AD, Patron, Staff

Patron: Peter Sellars

American theatre, opera and festival director Peter Sellars, has gained renown worldwide for his transformative interpretations of artistic masterpieces and collaborative projects with an extraordinary range of creative artists across three decades.

Peter's early work crossed genres and travelled in time with powerful contemporary versions of works by Shakespeare, Brecht, Gershwin, Mozart, Handel and Bach. Later, he collaborated with composer John Adams on operas including Nixon in China, Doctor Atomic, The Death of Klinghoffer, El Nino, and The Gospel According to the Other Mary. New operas by Kaija Saariaho and Amin Maalouf, Osvaldo Golijov and David Henry Hwang, and Tan Dun join new productions of works by Messiaen, Ligeti, Hindemith, Kurtág and Stravinsky.

Peter has directed many path-breaking, international festivals.   In 2006 he was Artistic Director of New Crowned Hope, a month-long festival in Vienna for which he invited international artists from diverse cultural backgrounds to create new work in the fields of music, theater, dance, film, the visual arts, and architecture for the city of Vienna's Mozart Year celebrating the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth.  

Peter is well known for engaging with social and political issues through art and is Professor of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA, where he teaches Arts as Social Action and Art as Moral Action. He is the recipient of the 1998 Erasmus Prize for contributions to European culture and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has recently been awarded the 2014 Polar Music Prize (often referred to as the ‘Nobel Prize for Music’) and was named Artist of the Year by Musical America – the first time the award has gone to a director in 54 years.


Artistic Director: Michael Walling

Michael Walling founded Border Crossings in 1995. He studied History at Oxford University, and subsequently trained at Trinity College, Dublin. He has directed numerous productions across four continents, winning awards for Two Gentlemen of Verona in the US and Paul & Virginie in Mauritius. He has directed the bulk of Border Crossings' productions, and is responsible for the overall direction of the company. Productions elsewhere include: Die Zauberflote (Spain), The Europeans (Unicorn), Egor Bulychev & the OthersHayavadana, The Good Soul of Szechuan, Attempts on Her Life, Victory, Hard Times, The Art of Success, Macbeth (Mauritius), The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, The Tempest (India), Cosi fan Tutte, Romeo and Juliet (USA), The Great God Brown, Play with Cocaine, Beardsley, Spokesong, Sir Thomas More.

Michael also directs and teaches regularly at Rose Bruford College, where he is Visiting Professor in the Research Centre for Multicultural and Intercultural Performance, and at Central School of Speech and Drama. For Rose Bruford's Distance Learning courses, he has written Modules on The Social Stage, Shakespeare, The Designer, Elements of the Performance, Post-Colonial and Black Theatres and Ways of Talking about Theatre / Opera. His many publications include pieces in Suspect (Toronto, Alphabet City 2005) and Peripheral Centres / Central Peripheries (Saarbrucken, 2006). He is also Vice-Chair of the Governors of Russet House, a school for autistic children in Enfield.

Michael directed the ENO's acclaimed workshop productions of Wagner's Ring at the Coliseum and Barbican. He was Associate Director to Peter Sellars on Nixon in China, and to Phyllida Lloyd on The Handmaid's Tale (Canada). During summer 2008, he directed A Midsummer Night's Dream for Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, USA. 

Click here for Michael Walling's blog.


Associate Director: Lucy Dunkerley

Lucy has worked extensively targeting communities and disfranchised young people who are traditionally under-represented in theatre, running countless projects designed to help them develop a voice.   These include recent projects for Synergy Theatre Company developing playwriting projects for young offenders.  Lucy worked for 8 years at the Royal Court, as outreach worker leading playwriting projects for young people, many of which developed into productions and public readings. Lucy founded Lincolnshire's only theatre company for adults with learning disabilities at Trinity Arts Centre in Gainsborough when she worked there as Education and Outreach Officer.  She has directed numerous professional plays and readings, youth theatre productions and community performances. She has also worked all over Italy, writing, devising and directing shows for young people, as well as being involved in projects in other parts of the world. 

lucy@bordercrossings.org.uk 


Partnerships Manager: Valerie Synmoie

Valerie is a freelance creative consultant with over 20 years experience in the cultural sector. Valerie also works part-time with our London 21 Consortium partners Tamasha Theatre.  Valerie worked at Arts Council England between 2000 and 2010, taking on a variety of roles during her tenure, including Social Inclusion /Audience Development Officer, Head of Diversity both at the London office, and Head of International Strategy Project for the national office.  In a freelance capacity Valerie has worked with a number of organisations across the cultural sector including the Cultural Leadership Programme, the Advance Network (a partnership between the Royal Academy of Music and Kummba Music to diversify the classical music sector), and Africa Calling. Prior to ACE Valerie worked for a range of arts organisations including the Bush Theatre, Albany Empire, the Gilded Balloon in Edinburgh, and the International Arts Bureau. She has an MA in European Cultural Policy & Administration (pass with distinction).  Valerie’s specialisms include: diversity/ equalities, engagement, audience development and participation, and internationalism.

valerie@bordercrossings.org.uk