N.B. THE FOLLOWING IS BROADLY WHAT I'M TRANSFERRING TO A NEW WEBSITE WHICH WILL ALSO INCLUDE MORE DETAILS ABOUT MY CURRENT WORK AND A FULL C.V.
JO CROSS e.mail: firstname.lastname@example.org mob.: 079756565473
I am a Bristol based actor, writer, activist, para-academic and drama workshop facilitator. I identify as she/her and am proud of my east London background.
AN ACTOR: Theatre Training (Guildhall School of Music and Drama) followed by Theatre in Education training at City of Birmingham College of Education. I spent some twenty years teaching in East London (South Hackney and Kingsland Schools). I continued to develop my theatre skills at Chat’s Palace Community Theatre in Hackney.
2006 – 1017 I worked as a freelance education facilitator working for Bristol City’s Museums, Galleries and Archives, also developing actor/character led schools’ workshops at the Red Lodge, Blaise Castle and MShed.
2021-22 I was employed as an actor on “The Creative Histories of Witchcraft”, a collaboration between Will Pooley of Bristol University’s History Department, playwright Poppy Corbett and poet, Anna Kisby Compton.
WHAT I CAN DO: Develop and deliver bespoke drama workshops across the age range for collaborative/ developmental purposes. Below part of a drama workshop I delivered at Trinity Centre Bristol, exploring ageing and identity:-
Play the part of an older woman - so long as it’s not a stereotype!
With Rebecca Braccialarghe in “How Many Things Can You Think About” 2021 Café 5, Easton.
A WRITER: 2021 a saw me awarded support from Theatre West for my script “Age Queer” under their Arts Council funded, Zooming Ahead scheme for Women Writers. A Zoom performance was followed up by a live performance at Bristol’s Trinity Centre last year.
From Heather Lister : That was wonderfully moving, funny and inspiring (from the P.O.V. of someone 70ish!!) I enjoyed all the performances; it is beautifully written, original and ingenious in many ways and I cannot think of any ways in which I think it could be improved. I'll look out for a future performance. Thank you!
From James Peries : Very much enjoyed the detailed history of the early 80s for the characters; all felt very true. Established very strongly the history, activism, and engagement that gets negated when older (in others' eyes). 'Elders' recruiter being a funeral director in his day job a good twist! Decline of Norma at the end was strongly written and acted. Thank you.
From Jean Cooper Moran : Jo's 'Age Queer' play was a superb idea, with realistic and robust themes, humour and a touching friendship between these chippy characters. The actors all jumped into character immediately; the PO's monologue at the beginning was gripping. The dramatic sequencing and dialogue were true to life and held our interest throughout. Bobby Sands was a tragic theme, and foreshadowed Nora's own last act as a 'refusenik' - great phrase. I accepted the use of sadism in the earlier scenes pointed up the internal conflicts of being gay, and the terrors and rewards of joining that community. My brother would have identified with Alan. Brian the happy lanyard was a well acted and telling character. God save us from the 'home' at the end of life...
2021 I wrote (within three weeks!) “How Many Things Can You Think About (When You’re Lying Under an Immigration Removal Van)” for Odd Lot Theatre, this performed as a fundraiser for Bristol Refugee Rights at Café 5, Easton.
Current project. A show for solo performance, working title The Benefit.
Elevator Pitch: In this gothic satire on human frailty – and the art of tailoring - a black gentleman’s overcoat passes through a turbulent, 20th century, European city attracting a random mix of owners along the way. Who gets to feel the benefit of this most universal of garments and who’s left out in the cold? And what purpose does our coat serve when it surfaces in the 21st century?
WHAT I CAN DO: Develop script for a variety of media. Serve as ‘writer in the room’ on projects as they develop.
AN ACTIVIST AND PARA-ACADEMIC
I have kept this simple blog going for the last, few years. A progression from my doctorate and building on my concern for the subordination of later life in U.K. society, my experience of spending most of my life in multicultural Hackney where I raised my dual heritage family and myself being a ‘child of the 60s’ appalled at the monocultural assumptions about older people.
From my ‘Artivist in a Box’ performance in Broadmead Galleries 2022.
My doctorate was in Applied Aesthetics: how cultural diversity can best be understood through our everyday, aesthetic lives; the sensuality of the very stuff that defines who we are, this being particularly important as we grow older.
WHAT I CAN DO Advise on or review representational practices, whatever the media, which include older people.
Devise and deliver drama / storytelling workshops using artefacts of any type for the purpose of exploring their aesthetic worth and significance to a project.
I keep updating and expanding on my skills base attending Meisner and improvisation workshops, script writing workshops (recently with Matt Grinter) community theatre workshops with Acta under their Elevate scheme and recently workshops organised by Bristol Old Vic’s Ferment team.
I have served as the lead on Bristol City Council’s DIY Artists' Network Equality and Inclusion sub-group, as a Theatre Bristol agent and am a trustee of Travelling Light Theatre. I am a member of the actors’ union Equity, Diverse Artists’ Network and Bristol Old Vic’s Artists’ Forum.