Anna Iris is a Reykjavik based performer- director and writer with a special interest in political theatre. She graduated from Rose Bruford in 2016 with a BA in European Theatre Arts.
Anna has been working independently since 2012, when she started the theatre company Orion Theatre. In 2013 she left the company to pursue her studies and is now working on her latest play alongside them.
Anna has written and directed several plays, all of which have been performed in Reykjavik.
From an early age I have been very passionate about creative expression, particularly directing, though I haven’t always had the words to describe what I wanted to do. In 2012, I found my place when I started a theatre company, Orion Theatre, in Iceland. We were a small company, only a handful of young adults, but we were driven, and I found the drive and determination within myself to bring an original piece to our local theatre. This was intense on-the-job training, where I learned the skills needed to be the spokesperson, director, stage manager and shoulder to cry on for a company of 16-22 year old actors. This involved everything from negotiating rehearsal sessions to applying for funding or liaising with the venue and lighting designer.
I have come out of this experience not only a stronger director, but also a better person with more respect for every aspect of what it takes to make good theatre. By the time I got into Rose Bruford, I had directed two original plays, both of whom I had written specifically for Orion. The first had a large cast and in the process of getting it to the stage, we made just about every mistake a new company can make, but we learned from each and every one of them.
The second was a very personal project for me, a play I had struggled to write and changed so much during rehearsals it was nearly unrecognizable, but immensely better for the actors’ input. That one was about coming of age and made me realize that I want to use my work as a way to research issues that I see around me.
Later, through my studies at Rose Bruford, I learned new ways of creating theatre through European Practitioners, including Brecht, Muller, Stanislavski, Buchner, Dario Fo and many more to begin to find my own voice. I have learned to effectively lead workshops and organise rehearsals around busy schedules, to find a balance between practice and text based research while keeping the sense of passion and play alive. After just one year, I returned to Iceland for my summer holidays and directed our version of Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children. Since then I have learned to further apply existing theatre practice to what I am working with and I still believe that the performers’ input is the most valuable of all.
European Theatre Arts,
Rose Bruford College Of Theatre and Performance
European Exchange Term,
Film Acting Workshop
Baltic Film Academy, Tallinn