Jenny Stephens is a theatre director, radio producer and writer. Originally from Bradford, Jenny studied Drama & Theatre Arts at Birmingham University and then at Leeds University for her MA.
After leaving university, she set up and ran Mobile Arts, a community arts project in North Yorkshire which undertook varied arts projects around the villages and small towns in the county. She then turned to professional theatre directing: touring plays extensively around Germany, Belgium and Holland as well as Britain. Jenny then returned to Birmingham University Drama Department as a lecturer with a particular interest in the process of acting.
Returning to professional theatre, Jenny won a BP young director’s award, directing at Battersea Arts Centre. She has directed for a number of companies including Bolton Octagon, GB Theatre, Great Eastern Stage and Worcester Swan Theatre where she was the Artistic Director for eight years. Among the many classic plays she has directed are: Romeo & Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, The Rivals, The Recruiting Officer, The Seagull, Private Lives and The Importance of Being Earnest. In summer 2012 her production of The Taming of the Shrew toured Britain and Norway. Music-theatre includes Wind in the Willows, Pinocchio, Treasure Island, Beauty and The Beast, Robin Hood and Alice In Wonderland.
She has a particular interest in new writing and has premiered many new plays including The Worcester Century Plays cycle, Red Skies Over The Severn by Lance Woodman, River’s Up by Alex Jones and Miriam On 34th Street by Dan Hagley. She delivered the script-writing programme of The National Academy of Writing over several years.
As a radio drama producer, Jenny has directed numerous new plays for BBC Radio 4 and Radio 7 (now Radio 4 Extra). She is also a frequent guest director of The Archers.
Jenny is a founding partner of Hoopla Theatre Company and recently directed The Night Queen, a new musical play for young audiences inspired by Mozart’s The Magic Flute for them, in collaboration with Coventry Belgrade Theatre. This will be remounted in 2013.
As a writer, Jenny has had three drama series broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra (Jefferson 37, Project Raphael and Project Archangel). Her play The Speckled Monster was produced by Birmingham Rep in 2008 and her latest play for them, Wounded, will be playing in Birmingham, Edinburgh and London this autumn.
Jenny is delighted to have been appointed as Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, having directed Tartuffe, The Man of Mode, The Country Wife, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Time and The Conways as a guest director. Her first production, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, is now in rehearsal.