Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Performance and Cultural Industries

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Zodwa Nyoni

What made you choose the MA in Writing for Performance and Publication?

ZodwaNyoni_smallI picked Leeds because it offered modules in the areas where I wanted to develop my writing – theatre, film, television and radio. I was coming from a poetry background, and I knew that in the future I wanted to work across different media. The MA gave me the time to develop my skillset as a writer.

What were the highlights of your time in Leeds?

My highlights were the moments I spent with the people I’d met, mostly international students. They were people either on the same course that I was on, in the same School or I had met at social events. What is wonderful now is that we are still connected via social media and email. You can see what people have gone on to do. For the writers among us, we can talk about and share the work that we are making.

How did the programme develop your writing?

There were great resources available. I read quite a bit that year due to the quality and quantity of books and articles that were available in my field from the library. Having stage@leeds was useful because new and varied work came into the building. The theatre spaces were also available to students to hold readings for work-in-progress. And the postgraduate festival was an opportunity to learn the process of taking your work from the page to the stage.

How has it helped you to further your career?

I graduated with developed ideas, treatments and completed work in theatre, film, fiction, television and radio, which I could use when approaching commissioners or literary associates. My final dissertation project was a play, Boi Boi is Dead. It went on to win the Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme in 2014. I spent that year as the Writer-in-Residence at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, making new work and building national and international networks. In spring 2015, Boi Boi is Dead was co-produced by West Yorkshire Playhouse, Tiata Fahodzi and Watford Palace Theatre. It was directed by Lucian Msamati, an actor and director that I’d admired for years. And I recently had my first collection of plays published by Methuen Drama.

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