Introducing Stacey Sampson

How exciting, my first job as a BBC Performing Arts Fellow, to write a blog explaining who I am and how I came to be here, as part of the tutti frutti team. So, here goes..!

I started out my career in the arts as an actress and have worked professionally in theatre and television for over fifteen years. Recently I’ve been touring with Red Ladder on their new musical about the miners’ strike ‘We’re Not Going Back’ and reprising my role as Jennifer in This is England with Warp Films.

Throughout this time I’ve always worked as a drama practitioner, leading workshops in all different settings… Primary schools, libraries, young offender programmes, sheltered housing units, the list goes on! I came from a youth theatre background and feel really passionate about sharing drama with people. It’s an amazing outlet and skill set to have. This work had often called on me to write bespoke scripts for the groups I was working with, whether that be a ten minute skit for friends and family or a full length play open to the public. I hadn’t really thought of myself as a writer but suddenly a pile of scripts was emerging and I realised it was fast becoming my favourite part of the job.

I live in Sheffield and there’s a fantastic network of other creative practitioners and theatre makers there. Soon I’d become involved with companies such as Dead Earnest and Griffin Theatre Arts, taking on commissions and writing to brief. I also completed a novel which secured representation with a literary agent (Hardman and Swainson), who will be sending it out to publishers in the new year. I found that my motivation to write was becoming voracious! The more I wrote, the more I knew it was where I wanted to head with my career.

Several of my friends forwarded me the tutti frutti call for a Fellow, they all said ‘This is right up your street’ and I totally agreed. I’ve always been compelled to write for and about children, it’s such a rich, imaginative domain. As an emerging writer, to be given the opportunity to work with such a well-established, internationally renowned company in this discipline… Well, it’s priceless. I’m thrilled to be mentored by Wendy as she’s such a dynamic force. I’m completely on board with her outlook and I know I’ll learn so much from her. I’ll also get to work alongside Mike Kenny, who is an absolute expert in his field, and have the opportunity to go to several theatre festivals to be inspired by the best, current work out there. I can’t wait to be immersed in this world for a whole year and be gifted the time and support to develop my practise. Roll on 2015!