Christine is originally from Australia, where she was an actor for many years until the Australian government’s actions towards asylum seekers and refugees urged her (and thousands of other Australians) to take action. She has a postgraduate degree in Political Science, has been involved in numerous grassroots campaigns, including Actors for Refugees Australia, where she remained one of the core members until she moved to the UK in 2004 to complete an MSc. in Forced Migration at Oxford University. She founded iceandfire’s outreach network Actors for Human Rights. Plays for iceandfire include On the Record (with Noah Birksted-Breen); Afghan Monologues, Rendition Monologues; The Illegals; Broke; Seven Years with Hard Labour (with Sara Masters); and Listen to Me (with Sara Masters)
Founding Artistic Director:
Sonja is an award winning playwright whose plays have been produced in theatres across the UK and the USA. As writer in residence at the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture (1997-2004) she created a testimonial and creative writing programme, Write to Life, for their asylum seeker and refugee clients. Her concern to make these voices public led to her founding of iceandfire theatre in 2003. The company was launched with the London premiere of her play I Have Before Me A Young Lady from Rwanda, which was subsequently broadcast on Radio 4. The play went on to have have 22 highly acclaimed productions in the United States and earned her a nomination for best playwright in the Hollywood 2007 NAACP awards. Her most recent play for the company, Welcome to Ramallah, co-written with Adah Kay, was subsequently presented at a theatre festival in San Diego in 2009. Other work for iceandfire includes Crocodile Seeking Refuge and four documentary plays : Asylum Monologues, Asylum Dialogues, Palestine Monologues and most recently On A Clear Day You Can See Dover. Previous plays include: Present Continuous, (Trouble and Strife), Call me Judas (Paines Plough), The Jewish Daughter, sequel to Brecht’s The Jewish Wife (New End Theatre) and The Strange Passenger (Paines Plough and Northern Stage USA). Sonja stepped down from her artistic director role in 2008 in order to focus more on her writing and now acts in a consultative capacity with the company as well as an associate writer.
Regional Director, Actors For Human Rights:
Sue has written, performed and directed issue-based arts projects since 1992 when she established Proact, a nationally renowned theatre and training company. Her extensive research into domestic abuse led to her devising a unique performance and educational programme which gained recognition throughout the UK as recommended training for professionals across a variety of sectors including the crown prosecution service, police, health authorities, social care and housing departments. She subsequently became the north-east of England’s first ever Domestic Violence Co-ordinator for N.S.P.C.C. developing new policy and practice guidance initiatives to protect victims of abuse before working as a film maker and writer in residence in Women’s Aid refuges. Her recent work includes the facilitation of advocacy projects with young people at risk of sexual exploitation, devising awareness raising performances with refugees, adults with learning disabilities and people living with dementia. She has also produced short films with children overcoming abuse and survivors of honour-based-violence and forced marriage. Sue is dedicated to creating a platform for under-represented voices to be heard, seen and understood and looks forward to continuing the excellent work of AFHR.
Annecy has been working in theatre for the past 15 years, mostly under the banner of the theatre company, Burning Cat Productions, which she co-founded in 2000. Annecy has also worked widely as a freelance theatre director on commercial and community projects. She was appointed to the Arts Council Creative Partnerships programme in 2003, where she was a resident practitioner for a network of schools and colleges in the south of England. She also lectures at the University of York, where she is completing her doctoral thesis on the response of British theatre to the advent and formalisation of human rights.
Artist in residence
Hannah Davies studied playwriting on the Royal Court Young Writers Programme. In 2006 she was selected to represent the theatre as part of Interplay Festival of European Playwrights. Her first play was performed as part of the Royal Court Young Writers Festival 2007. She has worked with companies including iceandfire, York Theatre Royal, Drywrite, Old Bomb, Forward Theatre Project, The Flanagan Collective. Her play This is Not a Festival was longlisted for the Manchester Royal Exchange Bruntwood Prize 2011. She is currently studying playwriting at doctorate level at the University of York. Hannah is also a trained actor, she graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2001. Hannah performed her solo play GITHA (based on the life and works of 20th century dramatist Githa Sowerby) at Edinburgh Festival 2012. Read Hannah’s blog about her experience as Artist in Residence at ice&fire here
Carolina graduated in 2011 from Birkbeck with an MA in Creative Producing. She started at iceandfire as intern and then joined the company as Administrator first and is currently General Manager. At the same time, she works for the theatre company WOH Productions, of which she is founder member and producer. Since moving to London in 2008 Carolina’s work has included assistant directing and stage management for a variety of companies at Tristan Bates Theatre, Old Red Lion and Above the Stag. She trained as an actor at Link Academy, in Rome and gained a BA in Performing Arts from Link Campus University.
Janet has been working with iceandfire since August 2010, focusing on development, production and research. Whilst qualified in a number of areas, Janet’s real passion is theatre. She has been involved in several theatre projects beyond iceandfire, including Platform and Epidemic (with Old Vic New Voices at the Old Vic Tunnels, 2010 and 2012); Las brutas/Beasts (with Head for Heights at Theatre503, autumn 2011); Out of the Wings, a website focusing on Spanish theatre in translation; and as co-editor of The Spanish Golden Age in English: Perspectives on Performance, about the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Spanish Golden Age season (published by Oberon Press, London in 2007).
Sara was Co-Artistic Director of iceandfire between 2005-2010. During her time in this role she created the Protect the Human playwriting competition (now Everyone Has the Right); produced the London runs and national tours of Crocodile Seeking Refuge and Welcome to Ramallah and wrote both of its plays for young people, Bind and Separated. Prior to working for the company Sara trained as an actor and co-founded award winning company, fervour. She also works as a Creative Agent for Creative Partnerships and holds an MA in Human Rights from UCL.
Kieran is artistic director of KSDT (www.kieransheehan.com) working through performance with the most excluded groups in society using a unique participatory process that allows their stories to be articulated. In 2012 KSDT is developing Mazloom, a project telling the stories of male unaccomapnied minors from Afghanistan in partnership with Asylum Welcome (London), Cope in partnership with The Butterfly Foundation and Vita Nova (Bournemouth) as well as a continuing residency at Rushmore Primary School (London). Kieran is a Senior Movement tutor at ALRA and Brian Timoney Method Studio. For iceandfire Kieran has developed participation project Children Together between 2008 and 2010 as well as supporting productions through movement direction.
Amy has worked extensively as a director and assistant director for the past 6 years and holds an MA in Theatre Directing. Her work has been to many parts of the world including South Africa, Thailand, Italy and Australia. In the UK her work has been seen nationally with notable productions I’m A Minger! and Chutney. She is fascinated by the role of Theatre within a Human Rights context and has been since working with The Living Theatre in 1999. Amy is delighted to be working with iceandfire and looks forward to developing her role within the various strands of the company. Amy is also Artistic Director of Theatre with Arts 4 Human Rights.