SUSANNA HOWARD, FOUNDER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Living Words was created and is led by artistic director Susanna Howard. Susanna is a writer, actor and theatre maker – many moons ago she studied Drama at Bristol University (BA Hons), followed by Advanced Theatre Practice: Performance (Postgrad,distinction) at Central School of Speech and Drama.
Susanna works as an actor; behind the camera, creating and producing television shows; writing for theatre and radio; and working in collaborative theatre making. She fell in to working with people with dementia after a period of personal displacement, when flow writing saved her. Living Words emerged out of the darkness of this period. All of a sudden the journey that took her in to that first hospital ward, to work with people who were struggling with their own personal displacement, made sense. Of course this sense cannot be put in to prose.
Susanna is a passionate advocate for carers.
LIVING WORDS ASSOCIATES
Philip Cowell is a wordsmith, skipper round town, clown-in-training and part time stander still. He is especially interested in making words and people stand out. Philip has been trained by Susanna in the Living Words method and has worked in residencies in London. He became an Associate of Living Words in 2013. www.philipcowell.co.uk
Astrid Goldsmith is an animator and model maker specialising in puppet stop motion. After training in puppet theatre, she gained an MA in Animation from Norwich University of Arts. She has spent the last decade supporting her own practice with commercial model making – making all sorts of things from vibrating monster slugs for *Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy *to the Duracell Bunny.
Astrid has recently completed *Squirrel Island*, a stop motion sci-fi action thriller about squirrel apartheid, a short film shot on 16mm in her garage in Folkestone. Seven years in the making, *Squirrel Island* explores the consequences of human policy on the natural world, interrogating choices surrounding invasive species. Within this framework, it examines the surrender of the individual voice to group power, and the rites and rituals associated with organised groups and institutions. Astrid’s work sets out to present these interrogations in an accessible, populist context.
Julia Miranda is an Anglo-Brazilian artist, illustrator and art teacher. She studied design and went on to work as an art director producing arts documentaries. Since spending three years in Rio working alongside her father, the painter Luiz Aquila, her paintings have been exhibited extensively in London and Brazil as well as in Europe and the US, most recently at the Sluice Art Fair in Bermondsey and Animamus, New York.
The intuitive process of her abstract paintings differs from illustrating for poetry, NGOs and childrens’ books, always borne of careful interpretation of the text. They share a preoccupation with the subtle highs and lows of human emotions, as well as a distinctive simple line.
Shazea Quraishi is a Pakistani-born Canadian poet, playwright and translator. Her poems have been published widely in the UK and US and her books include *The Art of Scratching* (Bloodaxe Books, 2015) and *The Courtesans Reply* (flipped eye publishing, 2012).
In 2015, she was the recipient of a Brooklease Grant from the Royal Society of Literature and an award from the Artists’ International Development Fund of The British Council and Arts Council.
Shazea has facilitated creative writing/reading and translation workshops in the UK and abroad in museums, prisons, refugee centres, festivals, schools and universities. She currently teaches with English PEN, Translators in Schools and The Poetry School, and is an artist in residence with Living Words.
Pippa Wildwood is a theatre maker, actor and writer.
She has a BA degree in Acting from The Royal Central School Of Speech And Drama and has trained in clowning with Angela de Castro, Spymonkey and John Wright. She has worked in film and theatre with companies including Secret Cinema, Inspector Sands, Shams Theatre, Filter Theatre and Foursight Theatre.
Pippa writes and performs comedy with her comedy duo Killer and Gorilla and is co-artistic director of the United Nations Association for the Playfulness Of People (UNAPOOP) with whom she has devised and produced two sell-out shows.
She recently toured with Clowns Without Borders UK working with women and children affected by Human Trafficking and she has worked since 2015 as an artist in residence with Living Words .
LIVING WORDS TRUSTEES
Jamie studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Chelsea College of Art and Design. As an performer he has extensive experience in theatre, television and film and has worked with companies such as Complicite, Kneehigh, Transport and Fevered Sleep as well as several shows at the National Theatre.
He directs and teaches at Guildhall, working with actors, musicians and Junior Guildhall, as well as leading workshops for Complicite, Transport and The English Chamber Orchestra. His art works have been included in group shows in several London galleries and at The Place, London.
DR. THOMAS ERNST
He started his career there in May 2006 following Registrar training in Bristol, Australia, the South Coast and London. He specialises in the holistic management of patients with dementia coming into hospital in a state of acute delirium. These patients are confused, their behavior often erratic – and his main interest lies in the influence that the physical and staff environment can have upon them. He employs many unconventional but relevant skills adopted from simulation training such as communication, leadership and situational awareness training and uses mindfulness based approaches in support of these.
He advocates and imparts stress reduction approaches for staff, and a form of meditation known as compassionate mind training – with a view to developing crucial skills such as empathy and kindness in an otherwise very busy and pressured hospital environment. He is a keen believer in the value of the arts in improving physical and mental health among patients.
In summary, Dr Ernst believes in a combination of conventional medical skills, allied with less orthodox competencies from other professions, as a basis for the progressive care of older people both in the community and in hospital. Dr Ernst also has extensive experience in the management of simple faints and blackouts. He is an expert in neurogenic syncope including postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, simple faints and functional disorders. And he specialises in the treatment of the disabling symptoms of chronic medical illness using meditation based approaches.
Outside of work, he enjoys cycling, visiting art galleries, and eating endless sous vide meals cooked by his partner.
Joe Moran is a choreographer and Artistic Director of Dance Art Foundation, an independent arts charity he founded in 2000 through which his performance and curatorial work is produced in collaboration with other agencies. Joe directs Dance Art Foundation’s programmes in performance, health, critical dialogue and artist development, including the nationally celebrated dance-in-health programme, Breathing Space.
A semi-finalist for The Place Prize 2012, Joe’s distinctive works are presented in theatres, galleries and public spaces in the UK and internationally. A guest artist at numerous institutions, presently The Place, London Contemporary Dance School, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and the Royal Opera House, Joe is passionate about knowledge and discourses fostered by dance and the arts, and dialogue between disciplines and sectors.
Jo Pelly is Programmes Manager at Mousetrap Theatre Projects. Jo believes in inclusivity within the arts and at Mousetrap enables people who might not usually access theatre to not only experience productions but also work with theatre makers (often those involved in the production) in bespoke workshops. Jo’s focus is expanding the charity’s work with special schools, and young people with sensory impairments.
Outside of work, Jo is in the unusual position of living in a school, among 40 teenagers, and she is mother to two energetic young boys.
Douglas read Drama & Theatre Arts at The University of Birmingham. He is currently the Artistic Director of Transport<http://www.transport-theatre.eu/> and a freelance theatre director who has directed for the Barbican, Unicorn Theatre, Ice&Fire, Upswing, Watermill Theatre, Trafalgar Studios, Dundee Rep Theatre, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, National Theatre Studio, Salisbury Playhouse, New Wolsey Theatre, Creation, Central School of Speech and Drama, and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
He was associate director at Salisbury Playhouse for 2 years and is also a long-standing associate director to Simon McBurney/Complicite and an assistant and associate director to Deborah Warner. He won a prestigious Channel 4 Theatre Director Scheme bursary and an Esmeé Fairbairn Regional Theatre Initiative award. In 2013 the selection committee for the Contemporary Classic Theatre Commission given by House awarded the commission to Douglas to produce his production of As You Like It. His script for his production Elegy recently won a Royal National Theatre Foundation Playwright’s Award and his devised production of 1001 Nights for the Unicorn theatre and his own company Transport is currently nominated for an Off West End Award for Best production for Young People.
Douglas collaborated on the redesign of Liberty of London’s beauty hall and is currently conceiving an interactive tour in Vienna’s oldest brewery. He has also taught throughout the UK and in Australia, India, Poland, Belgium, the USA, Spain, France and Luxembourg and is currently a selector for the National Student Drama Festival 2014.