“Audrey Sheffield is one of the more lucid, clear-thinking directors of our industry. She has a compassionate presence and a forensic eye on the details of behaviour, acquired from her own rigorous training and exploratory practice. Her work on stage is dynamic, moving and alive.”
I’m an award-winning UK and international freelance director with a passion for new work, committed to making theatre that is rigorous, imaginatively ambitious and emotionally truthful.
I’ve been extensively involved in new writing, inspired by dramaturgical development, how a script evolves, and what makes plays work and why. I’ve relished the creative, collaborative relationships that I’ve built, and I want to continue exploring and making theatre that is honest – driven by rigorous questioning and attention to detail – with a desire to create a layered, rich and vivid world, alongside a strong and integrated visual and aural aesthetic – often experimental and ambitious in form.
I always want to push my practice further, to make work that really matters – that makes us question, think, breathe a little differently while we’re watching it. Theatre that makes us feel more deeply.
I initially studied Psychology and Anthropology, followed by an MSc in Medical Anthropology, and have always been fascinated by people, inspired by unknown worlds, and am consistently drawn to the human in the story – often intrigued by the darker sides of our minds and lives. I trained as a theatre director for 3 years with the late Ukranian director and teacher – Sam Kogan – in London and Moscow. I then continued learning, and developing my practice at the Young Vic, as Trainee Resident Director at the King’s Head, and through invited workshops at the National Theatre Studio, the RSC and with Peter Brook.
Passionate about theatre-making with young people and within the community, I’ve led numerous Creative Learning and Participation projects for the National Theatre, Old Vic, Almeida, RSC, Kiln and Young Vic. And I’ve recently worked as a Guest Director at drama schools including RADA, LAMDA, Mountview, Arts Ed, RCSSD, BOVTS and NFTS.
I also work as an Acting Coach and can offer support with any stages and elements of a process – whether it’s collaborating and exploring aspects with a whole company or team, or working on a more one-to-one basis with you as an individual artist to facilitate and enable you to make your fullest, most honest and exciting work, and anything in between of course too.
Inspired by all things writing and dramaturgy, I co-facilitated the NT New Views London hub for 5 years – a brilliant Playwriting Program for Young People at the National Theatre, and was part of the reading panel for the Women’s Prize for Playwriting. I’ve previously read for the Bruntwood Prize, National Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, the Print Room, Theatre503 and was one of the judges for the Adrian Pagan Playwriting Prize. I also loved working as a Mentor Director for several years, and then later as Associate Director with so many incredible young companies on all the amazing new plays commissioned by the National Theatre as part of their extraordinary NT Connections Festival.
My work as an Associate / Resident Director has included productions with Ian Rickson, Patrick Marber, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Carrie Cracknell, Rupert Goold, Clare Lizzimore, Mark Ravenhill and Elizabeth LeCompte – at the Old Vic, National Theatre, RSC, Hampstead Theatre and in the West End.
Some of my directing credits include – THE DARK ROOM, a multi-award-winning new play by acclaimed Australian playwright, Angela Betzien, at Theatre503, Chinonyerem Odimba’s WE TOO ARE GIANTS for Kiln Theatre, and THE EFFECT by Lucy Prebble and Alexi Kaye Campbell’s APOLOGIA at the English Theatre Frankfurt.
I was selected Best Director Finalist for the Off-West End Awards 2017/2018 (The Dark Room, Theatre503), nominated for The Arts Foundation Awards 2018, and was thrilled to be invited as an Old Vic 12 Director 2019 – developing Charlie Josephine’s new play, SKIN AND BLISTER, through R&D and with a staged reading at the Old Vic. I also feel very lucky to have been a recipient of an MGCfutures bursary 2020, which supported me to further develop my practice and work with Sarah Connors – Papatango Prize 2020 Finalist – on her excellent new play, PUSHING ON OPEN DOORS.
More highlights include directing S. Ansky’s seminal Yiddish play THE DYBBUK for SIX ARTISTS IN SEARCH OF A PLAY at the Almeida Theatre, PERSPECTIVE by Mackenzie Wellfare for the National Theatre and most recently co-directing JEWS. IN THEIR OWN WORDS. a theatrical inquiry by Jonathan Freedland for the Royal Court.
I’m also developing several other new theatre projects for later this year and beyond
I’ve recently enjoyed diversifying into the world of Voice and Game Performance Direction for Video Games with SIDE Global, alongside continuing my work in theatre, with the following game credits as director on: Tom Clancy’s The Division (Ubisoft), Wuthering Waves (Kuro), Meet Your Maker (Behaviour Interactive), Gwent: The Witcher Card Game (CD Projekt RED) and New World (Amazon Game Studios).
I’m thrilled to currently be working as Associate Director on Stranger Things: The First Shadow which has just open-end in the West End to huge critical acclaim.
I’m always reading and excited to find potential next plays and projects, and am keen to forge new creative collaborations, so please feel free to get in touch anytime.