Julie McNamara is Artistic Director of Vital Xposure, one of UK’s leading disability led touring theatre companies within Arts Council England’s national portfolio. She is a Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Victorian College of the Arts and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne.
As both an artist and activist, she is a leading voice in Disability Arts on international stages. Her work is driven by social justice with a life long preoccupation with creating platforms for excluded voices from the political periphery. Her particular interests are in discourses of madness and voices from locked-in spaces. She is an award winning playwright (Unlimited Award 2014, Southbank Show Award 2010, ITV / DaDa Writers 2009, Peabody Award for documentary 2000). In 2015 she was one of four national artists commissioned by Research Centre for Museums and Galleries for Exceptional and Extraordinary, Unruly Bodies and Minds in the Medical Museum. Her work is widely published in poetry anthologies and non-fiction discourses on Disability and Mental Health. She has a substantial theatre production history both in the UK and on international stages (Australia; Canada, New Zealand and Ireland) She has an extensive record of international mentorships in UK, Ireland, Canada and South Australia. Recent work includes the award winning documentary: Voices from the Knitting Circle, the extraordinary love letter to life itself – Let Me Stay, created alongside her Mother with Alzheimer’s and two sell out tours of The Butch Monologues by Laura Bridgeman.
Short bio to be published soon!
Isobel Hawson is a freelance theatre producer, consultant and Director of On Tour Ltd., a national and international arts consultancy. She has worked in theatre for many years, both in England and overseas. She has set up bursaries, international exchanges, provides mentoring support and advises companies on their creative, infrastructural and touring developments.
As a Senior Officer at Arts Council England she led on the strategic and policy development of cultural diversity and theatre, young people’s theatre, audience development and the DCMS funded national programme, to develop young people’s participatory theatre practice.
As a Producer, in recent years, Isobel has worked on Dervish’s acclaimed production THE CROWS PLUCKED YOUR SINEWS (nomination Alfred Fagon Award 2016), written by Hassan Mahamdallie, which toured nationally and to Grahamstown Arts Festival, South Africa; INSIDE OUT OF MIND (ACE Strategic Touring), a collaboration between Meeting Ground Theatre Company, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, University of Nottingham. (Finalist National Lottery Awards 2015 (Best Arts Award); fingersmiths’ productions of Bryony Lavery’s FROZEN and John Godber’s UP ’N’ UNDER (finalist Signature Awards 2018 – Community Spirit Category).
Isobel is currently producing Mashi Theatre’s STRIPEY HONEY ….. IS VERY YUMMY! a new commission for young people aged 5+, touring in Spring 2019.
She is Strategic Associate at 20 Stories High, whose award winning professional and participatory work with and for young people, tours regionally and nationally. She also works with Kali Theatre and with Giants Theatre Company.
Short bio to be published soon!