We're excited to introduce this season's guest curators who will give new direction to the work we create and the artists we support.


JOHN RWOTH-OMACK


K
aribu to the Unity in Diversity season. I am more than delighted and honoured to be a guest curator for half of the season. I am an Ugandan born, London trained, Sheffield bred and based actor/director. Having graduated from Rose Bruford in 2015, I worked as an actor in London and then moved back to Sheffield where - thanks to help of Theatre Deli - I directed Paul Sirret’s Bad Blood Blues. I worked as a producer for Sheffield Crucible Theatre’s resident company Utopia Theatre on Shadows in Different Shades, I am David Oluwale and SoAfrica Festival.

The Unity in Diversity season is an absolutely phenomenal idea in an attempt to better represent a wide range and section of the community. As an artist - an ethnic minority artist - one of my biggest aims is to bridge the gap between theatre and those that feel it is not a place for them. We do that by being diverse, but what exactly does diversity mean? To me it’s not just a numbers game, not just about how many non-theatre goers we get through the door, but rather how well we actually personify individual groups. How much of an effort we put in to making sure minority groups are properly platformed on stage. Diversity is about giving freedom - actual freedom - to anybody to be themselves without the feeling of being judged or needing to mask their truth.

You can see John’s work at our Sheffield venue this season. Check out theatredeli.co.uk/sheffield to find out more.


LOUISE ORWIN

Hello, I’m Louise Orwin.

I am an award-winning performance artist, making work about what it means to be female and ‘other’, living in a world of patriarchal, heteronormative narratives. I make work about political and social issues that I feel urgently need addressing, and believe that one of the best ways to address these is through art. As a queer artist, my work strives to make space for different models of thinking, for the asking of difficult questions and, most importantly, for the amplifying of marginalised voices. Which is why when Deli came to me to ask me to Guest Curate this season of work I jumped at the chance.

We live in troubling, confusing times, but one thing seems very clear to me: if we are privileged enough to have a platform then we have a responsibility to use that platform for something meaningful. We should be making space for other voices to come through, the voices who most need to be heard, the voices that rail against the status quo. I honestly believe that these are the voices that will change the world, and I’m excited to see what we can build together here in my position with Deli.

All of my work is research-based, a practice that allows me to reach right to the heart of the issues I work with. This has included interviewing different female-identifying minority groups to investigate the ways in which presenting as female can be a fundamentally dangerous act in a world which prizes maleness, whiteness, straightness. My projects have ranged from investigating the dangers of being a teenage girl online for documentary-theatre Pretty Ugly; interrogating women and violence on film for A Girl and a Gun; and most recently exploring rage and what it means to be a survivor for CRY CRY KILL KILL (currently in development).

Over the years my work has been consistently supported by Theatre Deli, and from this new vantage point as this season’s Guest Curator, I’m thrilled to be supporting other artists making important, radical work; helping a new generation of voices to connect and be heard.