I’m a queer neurodiverse woman of colour writing stories from but not always about this perspective, for theatre and TV. I’m interested in telling stories in new ways and dramatizing seemingly complex, but actually simple, philosophical ideas.
At times, having ADHD can feel like a super power, I charge into hyper focus mode and get sucked into writing, cooking, skating, but most of the time it’s extremely tiring and spend most of my time find fixing mistakes I’ve made due to it. I was drawn to Wellspring because of its focus on working with D/deaf and/or Neurodivergent playwrights and writers, I was craving being in an environment that was aware of the importance of access where I felt like I could be myself and explore what was possible in such environment.
The highlight of Wellspring has been meeting other artists who have encountered similar blocks in the industry to me. Sharing experiences made me feel seen and validated and ultimately gave me the confidence to state my access needs in new situations. The tutors have been so generous with their knowledge and support, it’s felt like a realty safe space for growth, and learning through exploration. I’ve always felt like I’d needed to ‘fit in’ to an environment, for example, in meetings and rehearsal rooms, I’ve not felt able to get up and walk around for fear of it being inappropriate. Wellspring has taught me to honour my needs, and has given me to confidence not to fit in, but to assert myself. Since I’ve been doing this, my wellbeing and working relationships have improved, there is a greater sense of connection and ease, meaning creating work, in a safe space where everyone feels comfortable, feels radically expansive and authentic.
My advice for playwrights looking for professional development support is to know that you don’t need to change yourself to fit in to any structure, you’re allowed to make up the rules and talk about what you need. The more we advocate for ourselves, the more people will listen.
I’m currently making the leap over to TV writing, working on an original pilot as part of the Channel 4 Screenwriting Course, it’s a huge learning experience as the process if very different to playwriting. I’m working with two wonderful script editors who know my needs and how I like to work, I cannot stress enough how wonderful people are when you’re brave enough to share your authentic self!
Nicole Latchana, Wellspring Writer 2021 – 2022
Nicole is a queer, neurodiverse, Indo-Guyanese playwright from London. Her plays have won competitions and have been on at several theatres including The Arcola, The Bunker and Southwark Playhouse. She wrote her latest play OCO-2, a dystopia about the climate crisis, on the Royal Court writer’s group
Wellspring is Vital Xposure’s professional development programme for London-based disabled, d/Deaf and neurodivergent playwrights and script writers, funded by City Bridge Trust and delivered in partnership with Paines Plough, Bush theatre, Theatre 503 and Hampstead Theatre.