Artistic Director Anna Furse
Producer Paula Van Hagen
Project Art Director Nina Klaff
Social Media Marketeer Vida Adamczewski
Workshop Archivist Nina Scott
Anna Furse (she/her) is Artistic Director of Athletes of the Heart (www.athletesoftheheart.org) and Co-Director of The Centre of the Body at Goldsmiths where she directs the MA in Performance Making and is Professor of Theatre and Performance. An award-winning theatre director and writer, she continues to make new works internationally. A published author, her most recent book Performing Nerves (Routledge, 2020) explores mental illnesses known historically as hysterias, including shellshock and eating disorders, through her own performed play texts and contexualising essays.
Anna was one of a handful of women directors in the UK in the early 1980’s, experimenting with fusing Eastern European physical theatre and feminist issues. Her company BloodGroup, co-created with Suzy Gilmour, toured internationally with a London home at the ICA. A classically trained dancer, she was among the first of her generation to straddle dance and theatre, working also as movement director (RSC; EMD) and with the X-6 collective, co-editing New Dance Magazine and co-founding with them the Chisenhale Dance Space in Hackney. Artistic Director of the new writing company Paines Plough 1990 - 1995, she directed international touring productions and pioneered the practice of writers collaborating across disciplines and in site specific contexts through her School Without Walls and Pre-Text Laboratories. Among other projects, for twenty years Anna has worked from a special interest in the overlap between performance and medicine, completing a three-year Artist Residency with CREATE Ireland's EU-funded Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP) for Live Collision Festival, Dublin, in 2018. For this she created a multi-faceted performed and published exploration of how anatomy (what bodies are made of) and culture (what bodies mean) overlap, confronting the fear and disavowal of mortality that visceral materiality conjures: www.iamnotapieceofmeat.com. Dear Body has emerged from this research.
Paula Van Hagen (she/her) is an experienced producer and programmer. From 2010 – 15 she was Creative Producer at Stratford Circus, developing a cross-artform programme that securely established this East London arts centre as a creative force to be reckoned with. In September 2015 she was appointed Director at Chats Palace with a remit to develop the arts centre as a leading light in Hackney’s growing cultural quarter. In summer 2015 she programmed and produced the London premiere of No Fit State’s Open House – the first weekend of outdoor circus in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
In 2012 Paula curated and produced the British Film Institute (BFI) film programme for the London 2012 Festival, a unique silent film restoration project comprising Alfred Hitchcock’s first 9 films. With new scores commissioned from leading British music talent, including Nitin Sawhney, Soweto Kinch and world beatboxing champion, Shlomo, these gala events at landmark venues were ‘the film event of the summer’ (Time Out July 2012). She has subsequently re-imagined and restaged highlights of this festival programme at a range of international locations including India (Kerala International Film Festival 2012) and Russia (Moscow UK/Russia Festival 2014). Prior to this, Paula was Senior Programme Manager at Royal Opera House Covent Garden where she produced the ROH2 programme, delivering innovative, cutting edge new dance and opera.
Paula began her career working in the independent film industry. She has worked extensively as an independent producer and consultant, managing projects for a wide range of companies, including two major dance productions commissioned by Dance Umbrella and televised by BBC2 Dance and the award-winning productions The House of Bernarda Alba (Gate Theatre) and Live Like Pigs starring Jude Law (Royal Court Theatre), both directed by Katie Mitchell for their company, Classics on a Shoestring. Her West End credits include the UK premier of Kurt Weill’s One Touch of Venus and the hit musical, Pageant, which she transferred to the Vaudeville Theatre.
Nina Klaff (she/her) is a photographer, filmmaker, designer, and writer based in London. She received her Masters degree from the Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 2020. Her practice often centres time, the body, and interpersonal relationships. Her most recent projects have revolved around the question of human connectivity in the age of social distancing. Her professional work includes creative portraiture, experimental filmmaking, production photography for theatre and music, events, and creative writing and image-making for print and digital publications internationally, as well as performing the show she co-wrote with Anna Furse at various venues in the UK, including the Barbican, London. Nina is currently working as a Research Assistant at Coventry University and working freelance alongside.
Vida Adamczewski (she/her) is a writer, model and ceramicist from South London. She studied Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at Wadham College, Oxford, graduating in 2019. Her writing has been published in The Mays, Cuntry Living Zine, Fem Zine, Byline Times and Ambit, amongst others. Her work centres the body; she is particularly interested in the phenomenology of chronic illness and the physiology of traumatic memory. She is currently working on her first book.
Nina Scott (she/they) is a theatre maker, artist and facilitator who works predominantly in educational and community settings. They are an artistic director of You Should see the Other Guy, an all womxn grassroots theatre company who create verbatim plays and creative training which share and celebrate tools for resistance. Nina regularly uses theatre devising, theatre of the oppressed, singing and costume making in her practice. She is completing an MA in Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths University. Their current area of academic interest is creating queer methodologies for theatre-making and reclaiming patriarchal narratives around pregnancy and wombs.