Taking the Stage 2022 - Opening Night
This is our second festival celebrating women playwrights and directors. Our first took place in September 2019 and feedback told us you wanted more. We ere encourage to build on the great success of the first festival and expand with more plays, discussions and films. This festival is therefore longer than our first – fours days instead of three with an incredible line up of eight new plays, a newly devised piece by students with Haste Theatre Company and an afternoon of African films by women writers and directors. Then there were discussion panels, workshops and keynote speeches. Like out first festival our aim was to tell hidden stories. The festival opened with a keynote speech by April De Angelis followed by a performance of “Tapestry” by Chloe Todd Fordham and a panel Q & A chaired by April De Angelis after the show.
April De Angelis - Reflections (on being a woman playwright)
April De Angelis is a British dramatist who began her career as an actress with the Monstrous Regiment theatre company in 1987. She began writing plays in 1987 and her work includes Jumpy, Breathless, Women in Law, Wanderlust, Visitants, Ironmistress, Crux, Frankenstein, The Life and Times of Fanny Hill, Hush, Greed, Soft Vengeance, Playhouse Creatures, The Positive Hour, A Warwickshire Testimony, A Laughing Matter, Headstrong, Wild East, Catch, and Wuthering Heights.
Rosemary Hill - Curator, Producer and Director
Rosemary first worked as an English and Drama teacher and then trained as an actor at the Drama Studio, London. She worked briefly on the London fringe before accepting a job at the BBC as a director and producer where she worked for twelve wonderful years in radio and TV and in both drama and documentary. Her work took her all over the world, often working in challenging environments making programmes about controversial issues such as FGM, HIV and motherhood, maternal health, women’s rights and girls’ education in developing countries. She went freelance in 1999 and continues to work in the media where she has produced award winning programmes for BBC World Service and BBC Education. She has also made several short films. Her first love though is the theatre and she founded The Play’s The Thing Theatre Company in 2008. Rosemary has wide experience in directing ranging from Shakespeare, Ibsen and Chekhov to more modern classics such as Abigail’s Party by Mike Leigh and of course plays by remarkable women playwrights such as Bryony Lavery, Caryl Churchill and Timberlake Wertenbaker. She has also directed new work and is passionate about creating more opportunities for women playwrights, directors and actors. Rosemary is also very interested in mental health and last year she qualified as a psychotherapeutic counsellor after three years of training. She now works for Mind and YiS (Youth Counselling) part time and has a private practice. Rosemary is a member of Stage Directors UK and Equity.
Tamsyn Payne - Production Manager
Tamsyn lives and works in Northampton and is passionate about the local arts scene. She studied Fine Art and found her way to the stage through designing then directing for community theatre. She has over the last 20 years run art gallery venues (Fishmarket and NN), comedy clubs (Screaming Blue Murder, Purple Monkey) and produced work on the Edinburgh Fringe (with GSOH). More recently she has worked in film as a designer with Screen Northants (her first feature Fortune Cookies is out soon) and as local casting and 2nd Assistant Director (Alan Moore’s The Show, SAS Red Notice). She also runs community projects as Red Rumpus and has produced various cross-generational creative projects including a 100 Years of Northampton a potted history on a catwalk, Eclectic Catwalk a charity shop fashion show with Age UK and the lockdown youth project Club Apocalypso.