THE CREATIVE TEAM
PAUL ANTHONY MORRIS · FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR · +44 (0) 7398 277680
Paul Anthony Morris trained at Barbara Speake School and went on to work as an actor in theatre for many years.
Paul Anthony Morris trained at Barbara Speake School and worked as an actor in theatre for many years. In 2003 Paul began to turn his attention to writing and directing. His first play, an epic tale entitled ‘The Seer’, was showcased and produced into a documentary in collaboration with West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2005. In 2006 Paul founded Crying in the Wilderness Productions (CITWP) and began his directorial debut in 2007 with the play 35 cents at the Blue Elephant Theatre. Paul to date has gone on to direct 9 full length productions and has been commissioned to write numerous plays various theatre companies in the UK and abroad.
Paul has also delivered more than 15 creative learning programs for a host of companies such as the Globe Theatre, Centre Stage (USA), STEPS, ADMAF, Southwark College, Theatre Royal Haymarket, Hammersmith and West London College and the United Nations to name but a few.
Paul is also recipient of The Adopt A Playwright Award (2008) and the Peggy Ramsay Award in 2011 and 2017.
PUBLICATIONS: Oberon published 35 Cents (2008) and Identity (2011), with featured introductions from the theologian, cultural critic and activist Dr. Robert Beckford and the educationalist and social activist, Chris Searle.
AWARDS: Fringe First at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival and Achievement Award for best short film for ‘Once Upon A Time’ as a Producer.
SEMSEM KUHERHI · PRODUCER ·
Semsem Kuherhi trained for several years as a Producer under the vastly experienced Executive Producer of UK Arts, Jan Ryan.
Whilst working as an Associate Producer for UK Arts International, Semsem developed her knowledge and capacity in tour booking, funding and financial management as well as building her connections and networks within the sector. Whilst working at UK Arts International, Semsem was actively involved in a number of productions most notably White Men with Weapons, Hannah and Hannah, Ragamuffin, Mumbo Jumbo and Woza Albert!
Armed with excellent leadership skills and an intimate understanding of the theatre business, Semsem was head hunted by the Arts Council to help develop the ‘Whose Theatre’ report on Sustained Theatre consultation. Other freelance work for the Arts Council includes; Decibel International Symposium, script evaluation for the Methuen Drama anthology, (published for young people) and coordinating the recording of poems and Pod-casts for the Arts Council’s bicentenary project. Semsem’s other work also includes co-ordinating the first artistic assessment of the Notting Hill Carnival and as an active Board Member of 2 arts organisations and mentor to young arts administrators.
Semsem was a co-founder of Collective Artistes (UK) in 2002, overhauling the organisation from a small project led company to a regularly funded company in the Arts Council’s portfolio. Over a period of 9 years she produced and toured 9 mid-scale theatre productions, both in the UK and internationally with a company of 10–15 performers. Semsem also raised £900,000 in funding and sponsorship, which strategically placed Collective Artistes as one of the leading diverse theatre companies within the UK, developing long term partnerships with top theatre venues, funders, artists and audiences alike.
Her production portfolio includes classic productions such as The Lion and the Jewel, a co-production with Young Vic and Barbican, Trojan Women, a co-production with Theatre Chipping Norton and Sense of Belonging, which was part of the Commonwealth Games Festival.
Semsem community work involves working in conjunction with the Neighbourhood Development Officer with Voluntary Norfolk where she tackled issues around the plight of unemployment, helping residents set up 8 community groups, supporting 4 businesses with the Norfolk Borough Council, creating a park for young people which created a welcoming environment for local residents and collaborating on improving community and Police relations in the borough.
In 2017 Semsem joined Crying in the Wilderness Productions as the company’s Producer.
URSULA HENRY · CHAIR ·
Ursula Henry is Director of Operations for the Banking Standards Board (BSB) and has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years.
Ursula joined the BSB in 2015 as the Head of Membership and Funding, and in 2017 became the Head of Membership, Funding and Communications. Prior to joining the BSB, between 2011 and 2014, Ursula was a Senior Inception Manager at Nationwide Building Society working in Group Operations, Payments, Group Security and Group Property. From 2009 to 2011 Ursula was a Senior Manager in their Retail Distribution division. Ursula spent five years at the Royal Bank of Scotland where she held a variety of roles, including Area Manager of the Retail City of London branches. Ursula is Chair of the BSB Charity Committee. She is a mentor, supports Generation Success and is also a member of Inspiring the Future.
On joining the Board, Ursula said ‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to join Crying in the Wilderness Productions' (CITWP) Board of Directors. I am excited to be able to contribute to the evolution of CITWP, as it commences its associate-ship at the Young Vic theatre'.
ANTHONY OFOEGBU · SECRETARY · +44 (0) 7961 049241
Anthony Ofoegbu began his artistic career in dance-theatre in the 1980’s. He went on to become a founding member of Four’s Company Dance Theatre alongside the late great choreographer and dramatist, Christine Cubberley.
The company’s productions included, Vice & Joy’ and On The Good Foot. Anthony also ‘jitter-bugged’ for Zoots & Spangles (Lindy-Hop) Dance Company who supported Humphrey Lyttleton's jazz troupe around the UK.
In the 1990’s Anthony became a long-time collaborator with Nigerian Nobel Laureate and playwright, Professor Wole Soyinka. Performances include The Beatification Of Area Boy, King Baabu, Oyedipo, an adaptation of Oedipus At Colonus and Death And The King's Horseman. His collaborations have resulted in performances in Australia, America, Nigeria, South Africa, Lesotho, Switzerland, Germany and the UK. As an associate for Collective Artistes Theatre Company and the Young Vic, Anthony was lead role in Soyinka’s, The Lion And The Jewel, at London’s Barbican Theatre followed by a national tour.
As a Computer graduate Rosemary Laryea worked in the IT industry for more than 12 years in a number of high profile positions.
She was an Application Developer in the financial sector for Reuters America and in New York she developed, tested and constructed user guides for client/server financial systems. In the manufacturing sector Rosemary led a team who implemented a UK nationwide quotation system for Satchwell Heating Control Systems. Her Solutions Consultant years were spent working for software houses Seagate Software and Hyperion Solutions where she was instrumental in securing targeted sales deals, and as a Product Marketing Manager for IBM UK she was responsible for planning marketing strategies/campaigns for software products in UK, IRL and NL.
Rosemary’s wealth of experience and resourcefulness in the IT industry became the platform for a career change in radio and television presentation and production. From 2008 to 2012 Rosemary produced and presented a primetime mid-morning, arts, culture and lifestyle radio show four times a week on Colourful Radio. Interviews included celebrities such as Emmy Award winner and Academy Award nominee film maker, Spike Lee, bestselling novelist, Kathryn Stockett, whose novel ‘The Help’ was nominated for an Academy Award, Grammy nominee, Oleta Adams, double Olympian and world champion athlete, Jessica Ennis, Michael Ball, John Suchet, Gloria Hunniford and Angelica Bell.
TREVOR BLACKWOOD · ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Trevor Blackwood, director of Nomad Creative Consultancy, was one of the original directors of The Watch-Men creative agency in Knightsbridge whose clients included Levis, Sony Music, Island Records, Caterpillar Boots and the seminal lifestyle magazines the Face and I-D.
He published music reviews for The Wire Magazine and his Sunday Times Magazine feature: 'The Influence of Hip-Hop Style on Mainstream Leisurewear' was syndicated internationally. He was an image consultant for numerous recording artists including Desree, Dodge City, Silent Eclipse, Roachford, Brian Eno & jazz musician Ronny Jordan - consultancy included marketing campaigns, TV appearances, album covers and music videos. Trevor devised a short Style Feature on James Brown for the BBC 2 youth programme Dance Energy.
In 1999 Trevor decided to leave the media industry to find more fulfilment in his life and re-connect to his cultural heritage. He worked for a NGO and travelled extensively across West Africa and North Africa on a journey of self-discovery. Influenced by these life-changing experiences, Trevor began to challenge conventional perceptions about his identity and history, developing a more holistic approach to his work that advocated - Art for Social Change
SARAH LOUISE NUNN · ASSOCIATE CREATIVE PRODUCER ·
Sarah is currently Education and Engagement Unit Head at Louvre Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and also the Founder of Creative Elements.
She has worked extensively in the performing arts, education and the cultural sector, devising and managing projects and events at festivals in the UK, United Arab Emirates, Sultanate of Oman, New Zealand and Germany.
Previous roles in the MENA region include Strategic Arts Advisor for Art Jameel International, Senior Manager, Community and Education Department at Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and Abu Dhabi Festival.
In London, Sarah was a Learning Consultant at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Course Director for the MA Creative Arts in the Classroom with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and University of London. Alongside the Globe Education consultancy, Creative Elements produced ‘The Hero Inside Programme: London’ with Nomad Creative Consultancy and produced a range of research and development projects for Crying in the Wilderness Productions.
BRYON WALLEN · ASSOCIATE COMPOSER & MUSICAL DIRECTOR ·
Byron Wallen studied classical piano as a small child before switching to trumpet and studying with Peter Ruderforth in London and with Jimmy Owens, Donald Byrd and Jon Faddis in New York in the mid to late 1980s.
In 1992, Wallen graduated from Sussex University with a degree in psychology, philosophy and mathematics.
As a trumpeter Wallen has played with artists and bands such as George Benson, Charles Earland, Chaka Khan, Ingrid Laubrock, Ronnie Laws, Hugh Masekela, Courtney Pine, Lonnie Liston Smith, Style Council, Jean Toussaint, and Cleveland Watkiss. In 1992, Wallen formed Sound Advice touring the UK and playing in Syria in 1996 and the Czech Republic in 1997. The band also appeared at the North Sea Jazz Festival gaining critical and audience acclaim. Wallen also played in South Africa, recording with Airto Moreira and Moses Moseleku.
SHANE SHAMBHU · ASSOCIATE CHOREOGRAPHER & MOVEMENT DIRECTOR ·
Shane Shambhu is an actor, dancer, director and award-winning choreographer leading his company Altered Skin.
His work seamlessly integrates differing artistic disciplines and languages drawing on his experience of the Indian performing art of Bharatanatyam and his extensive performance career spanning numerous artistic genres and includes work with Film 4, Complicite’s triple-award winning A Disappearing Number (NT Live, BBC Radio 3), Royal Opera House, Icon Theatre’s award-winning Release and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company to name a few.
Shane Shambhu is an Associate Lecturer at East 15 Acting School and he collaborates to share his thinking and artistry that stems from a unique intercultural standpoint to individual projects and companies. He is currently touring his solo production Confessions Of A Cockney Temple Dancer.
RODNEY CHARLES' · FILM DIRECTOR · WRITER · PRODUCER ·
Rodney Charles’ first screenplay won the Greater London Arts Advanced Film and Video Award.
The resulting film “Once Upon a Time” was broadcast by BBC television and screened at the Venice Film Festival and FESPACO winning achievement awards. His screenplay Reclaimed won the BHERC screenwriting award.
In 2008 Rodney completed his debut feature “The Disciple” as Writer, Director and Producer, opening the 2008 BFM Film Festival to a sell-out UK premier at the BFI South Bank. The Disciple also won Best New Director honor at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. Later, Rodney directed the short film “African Cowboy” which was nominated for five Namibian Academy Awards.
Rodney is also an alumni of several international writer/director labs, including the BingerLab (Amsterdam) and B3 Media Lab & Film 4 (London). As a film actor Rodney has collaborated with notable directors such as Wim Wenders, Mike Figgis and Antoine Fuqua.
See more: Rodney Charles' website