AD, Patron, Key Personnel

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). 

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. 

ORIGINS Festival Producer: Dani Phillipson

Dani has a background in film and the performing arts. Much of this work has been in Canada where her involvement with First Nations communities has enabled intercultural collaborations and her identification as a sympathetic ally to her Indigenous neighbours.  In the UK, she has developed and facilitated Indigenous arts events hosted by the Horniman Museum & Gardens, Natural History Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern and V&A. Dani was the assistant curator for the multi-arts exhibition ‘EcoCentrix: Indigenous Arts, Sustainable Acts’  and research associate and project coordinator for  the multi-million pound project, ‘Indigeneity in the Contemporary World: Performance, Politics, Belonging’ led by Professor Helen Gilbert, Royal Holloway, University of London and its legacy projects. She is currently completing a PhD project, 'Currents of Change and Preservation: Reconciliation and the Impact of First Nations Performance in London and Beyond' with Professor Graham Harvey, Open University and Professor Michael Walling, Border Crossings.