Total Theatre Artists as Writers

A new Total Theatre Artists as Writers initiative has been launched, managed by Associate Editor Beccy Smith, as part of phase two of the Total Theatre Magazine Print Archive project.

The pilot for this project includes workshops in critical response and writing skills, plus a one-to-one writing development plan put together in bespoke packages to support the artists involved over the period November 2019 – March 2019. The project will in the writing and publication of an extended essay/article on their own practice in relation to the Total Theatre Print Archive and, we hope, new conversations about writing on contemporary theatre in the UK.

The scheme was launched with a workshop at Jacksons Lane (London) on 8 November 2018.

The eight chosen participants are drawn from across the UK, and from experience in a variety of artforms and practices including devised theatre, circus, clown, storytelling, live art, new technologies,and dance-theatre. The participants in this pilot phase of the scheme are:

Anna-Maria Nabirye, Bernadette Russell, De Castro, Florence Brady, Joe Stevens, Katherina Radeva, Maisy Taylor, Skye Reynolds.

Biographies can be found below:

Anna-Maria Nabirye

Anna-Maria Nabirye is an artist working across a variety of mediums. She has co-created work for the Edinburgh and Brighton Fringes, developed work at Mana Contemporary (USA), the Showroom, and Delfina Foundation as well as writing and directing short film. She continues to collaborate extensively with artists Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler, works include Hold Your Ground, Deep State and The Scar.

As a professional actress credits include; Informer(BBC1), The National Theatre, Improbable, The Almeida and Redladder. She is currently an associate artist with The Faction and in rehearsals for Macbeth at The Shakespeare’s Globe playing the role of Macduff.

Anna-Maria is currently developing social practice piece Up In Arms, with support from British Council & Arts Council England.

Bernadette Russell

Bernadette Russell is a dramaturg, writer and theatre maker who has created work for Southbank Centre, Birmingham Rep, National Trust, Duckie, BFI and LIFT Festival amongst many others, alone and with the company she runs with Gareth Brierley (White Rabbit). She is writer in residence at Talliston House, and associate artist at the Albany, Deptford.

Her latest book The Little Book of Wonder (Orion) is a practical guide to the magic of creativity, imagination and curiosity. She is currently directing an intergenerational performance inspired by Midsummers Nights Dream at the Royal Albert Hall and a cabaret in sheltered housing with Emma Waterford.

De Castro

De Castro is a Brazilian performer, theatre clown, actor, director and teacher who has toured over 34 countries with her work. She has won two awards for her poetry, including Honours of the Union of Brazilian Writers.

In the 1980s, she was part of the New Circus movement and worked with circus theatre companies Mummerandada and Ra Ra Zoo. She has directed shows for No Fit State Circus, Gifford Circus, Circus OZ, to name a few, and created her own award-winning pedagogy and method for teaching theatre clowning. De Castro devises her own shows and is currently writing a book on clowning.

Florence Brady

Florence Brady is an actor and singer based in London. Her work favours the interdisciplinary, and the European. She is interested in music theatre, multi-lingual performance, and literary adaptation. Prior to training as an actor, she studied for a degree in medieval literature, the result of childhood spent reading fantasy and watching too much Time Team.

Joe Stevens

Joe Stevens is a full-time father of two and self-styled artist, athlete and academic. His background in fine and performance art, combined with his interest in technology, led him to do an MA in Interactive Media in 2007, where he incorporated critical theory into his participatory performances.  More recently an alter-ego, the Wine Man, has helped him to develop, produce and facilitate a work called FLIGHT CLUB, where he collaborates with an audience to produce a playful spectacle within game-like structures. He is currently making work and writing about the issues surrounding his practice at home in Greater London.


Katherina Radeva

Katherina Radeva was born in Bulgaria, and has resided in the UK since 1999. Katherina is a theatre maker, a set and costume designer, and a creative collaborator. She is one half of Total Theatre Award winning duo Two Destination Language whose intercultural dialogues in theatrical forms tour extensively in the UK and internationally. Her work brings striking visuals to audiences across theatre, dance and interdisciplinary work.

In addition to making live performance, she paints, draws and writes in response to her lived experience while resisting the label of autobiographical work. Living in a rural place, Katherina is fascinated by the interplay of communities large and small. She really wants a dog, but worries she’s away from home too much.

Maisy Taylor

Maisy Taylor is an artist, actress, writer and aerialist living and working in London. She strives to make work that is both thought-provoking and aesthetically unusual. She is interested in the cultural and political significance of female sexuality and its relationship with performance. She wants to understand how the human body can be used to ask and answer questions, and how words and ideas translate into movement. She is most at home in the place where theory meets live performance.

Skye Reynolds

Skye Reynolds is a Scottish-based dance artist, performance–maker and educator, originally from Australia. Her practice is experimental, collaborative and influenced by politics of real life. She has worked across professional and community platforms for over 20 years, including festivals, schools, post-war zones; and once-upon-a-time was a music journalist!

Her current work integrates language and movement into ‘Stand Up Dance’ seeking to embody the artist’s voice and exploring the question: how to make art as action? She supports platforms for dialogue and exchange with a curiosity about developing creative resilience in the face of contemporary challenges.


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Dorothy Max Prior

About Dorothy Max Prior

Dorothy Max Prior is the editor of Total Theatre Magazine, and is also a performer, writer, dramaturg and choreographer/director working in theatre, dance, installation and outdoor arts. Much of her work is sited in public spaces or in venues other than regular theatres. She also writes essays and stories, some of which are published and some of which languish in bottom drawers – and she teaches drama, dance and creative non-fiction writing.