A more than managing director

Stephen Unwin

The eighth weekly Rye Arts Festival podcast features a conversation with theatre director Stephen Unwin, an English theatre director of huge renown, as well as a drama teacher, playwright and author.

Stephen is in conversation with Alasdair Kitchen and talks about his life, his work, his passions and who has influenced him. His directing kicked off at Cambridge University where he was reading English and the passion for theatre has never left. Now aged 60, Stephen has directed over 50 productions, mainly straight theatre, but he has also hugely enjoyed directing some opera.

In the 1980s Stephen worked as a director at the world-famous Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh, before founding the English Touring Theatre in 1993. In 2008, after a decade and a half on the road, he settled down by opening the Rose Theatre in Kingston, Surrey.

Now freelance, Stephen can pick and choose what work to take and what to write – he has scripted four plays – and also continues to teach drama, a side-line which has seen him work in schools, drama colleges and universities in the UK and the USA.

Rare to direct what you have written

A packed life leads to a fascinating chat and some insight into the world of theatre. We learn more about the writing process and the rare experience of directing something on the professional stage that you have written yourself.

Episode eight of RyePod goes live at 9am on Friday, June 26. You can listen to it when you like and also access the previous seven episodes, including pianist Iain Burnside, Royal Opera House’s musical director Sir Antonio Pappano, as well the founding drummer of Level 42, the Isle of Wight’s finest percussionist Phil Gould.

RyePod is available on all the major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify, and to see the full list, just go to anchor.fm/ryepod

Image Credits: Paul Unwin .


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