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Utopia Theatre: Visual Play in Production with Matthew Xia: fundraiser to #passthebaton to next generation of theatremakers from African diaspora

Utopia Theatre: Visual Play in Production with Matthew Xia: fundraiser to #passthebaton to next generation of theatremakers from African diaspora

This workshop is in support of the Utopia Baobab Project, a fundraiser investing in 3 talented new African writers to #passthebaton to the next generation of theatremakers from the African diaspora.

Matthew Xia will share the process of how he moves from the initial read of a play to full production – with a particular focus on the visual world of play. This will include how the design team is selected, and collaborated with. Examples will include: One Night in Miami. Shebeen. And the current ATC / Young Vic / Festival.Org project Family Tree.

Matthew Xia

Matthew Xia is a theatre and film director, DJ, composer, broadcaster and journalist with a focus on using theatre as a platform to promote inclusion, activism and social change.

One of his earliest jobs was being commissioned to create a hip-hop musical at Theatre Royal, Stratford East at the age of 18. A year later, he was appointed as the first DJ on Black music radio station BBC 1Xtra.

Matthew’s acclaimed productions include: at the Manchester Royal Exchange; Frankenstein with Shane Zaza & Ryan Gage, Wish List with Erin Doherty & Joseph Quinn (also Royal Court), and Into The Woods with Maxine Peake, Gillian Bevan, Alex Gaumond & David Moorst; Blue/Orange with Daniel Kaluuya, David Haig & Luke Norris and Sizwe Banzi is Dead at the Young Vic; Shebeen and One Night in Miami with Matt Henry & Christopher Calquhoun at the Nottingham Playhouse.

Other work of note includes: Amsterdam and Blood Knot at The Orange Tree; i was looking at the ceiling and then i saw the sky (for Barbican) 846 Live (Royal Docks) and Sleeping Beauty at Stratford East; Scrappers and Migration Music at the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse; Dublin Carol at the Sherman, Cardiff; and NitroBeat’s Suckerpunch Boomsuite at the Barbican.

Matthew has worked with an array of renowned writers as a director and a dramaturg, including; Joe Penhall, Arinze Kene, April D’Angelis, Katherine Soper, David Levi-Addai, Yasmin Joseph, Mojisola Adebayo, and Nessah Murty. He is a respected panellist for the 2021 Evening Standard Future Fund, the Yale Drama Series, the Alfred Fagon Award, BEAM, the Hodgkiss Award & the Bruntwood Prize.

Matthew has served as Associate Director at Stratford East, Director in Residence at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, and as Associate Artistic Director at the Manchester Royal Exchange, where he directed Into the Woods, Wish List and Frankenstein and established the OPEN EXCHANGE, an artist development scheme for over 400 next-generation theatre-makers.

His DJ career highlights include playing at Glastonbury Festival, Ministry of Sound and the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony.

Matthew is a founding member of Act for Change, which is a registered charity with the mission of strengthening diversity in the arts. He is also a trustee of Cardboard Citizens, the UK’s only homeless people’s professional theatre company, as well as a trustee of Artistic Directors of the Future. 2020 has seen him join the Everyman and Playhouse Diversity Action Group, the board of Inc Arts and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama’s Equity Committee.

See Also

In 2019, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Arts London for his efforts to make theatre universally accessible by working to promote minority groups as theatre leaders, makers and consumers.

He is Artistic Director and joint CEO for the Actor’s Touring Company, and an Associate Artist at Nottingham Playhouse.

Book tickets for the course £5:80:

When: Tue, 20 July 2021

10:00 – 11:00 BST

Along with your ticket purchase you can support Utopia’s JustGiving page:

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