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Playwriting at Warwick

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Project Leaders

Silvija Jestrovic

Silvija JestrovicSilvija Jestrovic is Associate Professor in the School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy at the University of Warwick and a playwright. She studied playwriting and dramaturgy at the University of Belgrade (1989-1992) and completed her postgraduate studies at the University of Toronto 2002. Prior to joining the academia, Silvija worked as a freelance playwright, dramaturge, journalist and TV presenter in former Yugoslavia. Before coming to Warwick, she taught at York University in Toronto. She is the author of Theatre of Estrangement: Theory, Practice, Ideology (University of Toronto Press 2006) and co-editor, with Yana Meerzon, of Performance, Exile, ‘America’ (Palgrave Mcmillan 2009). Her most recent monograph Performance, Space, Utopia: Cities of War, Cities of Exile was published by Palgrave in 2012. Her stage and radio plays have been performed in Belgrade, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. They include Lotta Lenya- Cabaret New Europe (BITEF Theatre, Belgrade 1992), This Dance is for the Ladies (SKC Theatre, Belgrade 1993), Noah’s Ark 747 (Teesri Dunya Theatre, Montreal 2002), Not My Story (April Productions & Artwood Theatre, Toronto 2004). She is the convenor of the Writing for Theatre and Performance module, which she has been teaching since 2006. In the last couple of years, she co-teaches it with playwright Richard Shannon.

Richard ShannonRichard Shannon
Richard Shannon is a playwright, director and lecturer, working mainly in theatre and radio. He read English at NewCollege, Oxford and studied theatre direction at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. His credits as a writer include: Sabbat (the story of the Pendle witches) produced in 2012 by the Dukes theatre, Lancaster and published by Oberon Modern Plays and The Lady of Burma (The story of Aung San Suu Kyi) which premiered at the Old Vic in London and went on to the Edinburgh Festival 2007, ran in London at the Riverside Studios and toured nationally. The play is published by Oberon Modern Plays and has been performed in Poland, India, Ireland and Norway. His other work includes: All Our Hellos and Goodbyes which starred Julian Glover as John Betjeman, Olympic Dreamer – the story of Dr William Penny Brookes, and Stargazer – a play for children, produced by Polka Theatre in London and the USA. Richard was Associate Director (New Work) at Polka Theatre for ten years. His productions at Polka include: Shouting, Stamping, Singing Home by Lisa Evans. Richard was also one of the founding directors of Independent Radio Drama Productions. His directing credits include: Saddam’s Arms by Simon Beaufoy starring Nerys Hughes, No Boy’s Cricket Club by Roy Williams starring Donna Croll and The Hound of the Baskervilles starring Edward Petherbridge as Sherlock Holmes. He also directed The Wolf and the Woodcutter by Martin Mcdonagh, starring Peter Guinness. In 2005 he directed Chuwudubelu, Preserved of God by Justin Butcher starring Ben Okafor, for BBC Radio 4. He is member of the council of the Directors' Guild of Great Britain and co-founded the annual Peter Brook lecture. Richard also works as a visiting lecturer in radio drama and musical theatre production at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, teaches playwriting at Warwick University.

Lead Student Learners

Thomas BolgerThomas Bolger
Tom is in his final year of English & Theatre Studies at Warwick. He has written for The National Theatre, acted alongside the Blackheath Conservatoire Company and recently performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Apart from penning plays, he also enjoys writing poetry and prose.

Emer McDaid

Emer MCDaid

Hailing from Ireland Emer McDaid is in her final year studying Theatre and Performance at Warwick University. Before this she spent over a year living and teaching in Sri Lanka. She later returned there once more to create a documentary concerning the 2004 tsunami, for which she was awarded the Lord Rootes Memorial Fund. She blogged daily from a shack by the Indian Ocean and became fluent in the Sinhalese language. She has also put on a “National Identities” Exhibition on the Irish troubles (“Breaking Boundaries: Behind the Wall”) for the Warwick University Theatre Department and her fellow module-takers.

Project Partners/ Collaborators

Maureen Freely
Maureen Freely

Maureen Freely is the author of seven novels (Mother’s Helper, The Life of the Party, The Stork Club, Under the Vulcania, The Other Rebecca, Enlightenment, and – most recent Sailing through the Byzantine ) as well as three works of non-fiction (Pandora's Clock, What About Us? An Open Letter to the Mothers Feminism Forgot, and The Parent Trap). The translator of five books by the Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk (Snow, The Black Book, Istanbul: Memories of a City, Other Colours and The Museum of Innocence), she is active in various campaigns to champion free expression. She also works with campaigns aiming to promote world literature in English translation. She has been a regular contributor to the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and the Sunday Times for two decades, writing on feminism, family and social policy, Turkish culture and politics, and contemporary writing.

Natasha Davis

Natasha Davis

Natasha Davis is a performance and visual artist who creates work around body, memory, identity and migration. Her solo performances, films and installations have been shown at theatres, galleries and festivals in the UK (National Theatre Studio, Chelsea Theatre London, Birmingham Rep Door, Barbican Plymouth, Playhouse Derry, Capstone Liverpool and many others) and internationally (most recently at Project Arts Centre Dublin, Point Centre for Contemporary Art Nicosia/Cyprus, Cummings Gallery Palo Alto/California etc). Her work has been funded by Arts Council England, Hosking Houses Trust, Platforma, Humanities Research Fund, Tower Hamlets and numerous commissions and residencies. Natasha is the final year PhD student at the University of Warwick, where she also produces the cultural content for the next IFTR conference and co-ordinates MAIPR student placements. A visiting lecturer at Birkbeck and Brunel, she has delivered talks and workshops across the world.