Meet Group 5

Melina Theocharidou, Oznur Cifci, Lucy Hayward, Nadia Papachronopoulou, Tassa Deparis

Two Under Two

A short film about motherhood, womanhood and friendship.

I’m Still Here

A fresh new perspective on the family dynamic, disability, children and hamsters. This is Shirley Valentine working from home.

Tassa Deparis – Writer (Two Under Two)
Tassa Deparis is Indonesian born, and raised in London. She studied the MA Writing for Performance and Dramaturgy at Goldsmiths University, then moved to Berlin where her debut play This Wall was produced at English Theatre Berlin. After becoming a mother, she wrote The Daughter Abroad, which premiered at Theatre503 after an open callout. In London, she has had her work performed at Room Festival, ArtsDepot, and readings as part of the Scene Gym and Park Theatre programmes. She also works with children and community groups as a Creative Practitioner with New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, and as a teacher. This is
her first virtual collaboration.

Lucy C Hayward – Writer & Performer (I’m Still Here)
Lucy is blind artist who creates work which appeals to the mainstream and is accessible for blind and visually impaired audiences by embedding access within her dialogue. Writing dialogue comes naturally to Lucy, and working in theatre allows her to use that skill set to explore sensitive topics in a relatable way. She tells the extraordinary tales of ordinary people. These stories have opened up theatre to audiences who would not normally attend performances. It is important for Lucy to use her work to give voices to people who are often unheard and regularly draw on feedback from people with lived experience of the issues she writes about to ensure that she authentically expresses their perspectives. Lucy has been invited by Arts Alive to work with a lyricist to create a performance using the voices of local people in rural locations across Shropshire for their rural touring network. Spark Arts supported her to research children’s theatre over 2018/19. She found some companies provided BSL, no audio description and embedding access was non-existent. This inspired her to create a site-specific play led by disabled artists (due to limited representation across the industry) which will be accessible for both blind&deaf children and introduce non-disabled children to enhanced access. She is working with a variety of disability consultants including Jackie Hagan, Sam Holey-Horsdman and Harriet Marshall and provides access consultancy to a variety of artists, venues and festivals. She is setting up her own training programmes, one of which is being supported by Company 3 and a selection of Northern and Midlands based theatres. Lucy also mentors disabled artists to produce work and ensure they have the correct support, has been asked to lecture on accessible theatre from 2021 at Birmingham City university and is being considered for a BBC commission, Pentabus writer in residency, Headlong Origin Directors scheme.

Melina Theocharidou – Actor (Two Under Two)
Melina Theocharidou is a multilingual actress, voiceover and stage director based in London and Amsterdam. Before the corona crisis hit, she was due to appear in Katie Mitchell’s new opera pro-
duction at the National Opera House in Amsterdam. During lockdown, she played the roles of Hermione in The Winter’s Tale and Cymbeline in Cymbeline for Read for the Globe and had online streamings of Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe, the solo show she has been performing on tour for the last 3 years. Her stage credits in the UK include The Return of the Exile (Yard Theatre), Medea (Forest Fringe Festival), Kiss the Shadow (Lyric Hammersmith Studio), NASA (BAC) and The Kindness of
Strangers (Watford Palace Theatre). As a stage director, Melina’s work includes the world premiere of William Lyons’ Socrates and his Clouds at Jermyn Street Theatre in London, Yasmine Van Wilt’s Live and Unplugged at Södra Teatern in Stockholm and Melody Parker’s Princess at Kulturhuset, Stockholm’s House of Culture & City Theatre. Melina has also translated for the Donmar Warehouse, was the Assistant of the Master of Text at Shakespeare’s Globe in London and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in New York. She has a BA in French and Italian (First Class) from UCL and an MA in Text and Per-
formance Studies from RADA and King’s College.

Oznur Cifci – Actor (Two Under Two)
Oznur trained under the Lee Strasberg Method in London. Stage credits include: Out of Sorts (Theatre 503), Sommerfugl (Dugdale Centre), Minibus (Bozca-der Londra). Film credits include: Crushed Wings (Cam Buddha Films), Iki Nefes Arasinda (Biba Film) Short film credits include: Audition (University of East London), Tattoo Fixers (Red Mist Scripts), Real Dealz (Red Mist Scripts) Oznur has written and produced her first short film “A Monstrous Mind” which is currently in post-production.

Nadia Papachronopoulou – Director (Two Under Two & I’m Still Here)
Nadia was the Emerging Director at National Theatre Wales and was also Resident Director at the Orange Tree Theatre. She works with the National Theatre as one of the NT Connections directors. As a Director, credits include: The Bride (Old Vic), Uncle Vanya (UK Tour), Cosmonauts Last Message… (GSA), Ammonite (Kensington Karavan Festival), Boots (Bunker), After The Ball (Gatehouse), The Philanthropist: Understudy Run (West End), Mapping Brent (Tricycle), Non Essential Personnel (Orange Tree), Unrivalled Landscape (Orange Tree), Whisper Tree (Pembroke Festival), Recipe for a Perfect Wife (Charing Cross/King’s Head), Nothing but Mammals (Old Red Lion). As Assistant Director, credits include: A Tale of Two Cities (Regent’s Park Theatre), The Philanthropist (West End), My Mother Medea (Unicorn), The Shape of Pain (Pulse Festiv- al/Southbank Centre), Icons (National Theatre Studio), Silly Kings (National Theatre Wales), Seven Year Twitch, Julius Caesar, The Man Who Pays the Piper, Sauce for the Goose, Love’s Comedy, Yours for the Asking (Orange Tree).

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