Ms Clare Summerskill

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Personal profile

Clare Summerskill completed her PhD at Royal Holloway University of London, addressing the role of a contributor in verbatim theatre processes. She is a playwright and a performer, and has published works on: creating verbatim theatre from oral histories; oral histories of older LGBT people; producing verbatim theatre from interviews with narrators who are mentally ill; and the ethical challenges of scripting interview material provided by LGBTQ asylum seekers. She has had three of own plays published - Hearing Voices, Gateway to Heaven and Rights of Passage.

Research interests

Clare Summerskill's research focuses on the role, value, and experience of a contributor in verbatim theatre processes. One of the main themes in her thesis is the connection between the disciplines of verbatim theatre and oral history. Her work also examines the ethical challenges that arise in gathering interviews from people from marginalised communities, in particular: older lesbians and gay men, LGBT asylum seekers and people who are mentally ill. 

Other work

Clare is the Chair and co-founder of the Oral History Society LGBTQ Special Interest Group. She is also the Artistic Director of Artemis Theatre Company, which recently toured Clare's play Rights of Passage, based on interviews with LGBT Asylum seekers, around the country (funded by Arts Council England). She gives 'presentational' talks about her own verbatim theatre projects on issues such as: Provision of care for older LGBT people; LGBT History; Experiences of mental health service users; LGBT asylum seekers in the UK. She is also a stand-up comedian.

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