Ursula Rani Sarma

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Ursula Rani Sarma is an Irish/Indian playwright, screenwriter and poet. She grew up in County Clare, Ireland and has a BA from University College Cork and an MPhil from Trinity College Dublin.

She began directing and writing plays while a student at University College Cork. The first play she directed was Innocence by Frank McGuinness in 1997 at the University's Granary Theatre. In 1999 she wrote and directed Like Sugar on Skin which was selected to represent the University at the annual Irish Student Drama Awards in Galway where it won several awards. Her breakthrough came in August 1999 when she wrote and directed her first professional play ...touched... which premiered at Edinburgh's Hillstreet Theatre Venue. ...touched... received critical acclaim[by whom?] and attracted attention from the Traverse Theatre, the National Theatre London and the BBC. She founded Djinn Theatre Company in 1999 and has served as Artistic Director since that time.

Since 1999, she has written thirteen plays for stage, three radio plays, contributed episodes to Ecosse Films series Raw on RTÉ, and had her poetry included in several anthologies. She has won numerous awards for her plays including an Edinburgh Fringe Award, an Irish Times/ ESB Theatre Award, and most recently the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland's 2010 Best New Play Award for The Dark Things, produced by The Traverse Theatre in 2009. The Dark Things also won Best Production at the CATS awards. Her plays include Like Sugar on Skin, ...touched..., Blue, Wanderings, Gift, The Spidermen, Orpheus Road, Birdsong, The Parting Glass, RIOT, The Magic Tree, Car Four, The Fisherman, A Tiny Light in the Darkness, The Dark Things and a version of Lorca's Yerma. These plays have been translated and produced extensively and were written for companies such as the Traverse Theatre, The National Theatre London, the Abbey Theatre, Paines Plough, the American Conservatory Theatre, Origin Theatre Company, and the BBC amongst others.

Over the past few years she has begun writing for the screen and as well as writing for RAW and has developed feature films with B3 Media, Film4 and the Irish Film Board. In 2011 she was selected to take part in the Guiding Lights film mentoring project. In 2011 she wrote and directed her first short film The Woods which is currently in post production. She has been writer in residence for Paines Plough Theatre Company, the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Centre, the National Theatre, CREATE and Galway Local Authorities. Her plays are published by Oberon Books and Faber and Faber and her poetry is published by Arlen House and Dedalus Press. She is currently on attachment at the Soho Theatre London as one of their Soho 6 Writers.


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