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Readers

Rebecca Atkinson-Lord
Director of Theatre, Ovalhouse
Rebecca Atkinson-Lord is a hybrid theatre maker who directs, writes, devises and produces theatre and performance. Her work is full of stories and big ideas and she wants theatre full of magic and contradiction that just might change the world. Rebecca read Ancient History and Classics at Bristol University, specialising in ancient Greek drama before training as a Director at RADA and going on to train with Frantic Assembly, Complicite, Told by an Idiot and the Young Vic. Her work has taken her from major international companies like Shakespeare’s Globe, Scottish Opera and the Royal Opera House to tiny found spaces in London and beyond. She is Director of Theatre at Ovalhouse, Founding Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Arch 468 and works internationally as a freelance director.

Kate Budgen
Freelance Theatre Director
Kate completed an MFA in Theatre Directing at Birkbeck college in 2007 and was Associate Director at Shropshire based Pentabus Theatre from 2008-2011. She completed the National Theatre Studio Director Course in May 2010 and she was Creative Associate at the Bush Theatre from 2010-2011. She is currently working for the NT Connections Festival 2012. Recent directing credits include Rigor Mortis (Papatango/Finborough Theatre), Crossed Keys (Eastern Angles) A New Breed (Jersey Arts Trust) May Fair, (Latitude Festival),Tales of the Country (Pentabus Theatre National Tour) Miriam Gonzalez Durantez (Theatre 503) and Bedbound (Lion and Unicorn). She has worked as an Assistant Director for The Gate Theatre, The Almeida, The Opera Group, Pentabus Theatre and for Opera North.  She came runner up in the 2010 JMK Director Award with The Hairy Ape, which will be produced in May 2012 at Southwark Playhouse.

Fraser Grace
Convenor, MPhil in Playwriting, University of Birmingham
Before becoming a playwright, Fraser Grace worked as an actor and performance poet. His first play, Perpetua, was joint winner of the Verity Bargate Award and was produced by Soho Theatre/Birmingham REP. Since then he has written for theatres all over the UK, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, (Breakfast with Mugabe) and most recently, Pursued by a Bear Productions, whose production of Kalashnikov, in the woods by the lake toured the UK in Autumn 2011. In 2011 Fraser was appointed Teaching Fellow in Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham, where he now convenes the Masters Course in Playwriting Studies. His plays are published by Oberon books. For more details about past productions and new writing, visit www.frasergrace.co.uk

Caroline Jester
Dramaturg, Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Caroline is Dramaturg at Birmingham Repertory Theatre and has taught on the MPhil in Playwriting at Birmingham University and various undergraduate programmes. She is the co-author of Playwriting Across the Curriculum, published by Routledge in 2011, and has worked as a freelance dramaturg, director and workshop leader.

Sean McParland
mac, Birmingham
Further details to follow

Ged McKenna
Ged is an actor, writer and director. His play The Farmer’s Bride was premiered at The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough and toured extensively in 1997 while some short pieces, written under the umbrella title of Small Lives, were seen at The SJT, Scarborough and The New Vic, Stoke. He’s written two Pantomimes for Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds and recently won the M6 Theatre Company’s monologue competition with his play, Cheers, which the company continue to tour.

Oluwatoyin Odunsi
Artistic Director, Vintage Misfits & Associate Producer, The Hat Factory
Oluwatoyin Odunsi is a theatre and music producer, theatre and music programmer, musician, creative activist and founding Artistic Director of Vintage Misfits. She was the Artistic Programme Manager for Harrow Arts Centre from 2010-2012 and Arts Development Manager at the Drum Arts Centre from 2005-2010 where she developed the West Midlands theatre playwright programme ‘Stage It’ for BME playwrights; she also worked with the Royal Court Theatre as part of the Critical Mass playwright programme in the West Midlands 2008-2009. She produced and directed the hip hop play ‘My Love for Hip Hop’ in June 2008 and is currently directing and producing the play ‘Tap Lyrical’. She is a passionate advocate for everyday people seeing their stories on stage and works towards that goal.

Shabnam Shabazi
Playwright
Details to follow.

Beatrice Udeh
Creative Producer – Diversity, Nottingham Playhouse
As a Creative Producer over the past 8 years at Nottingham Playhouse, Bea Udeh has been able to unearth new writing and support emerging performing arts practitioners and local theatre companies to develop their voice, their work and share this at its earliest stages with audiences such as Waiting for the Tide, Apathy and Home Made.  These voices are local, but on many occasions have toured out nationally such as Pieces: Unity Through Comedy, Fakebook and Mummy Mafia.  Bea also supports the resident poetry collective, Mouthy Poets, whose development at Nottingham Playhouse has provided a home for innovative creative writing and event management and a youthful slant on the spoken word.