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Ladies, fellas and gentleTHEMs. I am here, a disabled, part Irish, queer. Allegedly anyway, I could be Swedish.

As I type this I’m colouring a white bin I got from Ikea with a felt tip pen, it’s easing my anxiety despite being the most inefficient way to have a green bin.

Why am I anxious? Could be I’m writing this five hours after my partner discovered a leak in the kitchen, two days after sending my script to my mentor, one week after moving home, one month after starting a new job.


I’m ashamed to admit I hated reading and writing as a kid, but one day I saw a god ugly pink faux snakeskin notebook that thirteen year old emo-esque me just HAD TO HAVE.

And then, all at once my maladaptive daydreaming had a purpose and somewhere deep inside there was a little spark  going “Finally, took you long enough”.

The first story was a YA Sci Fi war and was quite frankly terrible. That notebook took up 80 pages of dyslexic scribble, imagine every angsty and embarrassing thought you had as a teenager compiled into one illegible book from Beales. I never reread any of it. But I did carry on scribbling new stories.

I kept that little spark hidden for years until I finally said the words out loud, I started to actually dip my toes into the written waters. And here I am, absolutely joyous to say hello.

My fellow Wellspringers (please read in a Texan accent), are all amazing.

Can’t decide if I’m mildly in love or want to be them. They were all a great help regarding my main weakness which is in fact critique. I have spent my life around very grumpy artistic types who will say “Yeah I enjoyed that” only to then list sixteen things they hated about it, so I was always stubborn about saying how scripts made me feel. But I’ve learned from them, I can analyse art and be kind.

I’ve honestly loved Wellspring more than anything, every lesson encouraged me to write in a way I never experienced trying to do it on my own. I’m now better than I was six months ago and the urge to write is never waning like it used to.

My play is supposed to be a surreal comedy about a record shop on an asteroid. There’s also a tissue paper monster and a saxophone player, the one sax musician I know will probably want to star in it now.

Sorry, Jon. It’s a no from me.

That little spark wants desperately for this to be the start of my writing career but that same little spark also wants to be a duckling. My goal is for this to be the first of many plays, but if it isn’t? I’ve still gained a deeper love of theatre, earned more friends and self confidence than I had my entire life.

No matter what, that spark now knows she’s a writer.

Ellie Dunn (she / her), Wellspring Writer 2023 – 2024


Ellie has been working in TV and film since 2019 and has seen it all. She was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of nine, dyspraxia at the age of eleven and by twenty she developed a chronic case costochondritis which she likes to claim is “a bit annoying”.

Instagram: @eibhlin.de.paor

LinkedIn: Ellie Dunn

Four years ago, sitting in a circle in my drama school and reading a play out loud, my heart started racing, all the words were moving. No matter how much I focused, I couldn’t get them in order. A week later, I was diagnosed with severe ADHD and Dyslexia, at the age of 29! I lived my life in the dark, for 29 years.

To be honest, somewhere I always knew something was there, but never wanted to find out exactly what. In India, there’s no such thing as dyslexia, you are “lazy and slow”. The day I got my diagnosis, I started my journey of acceptance.

My name is Mohit Mathur, I am an Indian actor/dancer/deviser-writer. I call myself a “deviser-writer” because I am still trying to find a method of playwriting that works for me. I have never written a full-fledged play, I always thought I didn’t have any intelligent words to use or profound things to say, words that would move people.

However, I have always felt the need to write, to share ideas, and in the search for tools to help me, I landed on the Wellspring programme.

It was through this programme I realised that what I have to say is important, it matters.

The course taught us to be kind to ourselves as playwrights. We’ve been introduced to new writing theatres in London. They de-mystified the process of playwriting. They showed us that if we spend some time on it, we can create more accessible work including people from all sections of society.

Through the Wellspring programme, I’ve discovered the value of self-compassion, especially during challenging times. As a playwright and creative, self-love has proven to be an essential aspect of my journey. Surprisingly, the most impactful moment in the programme was not directly related to writing but rather a meeting with Foteini regarding the Access rider. Prior to this encounter, I was unaware of this support, and Foteini graciously guided me in crafting my own, highlighting the programme’s commitment to my growth and well-being.

Being from India, I feel there is such a big part of my culture that isn’t represented in the most authentic form on the UK’s stages. Through Wellspring, I wish to bring some of those stories to life.

The piece I am currently writing is a one person show about a call centre employee from India, who, having spent years talking to people from Great Britain, has built the dream to live there someday. When he finally does make it there, he turns into a victim of modern day slavery in the UK.

It is a fantastical, absurd piece exploring the concept of “the grass is greener on the other side”. Being an immigrant myself, I feel both connected and disconnected with this story. I wish to explore how our common colonial past creates a sense of connection, while micro-aggressions and bias are still rooted in the system.

Through my writing, I aim to share intersectional stories and narratives from India and strive to foster understanding, dialogue, and empathy, challenging the barriers that lead to misunderstandings. I would love audiences leaving the theatre to consider how we all sometimes want more, often overlooking what we already have and wishing for what others possess. Yet, even when we attain what others may have, this often leaves us unsatisfied.

Mohit Mathur (he / him), Wellspring Writer 2023 – 2024


Mohit is an Indian actor/ dancer/theatre maker, a graduate from the Drama Centre London. Recently seen on the West End show “Life Of Pi”. As an artist he is currently exploring concepts of Immigration, intergenerational trauma and Britain’s colonial impact on India.

Instagram: @mohitmathur26

X (formerly known as Twitter): @iMohitMathur

Facebook: @mohitmathur26

Hello! I’m Emma Prendergast and I am a working-class, writing-focused actor-deviser most recently working as an actor playing Athena in the National Theatre’s The Odyssey, a project that featured over 160 community artists! I am interested in writing and telling stories that centre Queer, Disabled, Working class people; to explore how they navigate the world or maybe how the world navigates them!

I grew up in Romford Essex and had never met anyone who had built career as a writer, actor or in any sector of the arts. I was the first in my family to go to university and until then I often felt I didn’t have the language, connections or the financial support to access programmes critical to my development as a young artist.

Last year I became profoundly deaf in my right ear overnight and suddenly had a lot of time to recover and assess what I wanted to do and how to develop myself as a creative. I was searching for writing groups who focused on new writers that were specifically neuro-diverse, Deaf and Disabled when I came across Vital Xposure. This programme has been central to my confidence as a new writer, where I could turn up authentically as myself and use all my energy in learning rather than masking – this was a shared feeling amongst the group! I feel I have built a thick toolkit of writing skills, taught by extraordinarily skilled and diverse mentors.

I am passionate about creating work that has snappy dialogue, poetry, strong visual elements, physical theatre and I am looking to expand my technical skills so I can explore multi-sensory theatre with the aim of creating shows with both visual and auditory storytelling. I am interested in projects that lead with accessibility, inclusion and equity.

The piece I am developing with Vital Xposure’s Writers Programme is named ‘I Hear You.’ I hope it is a complex exploration of identity politics and opens up conversations about language, class and access/lack of access to disability support – all whilst making you chuckle. I hope audiences of deaf, queer, and working class people find parts of their story within it, and I get to hear how their experiences have influenced and moulded their characters.

My top writing tip would be: The satisfaction of telling people you are writing can feel more satisfying than writing itself and stop you from actually creating; make first, tell second! Be curious! Be playful. Be precise. Be clear. Have good snacks. And take a nap! We deserve to be here, and we shouldn’t have to diminish our access needs to.

I hope the industry continues to employ, listen and learn from Disabled artists; and then put that learning into action for the next generation; and I am committed to ensuring my practice continuously develops as I listen and learn, with ever-changing expansion.

Emma Prendergast (a.k.a. Em) (she/them), Wellspring Writer 2023 – 2024


Emma is a deaf, working class, writing-focused actor-deviser. The stories they develop often centre conversations around queerness, class, and disability, informed by their lived experience. They love poetry, visual narrative, and stories filled with joy.

Credits include: A Christmas Carol Hulltruck/Leeds Playhouse, MESSY, ZOOCO; The Witchfinder’s Sister, Queens Theatre Hornchurch. Script development/R&D include: Queens Theatre Hornchurch Youth Company plays; BOSSY, ZOOCO

Website: https://www.iml.org.uk/emma-prendergast

X (formerly known as Twitter): @EmmaPrender

Instagram: @emmaprender

Hi, I’m Jesse and I’m a queer crip writer with a passion for telling authentic, complex and joyful stories about trans and disabled people.

Through Wellspring, I am developing a play about queer crip sex and relationships, navigating kink in a world that sees disabled bodies as weak, monstrous or medicalised, and coming to terms with physical illness as a transmasculine person.

When I became disabled, I looked everywhere for representations of trans disabled people having a hot, empowering sex, and I found almost nothing; so this is my love letter to everyone with a non-normative bodymind who is redefining what sex, power and community means to them and, in doing so, expanding what is possible for everyone; regardless of gender, sexuality or ability.

I am really excited about how theatre is evolving to include a more diverse spectrum of voices, especially after a classical theatre training a decade ago, where old white men were heralded as the source of all knowledge. I hope to see more and more of this, as well as adequate funding for the arts, and more robust safeguarding practices and mental health support for creatives.

When I took a break from writing for theatre five years ago, I was feeling disillusioned and downtrodden. Being part of the Wellspring cohort has completely changed that for me; reigniting my lifelong passion for theatre and giving me the confidence I need to tell the stories that matter to me most – stories that have been growing beneath the surface of my skin for many years. I have particularly enjoyed connecting with, and learning from, other disabled writers; both through community with Wellspring participants, and through workshops with more established disabled theatre-makers. Their wisdom and expertise has been invaluable and I feel honoured to be in conversation with them.

Jesse Stone (they / them), Wellspring Writer 2023 – 2024

Jesse is crawling back to theatre after a long hiatus because they have a story to tell. Under a different name, they wrote a one-person show about a sex role play, a two-hander about a nude photograph leaked online and a site-specific play about lesbian witches.

Instagram: @dantegayboyrossetti

I have struggled to navigate my way in this industry since acquiring a disability in 2018. I wanted to join Wellspring so I could write a full length play with support and encouragement.

I needed this support not only regarding the craft of playwrighting but for confirmation from a cohort of fellow writers and professionals who face the same unpredictable challenges that this industry belongs to us and needs our stories and voices in order to survive and thrive.

The workshops have been really insightful and many of the discussions have helped shape my approach to the craft and self-care in this industry.

I did not write the play I initially intended to write. I felt safe and confident that a personal play I would not have written without this experience is the one I wrote. A play I am proud of and certain only I could have written is now out in the world. A play exploring the inner life of a man rarely seen on stage in the UK.

Making new friends and having genuine excitement about our voices and stories being staged has been the highlight. The diversity of the group has ignited a passion for the protentional future of theatre I may be lucky enough to experience as an audience member.

To be in love with theatre again and have confidence in my place in the industry, my right to write what I want on my terms has been the greatest outcome of this programme.

The confidence I gained from this programme also enabled me to submit a full length play to the Woven Voices 2023 competition. My play Mount View Road has now been longlisted for this award.

Yaz Nin (she / her), Wellspring Writer 2023 – 2024

Yaz is a Poet and Playwright. Born in Kibris, raised in Tottenham, she recently had the opening of her monologue “It Takes A Village” broadcast on BBC London Radio. Yaz has also had several short played staged across the UK.

X (formerly known as Twitter): @Yaz_Nin

Hello, my name is Sophia Wai Yee Ginsburg.

Here is where I would usually explain more about who I am, but I am sick of using identity terms this week (Sometimes I just feel like a category, a set of boxes ticked “diversity”…can you tell I have been writing lots of applications?! Also, brain fog). Instead I will tell you some other things about me.

I often feel like a baby learning to speak and walk and a much older woman forgetting how to do both (crip time!)

I am quite new to writing.

I am very interested in telling stories about people who feel like they don’t belong. The story I am writing for Wellspring is about what it’s like when you can’t be yourself in the place that feels the most like home. I think it’s also about what happens in between the public and private spaces, and what you do when your private self is forced to be your public self.

I’ve also devised a play with friends about historical incidents of women experiencing mass hysteria, which is partially inspired by my experiences of being chronically ill. It’s going up for three days at the Camden People’s Theatre this December.

My work integrates devising, movement, feminist and disabled/crip theory, and embodied dramaturgy. I’m trying to figure out my practice as a disabled artist.

I’m really interested in performativity in both a feminist/gender sense, and a theatrical sense. I have synesthesia, which means the way I see the world is very much informed by a sensory perception of colour, texture, and what I can only think to describe as “vibes”.

I always get confused by the differences between American and British spelling and punctuation. I was very confused about British people ending all their messages with kisses, but I’ve grown fond of it.

I’m writing this while on a visit home to Hong Kong, where I am trying to eat as many mangoes as possible.

My favourite poem is “Late Fragment,” by Raymond Carver;

And did you get what

you wanted from this life, even so?

I did.

And what did you want?

To call myself beloved, to feel myself

beloved on the earth.

I would remind any creative person that doing the work doesn’t always look the way you think it should, and that rest is an essential and important part of the process. I really also say this for my past and future selves as a reminder.

The main highlight of Wellspring has been being able to meet new people who are also disabled and neurodivergent theatre makers and writers, and for us to be able to share our experiences– I usually feel very isolated in the theatre community so this is a very beautiful and unique experience for me.

Sophia Wai Yee Ginsburg (she / her), Wellspring Writer 2023 – 2024

Sophia is a London and Hong Kong based interdisciplinary theatre maker who has recently graduated with an MFA in Advanced Theatre Practice at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is lead artist and performer for “Strange Contagions” at Camden People’s Theatre, returning in December 2023.

Website: www.sophiaginsburg.com 

Recent show at CPT: www.sophiaginsburg.com/strangecontagion

I’m Emma Dawson, a playwright and prose writer, who enjoys writing about neurodivergent and queer characters, dysfunctional families, and everything that I think is deeply bizarre about the world, from marriage, to the housing crisis, to office hierarchies.

One of the key reasons why I wanted to participate in Wellspring was to join a community of disabled and neurodivergent writers to work on my writing with. And it has been absolutely beautiful to spend so much time with this group over the training period. It felt safe, it felt very honest, and I didn’t feel like I had to pretend to be okay if I wasn’t. We would run over in practically every session because we found everything that was being discussed too intriguing to just discuss it briefly and I felt so energised and hopeful after each workshop.

There have been lots of highlights across this incredible programme, but one moment that particularly stood out for me was during Alex Bulmer’s session. She talked about how we might insert our disabilities into the form of the play with the example that a theatre maker who has a chronic illness might take a nap in the middle of their show, intending to bring their disability into the theatre for the audience to experience (and also out of necessity). That blew my mind and I know I’m going to have to do something with this concept in the future.

The play that I’m developing as part of Wellspring is a queer, neurodivergent darkly comic all-female family drama, which is set between 2003-2023 on New Year’s Eve/Day and explores the long-term ramifications of stillbirth. I feel like I have been preparing to write this play since I fell in love with the genre of resentful families that are forced to reunite after reading Shelagh Stephenson’s The Memory of Water and Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County years ago. I primarily wanted to write this play because stillbirth is often swept under the rug and I haven’t seen this theme explored from the perspective of a bereaved sibling before.

So this is my take on the family drama, which will celebrate the beautiful creativity of the neurodivergent brain, as well as exploring rituals, ideas about the “right” way to grieve, and families that can only be honest once they’re absolutely wasted.

My hope for the future of theatre is that there will be a number of nuanced female queer and neurodivergent stories told in mainstream theatre. I want to see a variety of different intersectional stories. And I want to go to the theatre and cry afterwards as I step out onto the pavement because I recognise myself so accurately, like when I saw Rafaella Marcus’s Sap at Soho Theatre.

Thank you so much to Vital Xposure, the theatre partners, and all of our tutors for an amazing training period – I’m so excited now that we are moving towards our showcase in 2024!

Emma Dawson (she / her), Wellspring Writer 2023 – 2024


Emma is a playwright, who writes about neurodiversity, queer characters, and dysfunctional families. Her first play, EDIE, received a short run at Theatre503 in 2022 and was developed by London Playwrights Blog/Lion & Unicorn Theatre, longlisted for Theatre503’s International Playwriting Prize, and shortlisted for Through the Mill Playwriting Prize.

Website: www.emmadawsonwriter.co.uk

X (formerly known as Twitter): @emmaruthdawson