I am an experienced production dramaturg working in new writing, devising and in dance.
The role of the production dramaturg differs across processes. It varies in a new writing process if, for example, there are times the writer cannot be in rehearsals. My job also changes depending on who the director or the choreographer is, what their needs are and how they work. I provide a highly informed extra pair of eyes. I aim to understand the vision of the director as well as the writer, or the company vision. As one director put it - “I can play around and explore and make a mess in rehearsals, as I know Hanna is there and will put us back on track”.
During the busy production phase, I am there to support the director by working with the writer to ensure that the writer feels heard. I am also there to support the director's vision by being part of any aspects of the production that change meanings on stage - not simply text but all elements such as design, light, sound and costume.
Here are some examples of my work:
In 2010 Tinderbox created a unique new writing ensemble for nine weeks of rehearsals to create 3 pieces of new writing under the title TRUE NORTH. Patrick Buchanan, Laura Hughes, Claire Lamont, Ivan Little, Paul Mallon and Tara Lynne O’Neill performed new plays by writers John McCann, Colin Bell and David Ireland.Directed by Michael Duke, Des Kennedy and Kathleen Akerley, with lighting and set design by Ciaran Bagnall, the three plays opened successive nights and ran in rep at the Crescent Arts Centre, and culminated in the performance of all three plays in one day as a special event for the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens.
I was the dramaturg on all three plays, working with the different director and writer teams to ensure each writer’s vision was honoured and working with the design and production team to help create a sense of one event, one season.
David Ireland’s play Everything Between Us went on to win the Meyer Whitworth Award 2011 and the 2011 Stewart Parker Trust BBC Radio Drama Award.
Colin Bell’s play God’s Country was awarded the 2010 Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens Audience Award
“There is a shared urgency and vision to the panels of this post-Troubles triptych….acutely contemporary parallels….flashes of razor sharp wit” (Culture NI)
REASSEMBLED SLIGHTLY ASKEW
Produced by Shannon Yee, Touring internationally since 2016
Reassembled, Slightly Askew is an autobiographical, audio-based artwork about Shannon’s experience of falling critically ill with a rare brain infection and her journey of rehabilitation with an acquired brain injury. Audience members experience Reassembled... individually, listening to the audio via headphones, while lying on a hospital bed. The audio technology makes the sound three-dimensional, causing listeners to feel they are inside Shannon’s head, viscerally experiencing her descent into coma, brain surgeries, early days in the hospital, and re-integration into the world with a hidden disability. It is a new kind of storytelling, never done before about this topic, that places the listener safely in the first-person perspective to increase empathy and understanding--it's one step better than walking in someone's shoes, it's living in someone else's head.
'A QUIETLY DEVASTATING EXAMPLE OF UNCATEGORISABLE ART AT ITS BEST’ —TIME OUT LONDON
‘BEAUTIFULLY PUT TOGETHER.’ —THE GUARDIAN
'A RICHLY TEXTURED THREE-DIMENSIONAL SOUNDSCAPE THAT AFFORDS US A PROFOUND AND MOVING SENSE OF WHAT IT MIGHT BE LIKE TO HAVE A BRAIN INJURY — AND RECOVER FROM ONE.’ —EVENING STANDARD
This work has won many awards, and my work on it earned me a special commendation at the 2017 Elliott Hayes Award.
WINNER OF HOSPITAL CLUB H100 THEATRE & PERFORMANCE AWARD (2015)
DUBLIN FRINGE FESTIVAL (2016) NOMINEE: JUDGES’ CHOICE, BEST DESIGN, FIRST FORTNIGHT AWARDS
Choreography Eileen McClory
CUCK is a political, raw and fast paced assault on the senses. It's a dance show about the dark heart of the far right. CUCK is a collaboration between choreographer Eileen McClory, me as the dramaturg Hanna and dancers Ryan O’Neill and Vasiliki Stasinaki. This ground breaking new piece of work was created in five days and as part of the Tinderbox Theatre Company Ignition initiative.
“Tinderbox have created an accessible piece of dance theatre… that tapped into my inner emotions... It’s agile, it’s risky and incredibly satisfying.” (Alan in Belfast)
Directed by Patrick J O'Reilly, produced by Tinderbox Theatre Company
Hiatus was a collaboration between 4 writers and two dramaturgs from Northern Ireland and Croatia: John McCann, Jonathan Bailie, Vedrana Klepica and Ivor Martinic. The two dramaturgs were Katarina Pejovic and myself. The project started off as a Tinderbox Writers Lab exploring literary and cultural translation. We visited each others countries and talked about the common issues around living and making theatre in post conflict regions and then the discussion veered towards the changes that were happening in Europe and how they were perceived from the two different viewpoints. The writers went off to write what they wanted to write and Katarina and I put it together into a non-linear piece of polyvocal theatre which juxtaposed ideas, images and cultures.
“… in the war torn landscape. Part poetry, part play, part meditation on war, there’s a lot packed into three vignettes, and space is made for comedy amidst the conflict angst.” (Alan in Belfast)
Hiatus was part of an evening of three pieces under the title What We Are Made Of
"What We’re Made Of is experimental, ambitious and incredibly engaging” (Alan in Belfast)