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Dr Bridget Foreman
Lecturer in Playwriting

Profile

Biography

BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature (University of Oxford), MA (Oxon), PhD in Playwriting by Creative Practice (York)

I am a Lecturer in Playwriting in the Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media, and a practising playwright. I teach on the BA in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance and the MA Playwriting, as well as across other selected modules.

My practice as a playwright is extensive and varied, from one and two-handers to large-scale community productions. I have worked almost exclusively to commission for independent theatre companies and building-based organisations. This experience forms the foundation of my research into directive commissioning practices in theatre. My professional portfolio is as a playwright, co-deviser / writer-in-the-room, dramaturg, and wordsmith / performer and I have had over 30 plays commissioned and produced, including original plays, adaptations, music theatre and short screenplays. I also worked as a theatre director for many years and have overseen the development of new writing projects. I work regularly with local companies including York Theatre Royal, Pilot Theatre and Riding Lights, where I am Associate Director. I have written dramatic material for heritage and cultural organisations and events and am interested in the porosity of boundaries between creative and cultural fields in writing for performance.

My work is currently expanding into the area of the interaction between text and music in performance: I am part of the core creative team for Song Surgery and am developing an opera libretto in collaboration with composer Stephen Barlow. I am also under commission to The Richard III Society / York Theatre Royal for a new full-length play.

Departmental roles

I am Co-Programme Leader on MA Playwriting and Admissions.

Research

Overview

My PhD thesis was on Directive Commissioning in Theatre and was supported by three original full-length plays. Directive commissioning is a form of commissioning where a playwright is required by the commissioning organisation to work within a range of constraints that may include subject matter, scale, approach, and ethos. My research explored the effect of this type of commissioning on writing practice and perceptions around it.

My Practice Research is best represented by my professional work and my plays.

www.bridgetforeman.co.uk

Selected Plays

Everything is Possible (2017), produced by York Theatre Royal & Pilot Theatre
4 stars – ‘Bridget Foreman’s moving, resonant play’ – The Guardian

Simeon’s Watch (2016), produced by Riding Lights Theatre Company
‘Uplifting and cathartic...it thaws anxieties through humour' - Burnley Express

In Fog and Falling Snow (2015), co-written with Mike Kenny and produced by York Theatre Royal & Pilot Theatre
4 stars – ‘An unforgettable night’ - The Guardian

Surprise Ending (2018), produced by Riding Lights Theatre Co. /York Explore, toured York library venues.

Clay Fever (2018), produced by York Museums Trust / York Theatre Royal, performed as part of the Restating Clay conference.

Airlock (2014), produced by Company of Angels/ Theatre Café Festival.

Beyond Measure (2008), produced by York Theatre Royal/ Back and Forth – studio theatres tour.

Augustus Carp Esq. (2003), premiere adaptation of novel, produced by Riding Lights at Friargate Theatre, York.

Dick Turpin (2001), musical, produced by Riding Lights at Friargate Theatre, York.
Winner – Best Entertainment, York Tourism Awards.

Latest work

  • 2021: 5-Minute Call, York Theatre Royal Love Bites commission.
  • 2021: The Whispering House, AHRC-funded digital performance inspired by 180 years of Census records.
  • 2021: My Place, new play for Riding Lights Theatre Company, telling stories of children in the care system.
  • 2020-21: Song Surgery, collaborative performance project with conductor / composer Stephen Barlow, soprano Bibi Heal and director Struan Leslie.

Conference papers

  • 2020: Word and Flesh - Framing the space in theatrical performances in churches, Dramatic Architectures, Escola Superior Artística do Porto.
  • 2018: Hope with Dirty Hands - community theatre participation as activism in ‘Everything is Possible’, Performing Activism, New York University.
  • 2017: Looking for William – Shakespeare’s disclaimers in ‘Richard III’, Richard III Society Symposium, Middleham Castle.
  • 2008: Keynote presentation, with performance extracts from my plays Remember Remember and Science Friction, Filming and Performing the Renaissance, Queen’s University, Belfast

Publications

Selected publications

Word and Flesh - Framing the space in theatrical performances in churches, proceedings of Dramatic Architectures Conference, Escola Superior Artística do Porto (publication pending)

Hope with Dirty Hands - community theatre participation as activism in ‘Everything is Possible’, Arts Praxis Vol.5, Issue 2, pp36-49 (2019)

Bridget Foreman

Contact details

Dr Bridget Foreman
Lecturer in Playwriting
Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
University of York
Baird Lane
Heslington East Campus
York
YO10 5GB

Tel: +44 (0)1904 325220

www.bridgetforeman.co.uk