Mary Cooper writes for theatre, radio and television.
project & workshop leader,
teacher, mentor & dramaturg
uk, international, M6 Theatre, M6
mary cooper writer
Mary has both instigated and taken part in many community based projects. She has run writing workshops which have led to exhibitions, books, performances, competitions, web publications, the formation of new support groups, and to the production of tailor-made educational materials.
Project & Workshop Leader
Working with visual artist, Cath Walshaw, and with local elderly people, I created an exhibition at Bradford’s Cartwright Hall combining words and images about Shipley Glen near Bradford. Some of the resulting writing is still on display in the Glen and in the Bracken Hall Visitor Centre.
As part of a project set up by Yorkshire Women Theatre, I used creative writing and drama to support the language skills of Bangladeshi girls in Harehills, Leeds. As a result, the girls performed their own work locally in both English and Sylheti-Bengali, and took part in the creation of a bilingual play which went on to be given a rehearsed reading at Sheffield Crucible Theatre, and eventually to be toured nationally by Asian Co-operative Theatre and published by Methuen.
A Creative Arts Partnership project with schools in Pudsey Leeds.
Working with a director and a musician, I created a number of tailor-made plays with music, on a chosen aspect of the curriculum.
While giving writing workshops in a school in Barnsley, I became aware of the inadequate nature of drugs education and the extent of heroin use in South Yorkshire. This led me to work with Turning Point Project, Base Ten, and the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds to create a drugs education project which included training peer educators, writing six short dramatic monologues, a book of interviews with young people about their use of drugs and alcohol, a teacher’s handbook, and a book of scripts for classroom use. The Project toured all secondary schools in Leeds for two years and was influential in the creation of Leeds City Council Drugs Education Policy.
Following the success of Head On, I was asked to devise some materials specifically on alcohol education which could be used in the classroom. I created a ‘street’ of individuals, all with different relationships to alcohol, and some storylines, which could be used in the classroom in a variety of ways. Artists in various disciplines took the materials into schools and used them to create performances, music and visual art.
I was one of three artists who worked with the Sharing Memories group of elderly people and schoolchildren in Holmfirth to create an exhibition, and a book of photographs, art work and writing, to celebrate the Pennine Landscape.
The Ride of Life
Heartgame/Ridhoy Neye Khala
Play in a Day for Primary schools
The Head On Project
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