The Tutors’ Q & A

Inua Ellams

  1. Where do you live, how long have you been working, what’s been your main area of creative focus?

London. 12 years, poetry.

  1. What inspires you?

Identity. Displacement and destiny.

  1. What have you learned from collaborating?

That no man is an island, that trust is important, that coincidence is magic.

4.How do you navigate difficulties when working with artist from different disciplines?

I just make sure the central idea is clear and that everyone understands it, really understands it, and returns to it when things get difficult.

  1. How can technology help improve an audiences’ experience?

In my line of work, hello en hello hi primarily by continuing the conversation after the event and sometimes whilst the artwork has been created

  1. Why were you interested in working on the Outdoor Arts Lab

I liked the opportunity to explore Bristol.

  1. What do you think writers would get out of participation in The Outdoor Arts Lab?

I think they’ll discover other ways of creating art.


Emma Williams

  1. Where do you live, how long have you been working, what has been your main creative focus?

I live in Bristol. I have been working as a theatre director for twenty years. 

My main creative focus has been to combine highly skilled craft with contemporary concepts. I want to deliver quality theatrical experiences to as broad an audience as possible.  The majority of my work ultimately centres around human behaviour both real and fantastical. 

  1. What motivates you?

I can feel isolated by many things, politics, money, fear, technology, class, …… live performance by its very nature challenges isolation. 

When it works it can be extraordinary, effecting the way you see and feel about the world around you. 

 I want to work with the great  (usually unheard of people)  to make something good enough to do this. 

  1. What inspires you?

Artist who just keep going…they carry on exploring challenging and consistently trying to find ways of creating work they care about regardless of how much attention and recognition they receive. 

  1. What does collaboration mean to you?

Collaboration means you learn from each other. 

Theatre is always collaborative even though you sometimes have a lead voice. It’s one of the reasons it’s so hard to make.  

  1. Who was the last person or team you collaborated with and what was the outcome?

I am collaborating with puppeteers, artistic directors and puppet makers at The Bristol Festival of Puppetry in September to deliver professional training for both new and established artist within the industry. 

In July I collaborated with a professional team including Writer, Designer, Musical Composer and four puppet makers to deliver a large outdoor performance at Royal Welsh College.  The show, with a cast of thirty was performed on the streets of Prague and on the College grounds in Cardiff.  

  1. Why is it important to collaborate?

I don’t think you can make interesting, inventive and inspiring theatre on your own. 

Theatre’s history, unlike film and TV, disappears as fast as it arrives so learning from those who saw it and, if you’re lucky, actually made it is vital. But performance can also be a massive melting pot where, other art forms, other practices and other peoples expertise can take what was a good uninformed idea and place it somewhere much more exciting.