Who We Are

OUR WRITERS

Ioanna Anderson
IoannaIoanna was born in Edinburgh and, after escaping to Dublin for quite a long time, now lives there again. She co-founded (with Audrey Devereux and Pam McQueen) Greenlight Productions, which produced her first play Describe Joe (Dublin Fringe Festival, 2000). Describe Joe won the O.Z. Whitehead Award. Why I Hate The Circus was produced by Greenlight, in association with the Civic Theatre Tallaght in 2001. Words of Advice for Young People was developed by Rough Magic Theatre Company as part of their S.E.E.D.S programme for emerging artists, and produced by them in 2004 at the Project Arts Centre, Dublin. Universal Export/Nightshift, a short play written for the Gaiety School Graduation Show in 2004. In 2005, Ioanna received an Arts Council bursary to develop the play which later became Six Acts of Love, produced by The Tron Theatre (dir, Andy Arnold) in 2008. Also in 2008, the site specific show You Are Here (co-produced by Bedrock/Living Space Theatre companies) for the Dublin Theatre Festival. She has received a bursary from Creative Scotland to work on a novel. If she ever finishes it, it might be called Are We Happy Yet?

Sandra Bendelow
SandypicSandra is a writer and theatre producer. As a writer, she works in all mediums: theatre, radio, TV, film and is currently exploring cross-platform presentation of work including web and social media interfaces.
Her short monologue, One Hour and Forty Five Minutes, written for Dirty Protest Theatre’s plays-in-a-bag project was produced at the Royal Court, Theatre Clwyd and National Theatre Wales’ Dirty Gifted and Welsh. Her short audio drama Cursed was produced for EarCandy. Her TV Script Dead Gran Walking was placed top 12 (of 250) in BBC Drama Wales Award and top 25 (of 2,500) Red Planet Television Prize in 2012. She was selected for Spread The Word, Sherman Cymru scheme for emerging writers 2012 and selected for the Ty Newydd Mentoring Project with Kaite O’Reilly. She is currently working on a seed commission for National Theatre Wales and a Christmas play for Dirty Protest Theatre. She is also developing a cross disciplinary project with Annie Suganami and composer Nick Jones and a narrative play about the Talybont floods with Rebecca Smith Williams and Stephanie Tillotson. She is a member of all female writer-led company Agent 160 Theatre.
Sandra runs Aberystwyth Arts Centre’s Writing for Performance Group and the Crash Test performance scratch night supporting and mentoring writers for performance.

Sam Burns
samSam Burns was born in Cardiff. She worked for several years as an editor for a small publishing company, and more recently as an assistant to a gardener. Her produced work includes a piece in Paines Plough’s Come to Where I’m From, ‘Two Bears’ for Sixty Six Books at the Bush Theatre and ‘Amnesty’ in Agent 160 Presents Agent 160. Her first full-length play, Not the Worst Place, was produced by Paines Plough, Theatr Clwyd and Sherman Cymru in April-May 2014, and was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award in 2011. She has also written two novels, one of which, The Story Unmakers, was shortlisted in Susan Hill’s Long Barn Books first novel competition in 2007. She lives partly in the Shetland Islands, occasionally in London and intermittently in Rajasthan, where she has a share in a camel.

 

Vittoria Cafolla
VittoriaVittoria’s play ‘Raiders of the Lost Story Arc’ premiered at the Belfast Film Festival in April 2011. In January 2011, her short radio piece Egg-timing was produced by BBC NI and directed by Eoin O Callaghan as part of the BBC’s 360 Scriptwriting Festival. Vittoria often collaborates with Skewiff Theatre Company: The Waiting Room was produced during The Belfast Fringe Festival in late 2010, and she is currently working with Skewiff an interactive piece based on the Guardian’s ‘The Ex Files’.

 

 

Poppy Corbett
PC H (01) RdBfPoppy is playwright and director based in London. Most recently, her play Hatchling won the Pitch Your Play competition run by Masterclass and received a reading on the main stage at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. She has had short plays produced at the Soho Theatre, Theatre 503, the Old Red Lion, Southwark Playhouse, Chapter Arts, The Arches, and at the Arcola. Her book, The Enormous Book of Talk for Writing Games (a KS2 resource for primary school teachers), was published last year. Poppy is Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.

 

 

Branwen Davies
Branwen DaviesBranwen is a playwright who writes in Welsh and English. She has written for Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, Sherman Cymru, Living Pictures, Undeb Theatre, Dirty Protest, Agent 160 and True Fiction Theatre Company. Branwen is currently a PhD student at Aberystwyth University.

 

 

Abigail Docherty
AbiAbigail is currently Pearson Playwright in residence at the Tron in Glasgow. Her play Sea and Land and Sky won the Tron’s OPEN STAGE award and is published by Methuen Drama. Other work includes Four Parts Broken (National Theatre of Scotland), One Thousand Paper Cranes (Tron / Imaginate International Children’s Festival) and Room (Tron). BBC Radio 4 plays include Ursula and Boy and Goblin Market.

 

 

Clare Duffy
Clare headshotClare is a playwright and director. She teaches at Glasgow University and is a co-director of Unlimited Theatre www.unlimited.org.uk. Clare is currently Artist In Residence at Summerhall Arts Centre, Edinburgh, an Associate Playwright at Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland and has just been announced as the new ISAH/Traverse Theatre Fellow.
Clare wrote and directed Money: The Game Show, in 2013 which was a co-production between Unlimited Theatre and The Bush. ‘This playful, thoughtful and riotously entertaining piece is right on the money’. ****The Guardian ‘clever and remarkably understandable’ ‘ingenious’. New York Times. ****Financial Times & Scotsman. Money The Game Show is published by Oberon Books and is scheduled to be remounted in Seoul, South Korea 2014. Clare will be bringing Play Dough her ‘re-mix’ of Money: The Game Show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of the Made In Scotland showcase in August 2014.
Clare won a Pearson Award for her first full-length play, Crossings in 2003, which was published and toured the UK in 2005. (**** The Scotsman) This led to her being Writer In Residence at the West Yorkshire Playhouse 2004. Clare has also written drama for Radio 4 and co-wrote ANA, a bi-lingual play for Stella Quines and Imago Theatre, with Pierre-Yves Lemieux, which opened in Montreal in November 2011 and toured Scotland in Spring 2012 (**** Scotsman & Herald). She wrote The Cbeebies Christmas Carol 2013 and is very much looking forward to Magnetic North’s production of her play Some Other Stars in the autumn of 2014 about a man with ‘locked-in’ syndrome.
Clare has lived in Tollcross, Edinburgh for 10 years and helps out in her partner’s wine shop when it’s busy.

Samantha Ellis
SAMELLIS.jpegSamantha is a playwright and journalist and her first non-fiction book, How to be a Heroine, has just been published by Chatto & Windus. She has just script-edited Paddington for Heyday Films.
Her previous plays include Cling To Me Like Ivy (Birmingham Rep and on tour), The Thousand and Second Night (LAMDA), Startle Response (Young Vic workshop production), Martin’s Wedding (Blind Summit/BAC), Patching Havoc (Theatre 503) and Sugar and Snow (Radio 4 and Hampstead Theatre showcase). The Guardian called Cling To Me Like Ivy “funny, sad and compassionate…that genuinely¬ rare beast, a popular comedy with heart, brains and the stomach to make some difficult choices”.
She has also written short plays for Menagerie Theatre, The Miniaturists, Liverpool Everyman, Agent 160, Pursued by a Bear and Floodtide.
She is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, Fellow and has been in residence at Metal, and on attachment at the Soho Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Hampstead Theatre and the Unicorn Theatre.
Her play Anatomical Venus, an immersive thriller set in 1850s London, will be produced by Goat and Monkey Theatre in 2015.
How to be a Heroine will be published in the US, by Knopf, later this year, and in Sweden, and her book tour includes the Edinburgh Books Festival, Bristol Festival of Ideas and the Mountains to the Sea Festival in Dublin, and slots on Woman’s Hour, Open Book and the RTE Book Show; Nigella Lawson said it was “All the books I love, remembered”, the Observer called it “fantastically inspirational”, Harpers’ Bazaar called it “My new best friend in book form”, the Scotsman called it “a life-affirming feminist text’ and the Economist called it “Delightful and hilarious” and Glamour said “It fizzes along”.

Sarah Grochala
sarahgSarah studied on the MPhil in Playwriting Studies at Birmingham University and has been recognised as one of the course’s most distinguished graduates. Before turning to writing, she worked as an actress for many years, playing roles in the West End and in television drama. Her play S-27 (published by Oberon) won the 2007 Protect the Human Playwriting Competition and was also shortlisted for The King’s Cross Award and the Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers. S-27 premiered at the Finborough Theatre in June 2009 and was a Time Out Critics Choice. The play was revived at the Griffin Theatre in Sydney in March 2010 (Time Out Sydney Critics Choice) and at the Annex Theatre in Toronto in 2012. Sarah was the winner of the 2011 Off West End.Com Adopt a Playwright Award for her play Smolensk, which is currently in production with Snapdragon Productions. Her writing has been supported by the RSC, the National Theatre Studio and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation. Sarah is currently an associate artist with Headlong and Lecturer in Writing for Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Of her short play for Agent 160 in 2012, The Red Shoes, the Guardian wrote “Director Abigail Graham and performer Jennifer Jackson make the most of Sarah Grochala’s The Red Shoes, an astonishingly direct yet poetic piece of writing, a perfect miniature that explores desire and madness in London’s Westfield shopping centre.”

Katie McCullough
kmKatie McCullough is a graduate of Bournemouth Media School and the Royal Court Theatre, London. She’s a playwright, screenwriter and founder of Festival Formula; a consultancy company focusing on filmmakers that covers film festival strategy, social media presence, and crowdfunding consultancy. Her plays have been performed at theatres including the ICA, Theatre503, Southwark Playhouse, Old Vic Tunnels, Arcola and the BAC. She’s received funding from Arvon Foundation and support from the ICA Lab as well as mentoring from the Blaine Brothers, Leo Butler, Polly Clark and Simon Stephens. Katie has worked with several companies to create one-on-one theatrical experiences and also site specific narratives. Her plays include Ella_OMalley_Audition.mov (Miniaturists, Arcola, 2014), Dropped Sequins (UK Centre for Carnival Arts, 2013), London Pride (Wandsworth Arts Festival, 2013) and The Story Project (Ugly Sister Productions, Arcola/Southwark Playhouse/Theatre503, 2012). See www.katiemccullough.co.uk for more information.

Lisa Parry
LisaParryLisa is a freelance writer based in Cardiff. Her plays have been performed across the UK and also in New York and she has worked with leading new writing theatre companies including Dirty Protest, the Miniaturists and PopUp Theatrics.
Play credits include: Untitled (Sherman Swingers 2013), Dark Frequencies (TACT Studio, Broadway, NYC), Butterfly Fugue (Sherman Cymru as part of Egin: Springboard), Not A Death Knock (Dirty Protest), March SW3 (Arcola, as part of Miniaturists 23), Waterbaby (Martin E. Segal, NYC).
Lisa completed Sherman Cymru’s writing course and advanced writing course, led by Alan Harris. She was also selected for Travelling Light II in Aberystwyth where she was mentored by Kaite O’Reilly.
Prize credits include: winner of the MokitaGrit playwriting competition; finalist in The Internationalists’ playwriting competition; finalist in The King’s Cross Award; finalist in The Ronald Duncan Award; finalist in Stellar Network’s international plays in progress competition.
Lisa’s poetry and prose has also been widely published in leading magazines, including Magma, Orbis and The Haiku Quarterly. In 2013, she was awarded a financial award from Literature Wales to work towards her first poetry collection.

Marged Parry
magsMarged’s plays include: Y Parti Olaf (Dirty Protest, Tafwyl, 2014), Holes in the Drama (Sherman Swingers, 2013), Traed Bach Concrit (Sherman Cymru, Trwy’r Ddinas hon, 2013; translates as “Little Concrete Feet), The Welsh Atlantis (Undeb Theatre, Latitude, 2012), Megaffon (Dirty Protest, Gwyl Tafwyl, 2012; translates as “Megaphone”, The Sweet Shop Standoff (Agent 160, Agent 160 presents… 2012), Yr Ystafell Gyfweld (Sherman Cymru, Sgript Slam, 2011; translates as “The Interview Room”) and The Demise of Photocopy Boy (Dirty Protest, Dirty Protest’s Christmas Party, 2011). Her poems have been read on Radio Cymru and her work published in the Welsh literary magazine Tu Chwith. She recently had two short stories published in a horror publication The Ghastling. Marged was Assistant Director on the Sherman’s new writing project, Cityscape in 2010. She worked as an Assistant Producer on Mosgito – a Welsh language magazine programme for teenagers before moving on to work as a Marketing and Communications Officer for BBC Cymru Wales’ flagship soap opera, Pobol y Cwm . She then worked on Pobol y Cwm as an Assistant Script Editorfor a year before she secured her current role as Story Editor

Lindsay Rodden
LindsayLindsay Rodden is a writer and dramaturg. Recent writing work has included Letters (The Miniaturists / Cornerstone Festival), The Almond Tree (State of Wonder / Everyword), and Endz (a verbatim play created with dramaturg Suzanne Bell for Liverpool Everyman Theatre which toured Liverpool in 2011). Recent dramaturgy includes My Life in Dresses (Project Arts Centre, Dublin / national tour), and Why Do All Catherines Call Themselves Kate? (One Small Step / Edinburgh Fringe). She founded Almanac in 2009 with playwright / songwriter Lizzie Nunnery, producing, directing and writing adventurous collaborations with writers, musicians and other artists and theatre makers. Their most recent shows include bringing together over thirty artists to make Radical City: A Happening on Hope Street (Everyman, April 2011); and Stories in the Walls, a site-specific commission for Un-convention Tyneside in the thirteenth century Morden Tower, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (June 2011). Lindsay was born in Edinburgh . She has mainly lived in Buncrana, Co. Donegal, where her family are from, and in Liverpool, where she currently works for the Everyman and Playhouse Theatres.

Shannon Yee
Shan BerlinShannon Yee is a biracial writer who’s been living in Belfast since 2004. While in NI, she has had the pleasure to work with Replay Productions, Accidental Theatre, Assault Events, skewiff theatre company, TheatreofplucK, 25Belfast, Hanna Slättne (Tinderbox), and Paul Stapleton (SARC). She has received awards from the Arts Council NI, Arts & Disability Forum, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and the James Baldwin Playwriting Award. Earlier this year, Shannon secured a Wellcome Trust Small Arts Award to complete her theatrical sonic arts-based trip for a headphone-wearing audience in hospital beds about her experience of nearly dying and recovering with an acquired brain injury. She was on the Royal Court Theatre’s National Playwriting Group (London), Fishamble/Pavilion Theatre’s Playwriting Mentoring Program (Dun Laoghaire), and is currently a HATCH artist at The MAC in 2014/15 (www.themaclive.com).

OUR PRODUCER

Dan Baker
Dan BakerDan is a freelance producer based in the South West, who has produced work touring across the UK for a number of companies. He is Co-Artistic Director of the City Gate venue for the 2014 Exeter Ignite Festival, and is an experienced events and venue manager.
Producing credits include: Desert (the MolinoGroup – UK Tour); Theatre Uncut Plymouth (Theatre Royal Plymouth & Barbican Theatre); Agent 160 Presents…Agent 160 (Agent 160 Theatre – UK Tour); Alfred by Ella Hickson (Vineyard Theater, New York); First Time Voters (Bush Theatre/ nabokov/Drywrite); True Love Waits by Kenneth Emson, Evan Placey and Marcelo dos Santos (Box of Tricks – European Festivals Tour); T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange 2011, US/UK Exchange 2009 and The 24 Hour Plays 2009 (The Old Vic).

OUR PATRONS

Sharon Morgan
Sharon MorganAfter graduating in History from University College Cardiff in 1970, Sharon joined Cwmni Theatr Cymru’s training scheme in Bangor. Since then she has become a familiar presence on television, film, radio and theatre in Welsh, English and sometimes French, mostly in Wales, but also in England from time to time. Sharon is a founder member of four theatre companies: Theatr Bara Caws 1977, Hwyl a Fflag (Sgwar Un) 1982, Fiction Factory (Y Cwmni) 1988, Rhosys Cochion 1997.
Sharon has won three BAFTA Cymru awards for best actress; Mary, an alcoholic, Tair Chwaer, Gaucho Films S4C 1998, Martha, a farmer, Martha Jac a Sianco, Apollo Films, S4C 2008, and Maggie Jones, matriarch, Resistance, Big Rich Films 2011, and was nominated for Rebecca, a valleys woman, in Utah Bride, 1.618 theatre company, at the inaugural Young Critics Awards 2013.
Sharon began writing in 1994, when she adapted Simone De Beauvoir’s Monologue, which she performed as Gobeithion Gorffwyll. Her trilogy of identity, three one-women plays – Ede Hud 1997, Holl Liwie’r Enfys 2006, and Trafaelu ar Y Tren Glas 2008, followed. Dreaming Amelia, inspired by Amelia Earhart’s landing on the West Wales Coast in 1928 toured England and Wales in 2002 (Hi-jinx Theatre). Shinani’n Siarad, her translation of The Vagina Monologues won the Theatre In Wales award for best production in 2004. Gwaun Cwm Garw, her adaptation of The Laramie Project, was toured by Theatr Bara Caws; and Gwlad Yr Addewid, her adaptation of House of America, was toured by Theatr Genedlaethol 2011. Myfanwy yn y Moorlands was presented by Sherman Cymru as part of Amrwd/Rawin 2013.
Sharon has also worked on television – on the period drama Palmant Aur (Opus Films S4C), as well as adapting Cowbois ac Injans (Rondo S4C), Caerdydd, Y Pris, Y Gwyll/Hinterland (Fiction Factory S4C) and Y Syrcas (FFatti Films S4C).
Her radio work includes episodes of the Radio Cymru daily soap Ponty, The Trilogy of Identity, Alltud Calon, based on the life of the actress Rachel Roberts, and Ar Lan Aberalaw about the women of the Mabinogion.
Sharon has two children, Steffan and Saran and lives in Cardiff.

Ar ol cwblhau gradd mewn Hanes o Brifysgol Cymru Caerdydd yn 1970, ymunodd Sharon a cwrs hyfforddi Cwmni Theatr Cymru ym Mangor. Ers hynny mae hi wedi bod yn bresenoldeb cyfarwydd ar deledu ffilm radio a theatr yn Gymraeg, Saesneg a weithiau Ffrangeg, yng Nghymru rhan fwya, ond hefyd yn Lloegr o bryd i’w gilydd. Mae Sharon yn aelod gwreiddiol o bedair cwmni theatr. Theatr Bara Caws 1977, Hwyl a Fflag (Sgwar Un) 1982, Fiction Factory (Y Cwmni) 1988, Rhosys Cochion 1997.
Mae Sharon wedi ennill tair gwobr actores orau BAFTA Cymru ; Mary yn Tair Chwaer, Gaucho Films S4C 1998, Martha, ffarmwraig, yn Martha Jac a Sianco, Apollo, S4C 2008, a Maggie Jones, matriarch, Resistance, Big Rich Films 2011; cafodd ei henwebu am ei pherfformiad fel Rebecca, menyw o’r cymoedd yn Utah Bride, cwmni theatr1.618, yng ngwobrwyon cynta’r Beirniaid Ifanc 2013.
Dechreuodd Sharon ysgrifennu yn 1994, pan addasodd hi Monologue gan Simone De Beauvoir, a’i berfformio o dan y teitl Gobeithion Gorffwyll. Dilynwyd hyn gan All That You Have Is Your Soul, fel rhan o Dangerous Women of The Mabinogi i’r Sherman 1997 a gan ei thrioleg hunaniaeth, tair sioe un-menyw – Ede Hud 1997, Holl Liwie’r Enfys 2006, a Trafaelu ar Y Tren Glas 2008. Teithiodd ei drama, Dreaming Amelia, wedi ei ysbrydoli gan laniad Amelia Earhart’s landing ar arfordir gorllewin Cymru ym Mhwll, Shir Gar, trwy Cymru a Lloegr yn 2002(Theatr Hi-jinx ). Enillodd Shinani’n Siarad, ei chyfieithiad o’r Vagina Monologues, gwobr Theatr yng Nghymru am y cynhyrchiad gore yn 2004. Teithiwyd Gwaun Cwm Garw, ei addasiad o The Laramie Project gan Theatr Bara Caws yn 2009 a teithiwyd Gwlad Yr Addewid, ei addasiad o House of America gan y Theatr Genedlaethol yn 2011. Cyflwynwyd Myfanwy yn y Moorlands gan Sherman Cymru fel rhan o Amrwd/Raw yn 2013.
Mae Sharon hefyd wedi gweithio ar y teledu – ar y ddrama gyfnod Palmant Aur (Opus Films S4C), ac addasiadau o Cowbois ac Injans (Rondo S4C), Caerdydd, Y Pris, Y Gwyll/Hinterland (Fiction FactoryS4C) a Y Syrcas (FFatti Films S4C)
Mae ei gwaith radio yn cynnwys pennodau o sebon ddyddiol Radio Cymru – Ponty,(1999) y Trioleg Hunaniaeth, Alltud Calon 2008, wedi seilio ar fywyd yr actores Rachel Roberts, ac Ar Lan 2011 am fenywod y Mabinogion.
Mae gan Sharon ddau o blant , Steffan a Saran ac mae’n byw yng Nghaerdydd.

Kaite O’Reilly
KaitepicKaite O’Reilly has won many awards for her work including the Peggy Ramsay Award, M.E.N. best play of the year and the Ted Hughes Award for New Works in Poetry for her version of Aeschylus’s Persians for National Theatre Wales. In 2012 she received two Cultural Olympiad Commissions for In Water I’m Weightless, produced by National Theatre Wales/South Bank Centre as part of the official festival celebrating the London Olympics/Paralympics. In 2014 she has productions in translation in Estonia, Belgium, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and a UK tour of Woman of Flowers, her retelling of the Mabinogion’s Blodeuwydd for Forest Forge. The premiere of Playing the Maids with Theatre P’Yut (Korea), Gaitkrash (Ireland) and The Llanarth Group (Wales) will premiere in Cardiff in early 2015. She has written extensively for radio and is now completing her first novel, A Sky Without Stars. She will begin work on her second novel in 2015, thanks to a Literature Wales bursary. Further information can be found at www.kaiteoreilly.com She blogs about creativity and process at www.kaiteoreilly.wordpress.com

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