Dramaturg, Facilitator, Theatre Maker
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME
I am a Swedish dramaturg working in the UK and Ireland.
Projects I have worked on include: A post-apocalyptic experience in a large warehouse, an intimate sonic art experience in a hospital bed and a polyvocal multilingual devised piece by Northern Irish and Croatian artists.
In 2016 I was honoured to receive the Kenneth Tynan Award for excellence in dramaturgy nominated by playwrights and peers across UK and Ireland.
In 2017 I received a special commendation through the Elliott Hayes Award for my work on ‘Reassembled Slightly Askew’.
I started out in London, freelancing on a range of productions and development processes. The role of the dramaturg was just in its infancy at the time and the need to create professional standards and collegiate networking encouraged me and dramaturg Katalin Trencsényi to set up the Dramaturgs’ Network in 2000. Since then I have been actively engaged in advocating for the role, function and professionalism of the dramaturg in UK and Irish theatre.
I worked in London for 5 years before taking up the post as the full-time dramaturg for Northern Ireland’s premier new writing company Tinderbox in 2004.
At Tinderbox I ran the dramaturgy strand of the company’s activities: working with writers under commission, production dramaturgy and artist’s development programmes. I was fortunate to work with most of the leading Northern Irish theatre companies as part of the innovative Joint Sectoral Dramaturgy Initiative 2005- 2015 and through the extraordinary Pick n Mix Festival which I initiated and ran with colleagues to create a platform for new work and new talent in Northern Ireland.
I regularly collaborated with the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen providing skills development for writers and most notably facilitated and ran the annual 360° Scriptwriting Festival together with BBC NI Drama.
In 2015 the company changed direction and expanded its remit to include devising and dance. I became the Director of New Work Development and developed a new range of initiatives for artists as well as writers such as the STATE OF THE ARTS initiative which is a series of dramaturgy led workshops for theatre makers.
Throughout my years at Tinderbox I have collaborated closely with the ground breaking participatory programme across the varied range of activities and initiatives for groups and communities.
Since going freelance in 2017 I have been developing an area of practice in Sensory Dramaturgy, exploring multimodal and interdisciplinary approaches to theatre making processes when creating performances that work dramaturgically on multi sensory levels.
In addition to my work in new writing, I am increasingly working in dance and interdisciplinary projects and exploring accessibility dramaturgy together with disabled artists.
I lecture and deliver workshops and training on dramaturgy, theatre making processes and new writing across the UK and Ireland.
By Maria Connolly, Stacey Gregg, Rosemary Jenkinson and Maria McManus. Photo Ciaran Bagnall