So here we are 2016! A new start and a new adventure for me as I join The National Theatre Wales Team panel and what can I say, I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of it!

My name is Diana, I live in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales. I’ve always been passionate about directing my creative energy into every walk of life. I also think it is extremely important to nurture this energy in young people and give them positive ways to direct it, shape it, end up with an outcome they can be proud of and receive recognition for. This is why I think NTW are highly important and provide an invaluable means for creative people to focus their energy in a directed way.

As a graduate of The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama I have specialized in puppetry, set design and costume prop. My work has mainly involved designing and making puppets of all scales and sizes to audiences from the age of 3 to 93! I have worked closely with puppet making companies who have made for Circ de Solie and Theatre du Chatlele in Paris as well as independent companies and organisations.

Last January I spent four months in Nepal teaching drama, puppetry and reading stories to children in Kathmandu University High School. I gained a huge amount of experience in teaching and developed a love for writing and telling my own stories, one of which I am now using to turn into an educational, touring puppet show.

Working alongside another fellow NTW member Naomi Chiffi, our intentions are to visit less privileged communities and schools telling tales from a farm about sustainability, the environment, animals and their life cycles through the use of puppetry, mixed media and workshops. We want be able to reach out to children and families from communities first areas and to those who do not have the access or opportunity to a) go to the theatre, or b) visit a farm.  With this production we could offer both these options by bringing the experience to them and including them as part of the creative process.

Over the past few years through living in Pembrokeshire I have worked closely with the director and production team of The Torch Theatre, Milford Haven and developed a very strong working relationship within the company. I was a key member of the team, and gained invaluable skills and experience during my time there. As well as this I have made connections with many local artists and creative practitioners who have curated their own community based projects, which I have contributed to. I have contacts in areas such as Fishguard, Tenby, Milford Haven and Pembroke Dock. This is one of the main reasons that I am grateful to be a part of TEAM, because I feel that Pembrokeshire and West Wales has such a wealth of local talent, but it is often overlooked due to the lack of exposure that they deserve. I feel I would be able to help link Pembrokeshire and South West Wales to NTW, enabling artists to showcase their work to a wider audience.

Using the contacts and connections I have within the local creative scene I intend to organise events and workshops to promote TEAM, based around my specialist field of puppetry, whilst collaborating with local artists and link them to relevant local themes. I feel it is important to encourage creativity through learning. Using puppets can attract, engage and educate children and adults and with the right foundations act as a catalyst for many ideas.

Now I am a part of TEAM it will enable me to expose Pembrokeshire, South West Wales and its creative talent on a broader spectrum. It will also endorse NTW within West Wales, bring communities together and introduce something new to the area, whilst helping creative practitioners get the recognition they deserve.

 

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