Dundee Rep Artistic Associates

Dundee Rep has appointed three of Scottish theatre’s most exciting creative practitioners in a brand new venture. Throughout 2018, EJ Boyle, Jean Sangster and Claire McKenzie will be working intensively with Dundee Rep Ensemble, including the graduates as part of its investment in new and established talent. The three Artistic Associates are specialists, respectively, in movement, voice and music/singing.

Creating inspiring opportunities for skills development continues to be an important part of Andrew Panton’s vision since he became Artistic Director at Dundee Rep earlier in 2017. The appointment of Dundee Rep’s Artistic Associates will help to bring new skills and experiences to the creation process, reinforcing Dundee Rep’s leading role as an incubator of the nation’s theatre talent.

Andrew Panton, Dundee Rep’s Artistic Director, said:
“It’s an honour that three of Scotland’s foremost theatre practitioners will be joining us at Dundee Rep as Artistic Associates. Their combined talent will provide our actors with a year-round development opportunity, helping to provide a springboard for creation and skills growth.”

This is the first partnership of its kind at the theatre, and Dundee Rep is excited to be announcing this first Artistic Associate cohort and to bring these three internationally successful women into the organisation where they can share their vast expertise.

Alongside their own practice, both Jean Sangster and EJ Boyle have roles at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Claire McKenzie is a graduate of the school.

Dundee Rep has enjoyed strong ties with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and 2018 sees the ambitious collaboration between the two companies on Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s musical version of Frank Wedekind’s play, Spring Awakening.

Hugh Hodgart, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Director of Drama, Dance, Production, and Film said:
“We’re delighted to be playing an active role at the heart of Scotland’s creative community through graduates and teaching staff like Claire, Jean, and EJ who are all innovative and excellent arts practitioners in their own right.

“Dundee Rep’s Artistic Associates’ programme is a great example of the breaking down of traditional barriers between learning and practice to the mutual benefit of both practitioners and audiences and we look forward to the seeing these new artistic collaborations as they evolve.”   

Jean is currently Head of Voice and the Centre for Voice in Performance in the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS). Working closely with students, staff and visiting artists across all programmes within the School of Drama, Jean is responsible for the teaching and development of an extensive training in Voice, one which is varied, dynamic and unique to RCS. The work of the Centre for Voice in Performance includes ongoing practice-based research. Through sharing this and the department's work and activities, the Centre offers opportunities to people out with RCS, from all walks of life.

Jean Sangster said:
“To be part of the artistic and creative world of Dundee Rep is quite simply an honour. I'm thrilled! The Rep has such warmth and vibrancy about it. I look forward to contributing to the vital, dynamic role it plays in the life of Dundee, Scotland and beyond. “

EJ trained in classical ballet (in her hometown of Glasgow) at the Dance School of Scotland and onwards at the Royal Ballet School, London Studio Centre and Steps on Broadway. She went on to work extensively as a dancer, actor, singer and voice-over artist in the West End, film, commercials, radio, Matthew Bourne's New Adventures, and for the RSC in the original cast of Matilda the Musical. Her choreographic work includes Netflix’ award-winning The Crown, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Ceremonies, the indie film musical God Help the Girl, Dundee Rep’s acclaimed The Cheviot the Stag and the Black, Black Oil, the ITV 1950’s-set In Plain Sight, Citizens Theatre’s award-winning play Oresteia: This Restless House, and the upcoming revival of Sunshine on Leith at West Yorkshire Playhouse. EJ is also Lecturer in Dance on the Musical Theatre programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. 

EJ Boyle said:
“I am delighted to be an Artistic Associate of Dundee Rep, a company with which I have enjoyed a long and happy history. The process of collaboration and co-creation with the brilliant Ensemble and creative teams at the Rep have been an integral part of my development and growth as an artist. I now very much look forward to furthering this relationship, being part of the creative energy and spirit of the company, and proudly representing Dundee Rep within the wider theatre community.”

Claire studied Composition and Musical Direction at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she graduated with First Class Honours and a Masters Degree with Distinction. Along with writer Scott Gilmour, Claire founded Noisemaker, one of whose most recent pieces, Little Red and the Wolf for Dundee Rep, was shortlisted for a CATS (Critics Awards for Scotland) award, Best Production For Children And Young People 2016 and also that year for Best Show For Children And Young People at the UK Theatre awards.

Claire McKenzie said:
“I am honoured to become an Artistic Associate at Dundee Rep; a theatre that has continued to support my development as a composer and musical director over several years. I'm excited to work with the wonderful ensemble and return to this unique building to continue this collaboration in the forthcoming season.”