In her own words from her brilliant website www.cherylmartin.co.uk which you should definitely visit.
Cheryl Martin: I’m a theatre director and writer, as well as a poet and jazz singer.
I was born in Washington, D.C., grew up in nearby Maryland, and went to uni at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts back home and Emmanuel College,Cambridge in England. I love Manchester, and I’ve lived here for over 25 years.
This will give you an idea of what I’ve been doing since I left uni: it’s a bio I wrote for Manchester grass-roots publisher Commonword’s birthday.
A member of Commonword’s Identity creative writing workshops in the late 1980’s, Cheryl first performed her poetry with other Identity members at the Old Steam Brewery, Oxford Road, and she’s proud to have served on its board and as its Chair for a few years in the 90s.
She has gone on to become Artistic Director of Running to Paradise, which had a sell-out hit at the inaugural Manchester International Festival with the UK première of US-Pulitzer-Prize-winning writer Suzan-Lori Parks’ VENUS for PANDA. In 2011, she directed sell-out immersive hit with Another Country for Community Arts Northwest [CAN]. She served as Children’s Director for Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre’s 5-star MEN Awards Best Production of A Raisin In The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.
As Director-in-Residence at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, she directed the first production of The Ching Room by Alan Bissett [Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland-nominated, brought to the Royal Exchange Theatre Studio Oct. 2010]. She also produced the Traverse’s The World Is Too Much breakfast plays [Edinburgh Fringe First 2009], directing Heaven by Simon Stephens and Posthuman Satire Slash Romance by Chris Hannan for the series.
She’s been Associate Director New Writing/New Work at Contact, won an Manchester Evening News [MEN] Award for Best Studio Production directing Rona Munro’s IRON, and won another MEN Theatre Award for writing community play Heart And Soul for Oldham Coliseum Theatre. Cheryl was Artist-in-Residence as a poet for the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, published her poetry and had over twenty stage and radio productions as a writer.
In 2011 she directed an outdoor immersive extravaganza, A Game of Consequences, with Contact Young Actors’ Company as part of x.trax festival, while in 2012 she directed and wrote an updated version of Aristophanes’ Birds for new disabled theatre THE UNUSUAL STAGE SCHOOL as part of WHOSE FLAME IS IT ANYWAY? in the Cultural Olympiad run-up to the Paralympics.
This year, she directed another immersive play with a cast of women refugees and asylum seekers, Heart’s Core, for CAN. And after all these years, she will soon be publishing Lucid Dreaming, her first solo collection of poetry with Commonword – who else?