silman is a performer, clown, director and teacher with award-winning Brazilian theatre ensemble Lume Teatro. In 25 years of celebrating theatre as the art of the encounter, she has created and performed shows in a variety of languages including physical theatre, clowning, dance, street theatre and large-scale outdoor community-based interventions. Born in London, she trained with Philippe Gaulier and at the Lecoq school before moving to Brazil in 1997.
Instagram: @lumeteatro @naomisilman
Andrew Simpson is a theatre maker, performer and clown based in Glasgow.
He makes original performance work solo and in collaboration with other artists, working outdoors and indoors. His practice is influenced by a diverse range of artists including Odin Teatret, Jackie Chan and Limmy.
Liza Cox is a theatre maker, director and puppeteer. She is co-artistic director of Baubo, a new physical/street theatre company rooted in visual design and traditions of clown and bouffon. As a performer-maker, her process is rooted in materiality and play. She trained in Lecoq and is currently undertaking an MA in Performance Design at Leeds University.
Jonathan is the founder-director of Young Circus Performers company, which is based in Kigali, Rwanda in East Africa. He has worked for 15 years as an artist, circus performer, acrobat, and theatre performer; and as a circus and acrobatics trainer and ‘circus entrepreneur’. He organises holiday camps for vulnerable children, tours to refugee camps, is currently setting up the Rwanda Circus Arts Festival, and is founder of Rwanda’s artistic cycling project for vulnerable children.
Instagram : @rwacrobats
Moving and creating from a young age, Lily is an autistic dancer, writer and visual artist who works with both traditional and digital media. As an advocate for disability justice and a proud queer, non-binary disabled artist, Lily is passionate about inclusivity and developing creative integrated methods of increasing accessibility to dance and the arts.
Ruby is a circus and physical theatre artist based in Bristol. She is a graduate of the Circomedia BA course where she specialised in static and swinging trapeze, and now teaches. She is interested in creative accessibility and making absurd comedy about socio-political subjects. She also runs a circus podcast which you can find at notmymonkeyspodcast.com
Eliezer Kasereka Mbakulirahi
Eliezer is based in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2014, he met German theatre director Claus Schrowange, who trained him in Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. He worked for two years in the Great Lakes region (Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo), learning how participatory theatre could contribute to peace in war-torn regions. In 2016 he co-founded The Rutshuru Amani Kwetu Theatre of the Oppressed group for peace, reconciliation, legality, and equality.
Rowan Prescott Hedley
Rowan Prescott Hedley is a poet, playwright, songwriter, and performer based in Dorset. They use mixed discipline performance with improvisation and audience participation to engage traditional audiences in non-traditional theatre and question their assumptions, biases, and perspectives. They feature queer, neurodivergent, and intersectional themes in their work.
Notes for Editors
More about Total Theatre Magazine
Total Theatre Magazine champions artist-led critical writing, putting the practitioner at the heart of the discourse about their own work and the work of their peers. For more than thirty years the magazine, first in print and now online, has played a crucial role in promoting and championing alternative theatre and performance practice in the UK. The Total Theatre Magazine website can be viewed at www.totaltheatre.org.uk The Total Theatre Magazine Print Archive is at totaltheatre.org.uk/archive
Total Theatre Magazine also runs a number of other projects, including Total Theatre Talks, presented in collaboration with festivals and venues across the UK; Total Theatre Training & The Writing’s On the Streets, offering one-off or short-course writing workshops; and Total Theatre Artists as Writers, a three-month+ scheme mentoring artists who wish to write about their own and other’s work.
Total Theatre Magazine first ran the Total Theatre Artists as Writers training and CPD programme as part of our Total Theatre Print Archive project in 2019. For that incarnation of the programme, participants reflected on their own practice in relation to artists’ work explored through the archive: See http://totaltheatre.org.uk/archive/artist-writers This went so well that TTM ran the programme again in 2020 (completely online this time). The third iteration runs November 2021 to March 2022. Articles generated from the programme will be posted on the main website: http://totaltheatre.org.uk
More about our partners
Out There Arts
Out There Arts / National Centre for Outdoor Arts and Circus produces the Out There International Festival in Great Yarmouth each September with one of the largest programmes of circus in the UK, as well as producing other large-scale shows and events, including the new Fire on the Water. They also run the Drill House International Creation Centre – a 20,000 square feet complex for creation, training, fabrication, community activity and events working with UK and International Artists and Companies.
Out There Arts is funded by Arts Council England and supported by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Norfolk County Council. https://outtherearts.org.uk/
For more information on Out There Festival 17–19 September 2021, see https://outtherearts.org.uk/out-there-festival/
Without Walls is a consortium of over 35 festivals and arts organisations that brings fantastic outdoor arts to people in towns and cities across the UK. Since its formation in 2007, Without Walls has developed and toured over 200 new shows by UK companies and supported the Research and Development of over 75 projects. Without Walls commissions have toured widely both in the UK and internationally across 22 countries.
Without Walls is managed by XTRAX, an independent management and production company based in Manchester with over 20 years’ experience in Outdoor Arts: www.xtrax.org.uk
Without Walls is supported by Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation.
London International Mime Festival
The London International Mime Festival (LIMF) is an annual theatre event in London. Its directors are Joseph Seelig and Helen Lannaghan, winners of the International Theatre Institute Award for Excellence.
It was established in 1977 by Joseph Seelig and Nola Rae and it is the longest running event of its kind in the world – a month-long showcase for ground-breaking visual/physical theatre, new circus, object theatre and live art.
LIMF returns in 2022 with a full programme of shows at venues across the capital from Wednesday 12 January – Sunday 6 February. In addition to these performances, LIMF will run live and online workshops, after-show discussions with artists, and a new series of short films created by international artists.
Polari is an award-winning LGBTQ+ literary salon. It was founded by author Paul Burston in 2007, and began in a bar in Soho. Since 2009, Polari have been based at London’s Southbank Centre. They also tour regularly, funded by Arts Council England.
The recent Polari Prize Tenth Anniversary Tour showcased writers long- and short-listed for the Polari Prize book awards for emerging and established LGBTQ+ literary talent, as well as winners from the Prize’s ten year history, dating back to 2011.
Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance
Rose Bruford College, based in Sidcup, south-east London, is a drama school offering degree programmes in acting, directing, and other theatre arts. The college teaching, learning and training ethos is based on artistry, collaboration, community, discovery, diversity, employability, independence, and professionalism. Students and staff work in collaboration across a number of campuses to make and produce over 75 shows a year.
The College mission is to achieve social and cultural impact by delivering the highest quality vocational training and education. Their teaching covers a wide, innovative spectrum of subjects and delivers proactive graduates who are creative, empowered and employable.