Theatre Director & Theatre for Development Facilitator, Matthew Hahn.
Matthew Hahn is an international theatre director, playwright and theatre for development facilitator, post-graduate with experience of creating, coordinating and implementing theatre projects in the United Kingdom, the United States, East & Southern Africa. He is experienced in co-creating international theatre projects focusing on developing and enabling young people, social cohesion, peace-making and conflict resolution in the Global South & North.
As the world opens up, Matthew is turning his focus away from international work [and the associated air travel] to a more local focus working with the Folkestone Performing Arts Centre where he is creating a new work incubation space, training centre to develop performing artists and community hub in Folkestone, UK.
In April, he directed Art by Yasmina Reza [winner outstanding director & outstanding play, Tournament of Plays Award] in Brussels for the SHAPE Theatre. From March to July, he will be devising a show with PROJEKT EUROPA at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury for PROJEKT ENCOUNTER. This summer, he will direct A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Canterbury Shakespeare Festival.
Under lockdown, he was busy adapting his practice for an online world though the facilitating and directing of online plays & workshops for a variety of theatre festivals, community centres, theatres companies and organisations: he directed a Zoom live theatre performance of Catastrophe featuring Tony Award winning actor John Kani & Jack Klaff for The Peacock Theatre Festival for Civil Liberties. He also created & curated the quarterly Festival of Fleeting Words, an online 24 hour festival which brought together theatre-makers from around the world. Before the lockdown, he directed two new plays for the South by South East Festival at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury: Trust, which was developed as part of the Folkestone 48 Play Festival, and imPEACHable, a tribunal theatre piece based on the first impeachment trial [yes, he was impeached TWICE!] of President Donald Trump.
As a theatre for development practitioner, he facilitates interactive and participatory theatre projects focusing on social cohesion, peace-making and conflict resolution. He is a trustee at Most Mira, a charity which uses applied arts to help to build bridges between divided communities in Bosnia.
His play, The Robben Island Shakespeare, has been performed in the United Kingdom, United States and South Africa; he regularly facilitates Ethical Leadership’ Workshops based on his interviews with former South African political prisoners and selections from ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.’
From 2008 to 2018, he was a Senior Lecturer at St Mary’s University, London specializing in theatre for development. From 2006 to 2016, he was a training facilitator with Theatre for a Change, a UK charity which utilizes interactive theatre to train teachers and facilitators on the topics of gender equality and sexual and reproductive health.
Matthew has degrees in Political Science & Journalism from Indiana University in the United States and is a graduate of the Goldsmiths College Masters in Theatre Directing programme in the United Kingdom. He trained with the SITI Company in New York and with Anne Bogart in Dublin, Ireland. He has also trained with the Cardboard Citizens Theatre Company in London in their Forum Theatre / Joker Training Programme.
As an artist and social activist, he is drawn to complex political opportunities that allow him to utilize his skills as a theatre director, writer and facilitator to further developmental goals.