Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Theatremaker Stephanie Silver: ‘My first job taught me that I can’t do it all, so now I collaborate’

Stephanie Silver Stephanie Silver. Photo: Jennifer Evans
by -

When the Actor Awareness movement began running themed scratch nights at the Canal Cafe, London, founder Tom Stocks chose my piece The Monologues of a Tired Nurse for its Women’s Night. The piece drew on my experiences of working as a nurse.

When we performed on the night, people were overwhelmingly positive, so me and my friend Emelia Lovsey contacted Edinburgh venues. I found Charles Pamment at the Space very supportive and encouraging to my little show. Any first night makes me nervous but when we opened this show, I was extra nervous that the Nursing and Midwifery Council would ask me for my registration back!

Paul Clayton: Actor Awareness has blossomed from a simple hashtag

The show went on to run at Barons Court and two fringe festivals. I learned a lot about being a producer, most importantly how to make my next projects better. While I like the production aspect, as a writer my process is quite unrefined. I tend to find the best process is getting actors to read my drafts. I like lots of R&D as that’s where the cracks show and can be resolved. I learnt from my first show that I can’t do it all, so, for my next show I wanted more collaborators.

For Our Big Love Story, my current show, the gang just fits so well. I had my team workshop the first 20 minutes of the play a lot so that when I wrote the script I really had the characters in my mind and their intentions.

As for the Edinburgh Fringe, I have mixed feelings about it these days, especially for small, emerging companies because of the costs. I decided not to go to Edinburgh 2018 despite a fringe venue offering to co-produce. Think carefully about where you take a show: is it right for your ethos? Is it right for your play?

My other advice for new producers is allow a project to develop. By the time Our Big Love Story opens next week the cast will have spent a year knowing each other. It builds a great ensemble and really reflects in the show.

CV: Stephanie Silver

Age: Undisclosed

Training: Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts (foundation course); the Actors Class 

Theatre includes: Feel More (Proforca Theatre Company); Baby (Arcola, London); C’est La Vie (Owl and Cat Theatre Company, Australia); Little Secrets (Lost One Act Festival, Stockwell Playhouse, London) The Monologues of a Tired Nurse (Edinburgh Fringe, Barons Court Theatre and Camden Fringe)

Agent: Jody Medland at Penworks Media

Stephanie Silver was talking to John Byrne. Our Big Love Story runs at London’s Hope Theatre until April 7

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.