The Evolve Artists in Residence scheme, each year, supports three emerging or mid-career artists/companies by providing seed funding for projects, research and development, rehearsal space as well as mentoring and advice from the Playhouse team.
Now in its sixth year of applications, Evolve has become an important and rewarding part of the Oxford Playhouse’s work to support artists. Previous residencies include UK Theatre Award-winners Chris Bush and Matt Winkworth, Olivier nominated writer-performer Caroline Horton, founder of the award-winning company Opera Up-Close, Robin Norton-Hale, critically acclaimed performer Lanre Malaolu, and local companies Flintlock Theatre, Justice In Motion and Kuumba Nia Arts. Most go on to become regulars within our annual programming.
Evolve sits as one of 3 artists development schemes at Oxford Playhouse, alongside Playhouse Playmaker, our writers development scheme and Offbeat, our annual festival of new work in partnership with Arts at The Old Fire Station.
Laura Elliot, Programme Director at Oxford Playhouse says:
‘The Evolve Artists in Residence scheme is an important and rewarding part of our work with artists, who we hope will go on to become longer-term associates of the Playhouse. We pick artists who show passion and vigour to both evolve their practise or organisation, and connect with the region. We hope the scheme will contribute to the sense of community amongst the many talented artists making work within the region, emphasising Oxfordshire as a place for artists to live and work and where audiences can access vital new work.'
Sarah is an Irish loud mouth choreographer and performer based in Walthamstow, London. She creates solo work and is also Artistic Director of Moxie Brawl- a fresh all female inclusive dance theatre company. She is one third of Annie Vicky Sarah.
Her work sits on the perimeter of dance and theatre and has been described as ‘dance meets theatre meets stand-up’. Both her solo practice and work with Moxie Brawl reflect her desire to create work that connects with people, that people can experience and engage with.
As a freelance choreographer/movement director she has worked with companies, organisations and artists such as Little Red Kettle, Complicite, Bryony Kimmings, Royal Opera House, Perth Concert Hall and The Place.
Some of Sarah’s works include – My Feminist Boner a fierce, funny one- women dance comedy show about breaking down the rules of beauty. History of Ireland – a fun political dance theatre piece for 5 women and a sack of potatoes. She has also appeared as Tracey, your average Oliva Newton-John, Royal family obsessed, working men’s club aerobic instructor from Dagenham.
Sarah is thrilled to be part of Evolve and excited to be working on ideas for a new solo dance comedy show and creating Moxie’s new family work Punk Alley.
Evie Fehilly is a sex educator, clown and sex clown. Drag king, queen and winner of man up! 2019. Fehilly's theatre creations captivate crowds with themes of sexual liberation, consent and sexual misconduct.
Fehilly's distinctive performative blend of satire and empowerment has graced international stages and performs all over London. With Duckie at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, at The National Theatre River Stage, The Roundhouse and The Glory, to name but a few.
Sex education is at the core of their practice, as well as making SeX ClowN CabareT and work about sex they run workshops at feminist sex shop- SH!
Fehilly's mission is to help everyone have open conversations about sex both in their capacity as a sex educator and performer.
This one-person circus will make you laugh, cry and feel empowered, often whilst wearing a bald cap!
Jennifer is a British/Bolivian theatre-maker, movement director and actor. She trained at East 15 Acting School, and was the under 50kg AJA British Judo Champion. Her work interrogates how the female body is presented in performance; her relationship with the UK, and the duality of living between cultures and races. It encompasses contemporary dance, Bolivian folk dance, new writing, movement and the transformative aspects of sport.
She is currently a Leverhulme Arts Scholar, and was commissioned to develop Thank Heaven For Little Grrrls by The egg (The Incubator Programme), The Lowry (Developed With), and supported by The Place. It features a cast of 15 girls aged between 8-12 years old. The piece explores play, risk, and power; asking the question if girls can ever be seen on their own terms.
As a performer, she has worked with the National Theatre, NT Studio, Battersea Arts Centre, The Harold Pinter Theatre - West End, Bath Theatre Royal, Royal & Derngate, Brighton Festival (Argus Angel Winner), The Lowry, Derby Theatre, and The Yard. International performance includes Bervaldhallen- Stockholm, Lucas Theatre -Savannah USA, Pearl Theatre -New York.
As a Movement director credits include: Wuthering Heights, Death of a Salesman, Cuttin It, Queens of the Coal Age, Our Town (The Royal Exchange), Midnight Movie (Royal Court), The Mountaintop (Young Vic & UK Tour), Amsterdam (ATC, Orange Tree, TRP), Out of Water, Mayfly (Orange Tree), Baby Reindeer (Francesca Moody Productions/ The Bush/ West End), Be My Baby and Around the World in 80 Days (Leeds Playhouse) I Wanna Be Yours (Paines Plough/Tamasha/The Bush), and Parliament Square, The Trick, Philoxenia (The Bush)
Sabrina is a performer, writer and emerging director. She undertook her actor training in New York and has since performed in theatres across London. She is on the Tamasha Theatre Playwrights program 2019/20, working on a play looking at intergenerational trauma. Sabrina also has a background in journalism. She has lived in 7 countries since birth and is therefore passionate about belonging, identity and how we make home. I love how staying connected to recipes of one's heritage keeps it alive.
Her first solo piece, I see you, was about a woman waiting for a letter from immigration services. The piece was site specific in a high street window. In 2019 on the LABS program, Pleasance Theatre, Islington she developed An African in the snow about one woman's journey to find home.
Theatre Directing credits include (short plays); Sea Legs (Arcola Theatre), Whose Right is it anyway? (Southwark Playhouse), PDA (Theatro Technis) and she has also written My Cape is Invisible (Pleasance, Islington) Hands off my womb! (Chapel Playhouse)
Whilst on Evolve Sabrina is looking forward to working on Sex in a time of age.
Sabrina is delighted to be on a programme close to her home base. Music is her religion and she uses it to inform her artistic exploration.
‘Our year as Evolve artists unexpectedly took us to Edinburgh fringe, with the Playhouse taking our show SOLD under its umbrella!
We ended up with a full run, winning an award and now planning a tour for next year! Their help, support and guidance has been invaluable and continues.
It has been a year of us trying to bridge the gap between artist and industry, helping the art we make and our business 'evolve'. It's been both challenging and rewarding and ultimately worthwhile.’
Kuumba Nia, Evolve artists 2019
Dot and Ethel
Justice in Motion
Matt Winkworth and Chris Bush