Writer, Facilitator, Teacher specialising in creative writing and drama for all ages and levels of experience
I have in the past run individual and series of workshops, given talks, organised readings, on the following:
refugee children during the Second World War; conflict resolution; exploring colours; women spies, particularly Mata Hari; myths and fairy tales; damage and survival: promoting well-being through creative expression; the supernatural; the strange phenomenon of "spirit photographs"; the Spanish civil war; women cross-dressing as men; clothes; food; the art of lying; ethical dilemmas; family secrets; the art of wish-fulfilment; word play; self-portraits; Victorian lives; First World War poetry.
I can focus as much on freeing the creative flow and releasing new ideas as I can teach the rigours of developing writing craft, re-drafting, polishing, understanding structure and deepening character.
In INSET and teacher training sessions I have focused on specific topics, eg. the key elements of narrative, or given the opportunity rediscover the joys of playing with language and be introduced to a wide range of interactive writing exercises within a group.
I can take any area of interest and tailor a workshop, event, or talk, focusing on creative writing, drama, writing through visual art (especially use of colours), according to need and requirement.
After working as a drama teacher in inner London secondary schools and then as Education Officer at the Unicorn Theatre for children, I became a full time writer in 1992, writing for adults and children alike.
I am currently working on a novel, a psychological thriller, ?After Tom?. I am also developing a new play for children for the Unicorn inspired by Oscar Wilde?s ?The Picture of Dorian Gray?. As well, I am developing a version of Chekhov?s ?Three Sisters? set in the Liverpool Jewish community in the late 1940?s for the Liverpool Everyman/Playhouse and Hampstead Theatres in collaboration with actress Tracy-Ann Oberman.
I tutor playwriting for young people as part of the Theatre Royal, Haymarket's Masterclass scheme, have lectured part-time at Middlesex University, Oxford University, Goldsmiths? College, London and Birmingham University on writing and drama.
I regularly work as a writer-in-residence in Islington schools, run a regular writing group, a "creative workout" for writers of all levels of experience, as well as many one-off workshops for different age groups.
I have recently completed research into Magic as Pearson Creative Research Fellow 2004-06 at the British Library for whom I produced ?A Writer?s Magic Notebook?, published in March 2006.
I regularly write book reviews for the Guardian.
My play ?Kindertransport? is to be revived in 2007 for a national tour by Shared Experience Theatre.
My work for the theatre includes: "Frankie's Monster" (adapted from Vivien Alcock's novel, "The Monster Garden", Unicorn Theatre, 1991. Published by Heinemann.); "Chalk Circle" (Unicorn Theatre, 1991); "Salt of the Earth" (Theatre Centre, 1993); "The Bonekeeper" (Tricycle Youth Theatre, short-listed for the W. H. Smith Awards for plays for children, 1992); "Watch Out for Mister Stork" (one-act play, Soho Theatre Company's Writers' Festival, 1992, and Finborough Theatre, 1995; Regents Park Open Air Theatre, August 1995); "Kindertransport" (co-winner of the 1992 Verity Bargate Award, winner of 1993 Meyer Whitworth Award. Produced by Soho Theatre Company at the Cockpit, 1993; at the Palace Theatre, Watford transfering to the Vaudeville Theatre, West End, 1996. Also, Manhattan Theater Club, New York, 1994. Other productions throughout the USA, also Sweden, Japan, Germany, Austria, Canada and South Africa. Published in Britain by Nick Hern Books and in the USA by Plume/Penguin); "Turncoat" (Theatre Centre national tour, 1994); "How To Beat A Giant" (SNAP People's Theatre Trust, 1995); "One Hundred Million Footsteps", (Quicksilver Theatre Company national tours, 1997); "Forever and Ever" (SNAP People's Theatre Trust, 1998); "The True Life Legend of Mata Hari", Palace Theatre, Watford, 2002; ?Beyond Midnight? (Trestle Theatre Co. national tour, 2005).
My work for BBC radio includes: "Two Together?" (Radio 4, 1993); "Frankie's Monster" ( Radio 5, 1992); "Watch Out For Mister Stork" (Radio 4, 1994); "Kindertransport" (Radio 4, 1995); "Swine" (Radio 4, 1996). "Hardly Cinderella" (Radio 4, 1997); "Doctor Y" (Radio 4, 1997); "Hen Party" (Radio 4, 2001). Her short story, "Rope" was one of the winners in Radio 4's 2001 DotDotDot online short story competition, broadcast 2002.
I was awarded a Science on Stage and Screen Award by the Wellcome Trust in 2001 to undertake an experimental collaboration with 3 medical specialists, a visual artist and another playwright to make an innovative piece of theatre about the nature of pain. The resulting work, ?PUSH?, was showcased at The People Show Studios in London in June 2003.
I have known and worked with Diane Samuels since January 2006, when I took up the post of Co-ordinator of the TEXT project.
I have found her to be an engaging, knowledgeable and enthusiastic person to work with. Her proven ability as a professional writer and her dedication to introducing young people to the joys and challenges of creative writing, make her an ideal, and much sought after, workshop leader, facilitator and inspirational teacher.
She is able to work equally effectively with Primary and Secondary age pupils, as she is with Teachers' groups and other Adult groups.
Diane's work as Research Fellow at the British Library in 2005/6 has given her a wealth of resources with which to engage, inspire and motivate both young people and adults to take the 'leap' into creative writing.
I know her to be both trustworthy and conscientious and have no hesitation in giving her my fullest recommendation.
TEXT: Professional Writers in Schools Project, London
The Theatre Royal Haymarket's Masterclass programme has worked with Diane Samuels on a number of projects since the year 2000. Since then, as the Director of the programme, I have enjoyed continuing to work with Diane and to further develop our involvement with her as a writer, facilitator, tutor and mentor.
It is testament to our respect for and appreciation of her skills and qualities that we have continued working together since first meeting.
I find Diane extremely good to work with; she is concerned for both the emotional and the educative development of her students. She is considerate and caring of their needs and sensitivities and she is intuitive of their ability to cope with projects and challenges.
I find Diane very helpful and supportive to have as part of a collaboration. She is always determined to explore every nuance and ensure that the work is as fulfilling and engaging as possible - stretching and challenging but also supporting the students. She is highly creative, easy to work with and engages and encourages colleagues and co-practitioners with her ideas and inspirations.
I would recommend her highly as a teacher, tutor, educator and creative artist. She is entirely trustworthy and has a very straightforward and organised approach.
Masterclass, Theatre Royal Haymarket, London
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