Granada Artist-in-Residence Irina Brown, who directed Six Characters in Search of an Author herein 2004, returns in May to direct Nest by Bathsheba Doran. Nest is based on the true story of Susanna Cox, a young indentured servant, who gained notoriety as one of the first women to be hanged in Pennsylvania in 1809 for the murder of her newborn baby. The play is a searing exploration of the roots of American dreams and violence.
Irina Brown was born and educated in Leningrad (St Petersburg), Russia. She started her work in the theatre as an assistant director to Andrei Tarkovsky, Yuri Lubimov and Anatoly Vassiliev, and later on as a staff director with Richard Eyre, David Hare and Mike Alfreds at the Royal National Theatre.
Since 1978 she has been living and working in Britain, establishing a versatile career as an internationally acclaimed stage director and teacher. Her work spans the experimental and the popular, classical drama and new writing, opera and musicals.
In 1996-2000 Irina was Artistic Director of the Tron Theatre, Glasgow. For the Tron she directed: The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union by David Greig, Lavochkin-5 by Alexei Shipenko, Mate in Three, Sea Urchins by Sharman Macdonald, Speedrun by Isabel Wright and The Tempest Dream after William Shakespeare.
For the Royal National Theatre: award-winning Further Than the Furthest Thing by Zinnie Harris (2001- Cottesloe; Edinburgh Festival; Tron; Tricycle and the British Council Tour of South Africa); Critics Pass Judgement on the School for Wives by Moliere; Marina Tsvetaeva. Poet. Outcast. (with Fiona Shaw)
Other theatre includes: Jenufa (Natural Perspective/ Arcola); Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women (Oxford Playhouse, Guildford, Cambridge); The Vagina Monologues (West End and national tour); The Parents’ Evening by Bathsheba Doran (New York); FillerUp! (Drill Hall, London and world tour), A Doll’s House (Birmingham Rep); Blood Libel by Arnold Wesker (Norwich Playhouse); Romeo and Juliet (Contact Theatre, Manchester); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Southern Shakespeare Festival, Florida); The Sound of Music (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Our Country’s Good (Tabakov Theatre, Moscow).
Opera credits include: Bird of Night, a new opera by Dominique Le Gendre (Royal Opera House, 2006); Boris Godunov (Royal Opera House, L’Opera de Monte Carlo and the Mariinski); Dido and Aeneas (Royal Academy of Music) and a translation of Donnerstag aus Licht by Karlheinz Stockhausen (ROH). She was a staff producer at the ROH on Tannhauser, Lohengrin, Samson et Dalila and Prince Igor.
Irina is a joint Artistic Director of Natural Perspective Theatre Company (with Timberlake Wertenbaker). Their first production, JENUFA, had a successful run at the Arcola Theatre, London in November 2007. Their future plans include a production of AJAX.
Irina is also developing a new dance-opera for Sadler’s Wells in London in December 2008.
Her recent teaching includes: Unlocking the Director’s Imagination (the Jerwood Foundation/ Old Vic sponsored course for young directors March 2008); Senior Lecturer in Acting at the Manchester Metropolitan University; a regular visiting director at the British-American Drama Academy, London; workshops at Georgetown University, Washington; UC Davis, CA and the London Institute (Theatre Design Course).
Bathsheba Doran was born in the UK, but moved permanently to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship in 2000. She is the recipient of three Lecomte du Nouy Lincoln Center playwriting awards, and her work has been developed by the O’Neill Playwrights Center, the McCarter Theatre, New York Theater Workshop, and Sundance among others. She is a former playwriting fellow of Juilliard, where she was also the writer in residence. She worked as a comedy writer for VH1, BBC TV and radio and The Cambridge Footlights.
Ms. Doran’s plays include: Living Room in Africa (off-Broadway), 2 Soldiers (various, published), The Parents’ Evening (Cherry Lane, dir. Irina Brown), Until Morning (BBC Radio 4) and adaptations of Maeterlinck’s The Blind (CSC), Peer Gynt (dir. Andre Serban) and Great Expectations (Lucille Lortel Theatre, New York with Kathleen Chalfant).
Nest plays May 22-24 and May 29 – June 1 in Wyatt Pavilion Theatre.