SPILL Symposium – Speakers’ Biographies

SPILL Symposium
Soho Theatre
Thursday 12 and Friday 13 April 2007

Tilmann Broszat is head of the office of Spielmotor München, which runs three international festivals in Munich: The Munich Biennale – International Festival for Contemporary Music Theatre (Producer and Managing Director since 1988), Festival DANCE (Managing director since 1998) and the international theatre festival SPIELART Munich (founder and artistic director since 1995). He started as producer and co-owner of ART BUREAU Munich in 1986 and realised projects with Bob Wilson, Peter Brook, Anatolij Wassiliew, and the European tour of the musical SARAFINA! In 1993 he was managing director of the Festival THEATER DER WELT in Munich. 

Marisa Carnesky is an artist and performer who has been making shows for over decade. She regularly appears in theatres, galleries and festivals internationally. In 2004 Marisa premiered her theatrical ride Carnesky's Ghost Train in East London, co – commissioned and funded by Arts Council England, Fierce, Its Queer Up North, Warwick Arts Centre, Hellhound, Nesta, London Artists Projects, Mama Cash, European Cultural Foundation and Glastonbury Festival. She is developing a large scale theatre production on the themes of the Ghost Train and a new one woman show- Magic War for the Fierce festival 2007. She is also performance director of the newly formed Insect Circus and an associate artist with Duckie.

Simon Casson is the Producer for Duckie.  Positioned as a Post Gay independent arts outfit, Duckie produce a mix of cultural interventions – nightclubs, new mode pop & arty performance events, and anti-theatre experimentation.  Mixing the arthouse with the dosshouse they put highbrow performance in backstreet pubs and lowbrow performance in posh theatres.  Duckie's new show 'Buffont: A Promenade Performance for Pissheads' will employ a motley crew of tramps, smackheads, winos and performance artists in a site specific show that takes a look at addiction and London lowlife.

Mike Christie and Mike Smith are the founders of Carbon Media which they set up after collaborating on Jump London (RTS Best Arts Programme finalist 2003). Carbon's documentary output to date has included Channel 4 documentaries Operation Muslim Vote, Election Unspun: What They're Really Thinking, and Gay Vicars; the surreal BBC2 journey The Real Little Britain and Jump Britain, the sequel to Jump London.  Currently, Carbon is producing The Big Art Project: a commission that will see the creation of up to six public works of art across the UK. Audaciously bringing high-art to the public realm, it is the biggest arts commission in the history of Channel 4, if not British Television.

Tim Etchells is an artist, director and writer best known for his work with Forced Entertainment. Since 1984 Etchells has also collaborated with a range of other artists, choreographers and writers and has created original works in text, photography, video, performance, installation, and digital media. He has written fiction with books including The Dream Dictionary (Duckworths 2001) and Endland Stories, (Pulp Books, 1999) as well as in writing for and about performance (Certain Fragments, Routledge 1999). He is currently a Creative Research Fellow in Department of Theatre Studies at Lancaster University and is preparing a new performance work That Night Follows Day, produced by the Flemish theatre organization Victoria and involving a cast of seventeen children.

Ju Row Farr is one of the founder members of Blast Theory.
She has taught extensively around the work of Blast Theory, including devising a module at Demontfort University and mentoring artists in Australia and the UK. In 2000 she was involved in the Legacy Project – based at Arnolfini and Prema.  In 2001 she received a Live Art Development Agency One to One bursary and was also commissioned by the Pacitti Company to make Ease a short video work. In 2006 she took part in a cross disciplinary lab called Concepting Pervasive Multi-User Applications organised by Sagasnet. She is currently a member of the Robert Pacitti Company board and is a parent governor at a school in Brighton.

Rose Fenton is an independent arts producer and advisor. She was co-founder/director of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) with Lucy Neal from 1981-2005 and is author of The Turning World: Stories from the London International Festival of Theatre. She is on the board of several arts organisations including motiroti, Dance Umbrella, Tipping Point and Theorem, and is currently engaged in a range of projects within Europe and the Middle East.

Lyn Gardner writes about theatre for The Guardian. Her first novel Into the Woods is published by David Fickling.
Stella Hall is Creative Director of the NewcastleGateshead Initiative. Previously she was Director of the Belfast Festival at Queens and Director of Warwick Arts Centre. She played a key role in Manchester's successful bid to be the 1994 City of Drama, was the Royal Court Theatre's Barclay's New Stages Festival Director, and was the Founding Artistic Director of Green Room Arts Centre in Manchester.

Adrian Heathfield is a writer and curator who works on performance and live art. He co-curated Live Culture at Tate Modern with the Live Art Development Agency in 2003, Small Acts at the Millennium with Tim Etchells and Lois Keidan in 1999, and Forced Entertainment's twelve hour durational performance-lecture Marathon Lexicon.  He is the editor of Live: Art and Performance (Tate Publishing, 2004), Small Acts: Performance, The Millennium and the Marking of Time (Black Dog Publications, 2000), and co-editor of On Memory, an issue of Performance Research, and of the box publication Shattered Anatomies: Traces of the Body in Performance (Arnolfini Live, 1997). www.adrianheathfield.net

Leslie Hill is an artist working in performance, video and film and artistic director of the company Curious, along with co-founder Helen Paris.  Curious has produced over 30 projects which have been shown widely by national and international venues such as the Sydney Opera House, the British Council Showcase at the Edinburgh Festival and Artist Links, Shanghai. Curious are currently touring their new work (be)longing. Hill and Paris's book, The Guerilla Guide to Performance Art: How to Make a Living as an Artist, is published by Continuum. Their new book, Performance and Place is published by Palgrave Macmillan. Leslie Hill is a NESTA Dream Time Fellow.

Hannah Hurtzig is the director of the MOBILE ACADEMY since 1999, a temporary art institution frequently changing its location, combining interdisciplinary courses with fieldwork, theory and activism. As part of TULIP HOUSE, a company dealing with the construction of public spaces experimenting with new narrative formats for the production and mediation of knowledge, she is presenting installation projects on the thematics and metaphor of archives. Since 2004 she directs the BLACKMARKET FOR USEFUL KNOWLEDGE AND NON-KNOWLEDGE.

Louise Jeffreys is Head of Theatre at the Barbican and is responsible for programming and producing BITE (Barbican International Theatre Events).  Prior to the Barbican, Louise's previous roles include Administrative Director at the Nottingham Playhouse, Head of Production at Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, and Technical Director at the English National Opera.  She began her career working in stage management and production management in several organisations including the Citizen's Theatre, Glasgow, Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith and Hampstead Theatre Club.  Louise is on the board of Shared Experience and an Artistic Adviser to the Dublin Theatre Festival.

Karena Johnson is an artist and organiser. She has worked as a professional theatre director for over ten years most recently directing and conceptualising Sweet Yam Kisses by Courttia Newland and Pat Cumper, Lyric Hammersmith. Her work has included The Bridge by Pedro Obaseki an international co-production between Oval House Theatre and Don Pedro productions Nigeria, The Oddest Couple by Geoff Aymer Theatre Royal Stratford East Vengeance by Wayne Buchanan National Tour. Karena was a Jerwood Young Director Award Winner 2003. Karena was the Head of Theatre Programming at Oval House Theatre, Artistic Director of Kushite Theatre Co and most recently Acting Artistic Director of Contact Theatre, Manchester.

Keith Khan is an artist whose career has involved working with communities and technology to engage with diverse audiences and practices. His work is large scale and celebratory and uses the energy of popular culture. He was a carnivalist for many years and has been involved in national cultural projects including Celebration Commonwealth, for the Queen's Jubilee Parade in 2002. Keith was a co-founder of motiroti and Chief Executive Officer of Rich Mix from 2004 to 2006.  Keith is a Board member of Platform for Art, chairs the Diversity Panel of the DCMS Creative Economy programme and is a member of Council at Arts Council England. 

Judith Knight is the founder and Director of Artsadmin. Artsadmin produces, supports and promotes projects nationally and internationally. It has developed – and recently renovated – Toynbee Studios as a resource for the creation and presentation of new work, and offers rehearsal spaces, advisory service, bursary scheme, mentoring and showcases.  It will present its first season of performance, installation and film throughout June 2007. Artsadmin works with Ackroyd & Harvey, Bobby Baker, Anne Bean, Bock & Vincenzi, Curious, Rosemary Lee, Richard Grayson, Graeme Miller, Mem Morrison, La Ribot, Station House Opera, Gary Stevens and Wendy Houstoun, as well as nineteen new Associate Artists.

The Live Art Development Agency offers a portfolio of Resources, Professional Development Schemes, Projects and Initiatives for the support and development of Live Art practices and discourses in London, the UK and internationally. The Agency is committed to working strategically, in partnership, and in consultation with artists and organisations in the cultural sector. www.thisisLiveArt.co.uk

Claire MacDonald is a writer whose interests lie at the intersection of writing, performance and visual art. She currently combines commissions as a writer for new performance with teaching, research and curatorial work. She is a founding editor of Performance Research and a Contributing Editor to Performing Arts Journal. She returned to the UK in 2005 after living in Washington DC for five years and is a Research Fellow at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London, where she is working on an oral history of British experimental theatre since the mid 1960s, in collaboration with the British Library Sound Archive.

Helen Marriage is the co founder with Nicky Webb of Artichoke. Producers of spectacular live events, Artichoke stunned London with the visit of Royal de Luxe's The Sultan's Elephant in May 2006.  Other joint projects include the invention of the first Arts & Events programme at Canary Wharf and the transformation of the Salisbury Festival from a local event into what The Times called 'a miracle of modern British culture'. Helen's professional life started as a producer at Artsadmin, working with artists as diverse as Mike Figgis and the Bow Gamelan Ensemble.  She also worked as an associate producer at the London International Festival of Theatre.

Phelim McDermott is a director and performer. In 1984 he co-founded dereck dereck Productions with Julia Bardsley. His directing work includes Improbable Tales at Nottingham Playhouse, The Government Inspector for West Yorkshire Playhouse, A Midsummer Night's Dream for the English Shakespeare Company, and Shockheaded Peter, with Julian Crouch; a collaboration with The Tiger Lilies for Cultural Industry. Productions with Improbable include the multi award-winning 70 Hill Lane, Lifegame, Animo, Coma, Spirit, Sticky, Cinderella, The Hanging Man and Theatre of Blood. He is currently directing Philip Glass' Satyagraha, in collaboration with the English National Opera. Phelim is a regular improvising guest with the Comedy Store Players.

Cindy Oswin is a writer, performer and director who has worked with many innovative theatre companies from La Mama in the sixties to the Clod Ensemble. She has also written for the English National Opera and Shakespeare's Globe. Her latest project On the Fringe is a personal history of experimental theatre from the sixties to the eighties. Cindy is collecting many video interviews with her contemporary artists and producers of the period, sponsored by the British Library. She is also making a series of lecture performances, illustrated with extracts from the interviews. Cindy Oswin is an Artsadmin Associate Artist.

Robert Pacitti is the Artistic Director of Pacitti Company and creator of the SPILL Festival. Having initially trained as a fine art painter he began making experimental theatre in 1988. With Pacitti Company he has made and shown over twenty award winning interdisciplinary works throughout the world to great acclaim. Also a highly experienced facilitator and teacher he continues to lead workshops and residencies worldwide. A co-founder of the New Work Network Pacitti also regularly contributes internationally to a broad span of publications, conferences and other performance related cultural activities.  www.pacitticompany.com

Christine Peters is a freelance curator, dramaturge and lecturer who, since 2004, has worked with Festival Tanz & Theater Hannover 2004, Festival Theater der Welt, Stuttgart 2005, Festival Steirischer Herbst, Graz 2006. From 1992-1998 she was Project Director and from 1998-2003 Artistic Director at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt/Main, an international centre for contemporary arts. Linked to an interdisciplinary discourse & research she presented a year round programme dedicated to experimental visual & performative formats. Her work contained curating, international networking, production, and publication. She lectures on interdisciplinary practice at the Theatre, Media & Film department, at the University of Frankfurt.

Tom Trevor is Director of Arnolfini, Bristol. He studied Fine Art at the Ruskin, University of Oxford, and Goldsmiths' College. He has curated context-based projects for the Institute of International Visual Arts, Wellcome Trust, Camden Arts Centre and Freud Museum. He was Director of SPACEX, Exeter (1999 to 2005), curated Generator, and Hortus, for the Liverpool Biennial, and multi-site projects including The Visible & the Invisible, for inIVA, Patterns, and Homeland, for SPACEX.  He has placed a particular emphasis upon socially-engaged, context-based work. He is developing Port City: On mobility and exchange, envisaged as an international network of cultural exchange.

Lois Weaver is a lecturer in Contemporary Performance at Queen Mary University of London and an independent performance artist, director and activist.  She co-founded Spiderwoman Theatre and the WOW Theatre in New York and was Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop Theatre in London. She has been a performer, director, and writer with the Split Britches Company since 1980. She was involved in Staging Human Rights, a People's Palace Project initiative in women's prisons in Brazil and the UK.  She was Artistic Director for Performing Rights, an international conference and festival on performance and human rights in London in 2006 and is Producing Director for East End Collaborations, an annual platform for emerging artists.

Gregg Whelan is a performance-maker, writer and co-artistic director of Lone Twin and Lone Twin Theatre. Formed in 1997 by Whelan and Gary Winters Lone Twin have since created an internationally celebrated body of work. This year the company have toured the USA and the UK with the new piece Nine Years. In 2006 Whelan and Winters formed Lone Twin Theatre, an ensemble of five artists brought together to work on narrative-based performance. The company's debut piece Alice Bell premiered at KunstenFESTIVALdesArts, Brussels. Whelan has recently become co-artistic director of ANTI festival, Finland: a festival of context-based performance and visual art.

Angharad Wynne-Jones is of Welsh heritage, was born in Chicago, and lived in Australia for 17 years. Trained in theatre at Dartington, she co-founded Industrial and Domestic Theatre Contractors, before joining the ICA in London as a theatre producer.  In 1989 Angharad moved to Sydney and formed Cake Eaters Productions. In 1994 she became Director of the Performance Space, producing a range of multidisciplinary events. In 1998 she and Gideon Obarzanek established Melbourne based Chunky Move, a performance and dance company. Angharad became a mother in 2001, joined Peter Sellars as Associate Director in the 2002 Adelaide Festival, and established an independent production house, risingtide-productions in 2004.  She was appointed Director of Lift in 2005.

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