In 2005 Deborah Gearing’s first play Burn was commissioned by the National Theatre and was runner-up for the Brian Way award in 2007. It was a late start for a writer, but she has made up for it since, writing for a broad range of theatres and groups, for big buildings and unexpected places.
Previous experience of work in community settings led naturally to writing for groups to bring their stories to the wider world: Well… Rough is a community play for 65 actors, Something for the Winter is a play about the London riots written out of the experiences of young people around Croydon and Between Wind and Water looks at life in the port city of Southampton. In 2016 Upbeat for Forest Forge Theatre was an opportunity to write about the rural community and chalk stream rivers and consider once more how we are to write about the changing climate.
Experience as an RLF Fellow stimulated an interest in the nuts-and-bolts of writing and in 2012, together with playwright Fiona Mackie, she was awarded Arts Council funding to examine the process of co-writing a dramatic text, culminating in a site-specific performance of a new play @troy based on Euripides’ Trojan Women.
Deborah is a visiting playwright for the National Theatre’s New Views scheme for young people, and she leads workshops in schools and the community.
Deborah first began working in the theatre when she lived in Berlin. She maintains close connections there and translates for the stage and experimental film. In 2012 she fulfilled a secret ambition to use Kafka’s diaries on stage, and in 2014 she worked with Over the Wall, a company of ex-offenders, to create a new version of Woyzeck.
Deborah is currently an artist in residence at God’s House Tower, Southampton.