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Janys Chambers


Participation, Education, Dramaturgy

This is some of my most exciting work - making theatre and writing with, for and by children; students; and adults in the community; and work with both community and professional writers​

Poster A Day in the Life of Us English short text A4.jpeg
Snow spider years edited.jpg

(Click on any blue title below to see a poster and sometimes rehearsal or production photos of the project)


For Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance

Writers' Lab

It's winter 2023 - and I've just led this New Writing project for the third time, producing 50 new short plays.  (It was in February 2022 that I first led what was then a new project to help 50 3rd Year Acting Degree students create 30-minute plays, 8 of which were later to be produced in a New Writing Showcase in June 2022.  And you know what - they all did it, confirming my belief that most actors can write.  So in November 2022, I led the project again with a new 3rd year, this time mentoring the staging of the 8 selected plays in June 2023.  And so it goes on - so much talent in these students.)  The next stage is to shortlist from the new batch of plays to find the final 8 to be produced in May 2024.  

For CADW and Youth Shedz in North Wales

Podcasts about Myths and Legends


In spring 2023, I led Writing Workshops with 3 different Youth Shedz - in Llandudno Junction, Abergele and Blaenau (ages 9-10, 11-15 and 15-25 respectively) and helped them to create and perform scripts for podcasts based on local Myths and Legends.   

For TWO WOMEN Theatre 

A Day In The Life Of Us


Directed and performed in April 2022, this was funded by the Welsh Government via its Winter of Well-being Fund, in partnership with CADW. 


An original play with songs, movement and dance, it was inspired by stories shared by young people in workshops across Wales, with a particular focus on mental health: true stories; made-up stories; hopes and dreams; stories about the many challenges of being young and living in Wales – and the world – today.  Performed by a young cast working alongside professional actors Paislie Reid and Arthur Bostrum.


"It was a fabulous play. I wasn't expecting it to be quite so good or emotional" Audience member 

"I loved it. The dialogue was so real, you could identify with all of the characters" Audience member 


"I LOVED the bus scene. And the singing – the choreography, the simple yet descriptive set. The neon ties – THE TALENT! WOW. The sleep scene at the end had me crying" Audience member 

For BCUHB (the NHS in North Wales)

Tales From The Pandemic


In the pandemic I gathered material for, and edited, a book of wonderful writing by NHS and community writers, to be published late 2023

For Cheshire Council Arts

Row Stories

Writing workshops in Storyhouse Chester with community writers, creating monologues performed in a walking trail around Chester 


For Prime Theatre Swindon

The Saffy Puzzle

Having worked in 2020 on the Lockdown Street project below, in 2021, I worked on a new piece, The Saffy Puzzle, with Writers' Pad, the fantastic Prime Theatre's Young Writers' Group, aged 15-25 - all very talented.  


'It has been wonderful working with you' '/ 'You have been such an inspiration to my writing and I’ve found you to be a very intentional writer, paying attention to both the creative and technical/structural sides of writing' / 'These sessions have been really useful and inspiring - thank you' (three young writers)

For Prime Theatre Swindon and PFT

Lockdown Street ­­­

A project involving leading 3 online Writing Workshops with writers aged 9 to 19 to make a script recorded on Zoom by a mix of professional and youth theatre actors (audio of the young people's writing below)

The whole piece was brilliant - you were great, clear and flexible and supportive and creative' Mark Powell, Artistic Director, Prime Theatre 

'I loved creating a piece relevant to the time.  I loved how we were all able to write our own thing and Janys was able to make it work. I enjoyed working with professional actors.  I found the whole experience exciting. It challenged me in new ways; it made me feel very creative and inspired.' Em, young writer

'Janys's support was for my son to be himself, true to his ideas and the characters he was writing about. He learned many new ways of expressing his writer’s skills, and now he believes in himself and knows it is ok to be different and unusual. Thank you Janys for accepting  his ideas for what they were and not trying to change them to fit. His writing has improved so much and his confidence has rocketed!' Parent of a young writer

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Shakespeare Projects

Funded variously by Arts Council Wales, Flintshire Arts, CADW (Ancient Monuments in Wales) and Libraries

Online Shakespeare Resources

Created for KS3 Learners in schools for CADW - the Story of Macbeth, Macbeth Scenes to Act Out, a Shakespeare Quiz, Exercises and Games

Shakin' Up Shakespeare for adults 

A project run twice in Libraries, exploring Shakespeare's life, times and theatre, his texts and use of language

‘A really enjoyable, challenging fun workshop which exceeded my expectations. Brilliantly prepared and led by Janys. Got me doing a bit of acting – wow!’ Anon feedback collected by The Library

Had no idea what to expect but have enjoyed a wonderful day.  The course led us through a wide range of Shakespearean experiences and was presented with verve and enthusiasm and a dazzling level of knowledge. All direction was given sympathetically and generously.  This was a superb experience’ Anon feedback

‘Best £5 I ever spent!’ Anon feedback

The Trial

A project for children in Libraries, exploring the text of Macbeth, with professional actor Richard Hand as Macbeth; followed by a simulated Trial of Macbeth - Murder or Manslaughter, casting children as Prosecution, Defence and Jury

Janys and Richard really brought Macbeth to life for the pupils in an accessible way.  It was great to see how much the children got from the sessions.  Watching the trials was incredible’ Susannah Hill, Library Service Manager, Aura

Shakin' Up Shakespeare for children

A project for primary-age children in schools and castles, working with five schools in five days; repeated over several years

Below is a film about the work done by Tom Conwy, Fight Director, and myself on this project:

Snippets of Shakespeare

An exploration and rehearsal of extracts from Much Ado About Nothing, A Winter's Tale and Macbeth for primary-age children culminating in a performance at Theatr Clwyd


Young People's Macbeth in Flint Castle

Workshops with Gwynedd Primary School Flint leading to an outdoor performance in Flint Castle

The children are still buzzing from the event on Saturday.  The staff and parents were astounded by the quality of what the children did.  I cannot express how grateful we are for the experiences you gave them. Your passion for what you do was extremely evident throughout the whole process! I really hope we get the opportunity to work with you again’ Judith Hughes Year 5/6 teacher Ysgol Gwynedd 

For the NHS in North Wales (BCUHB)


(Click here to see some of the poems)

Poems commissioned from talking to both staff and terminally ill patients in Mold Hospital

Me with 2 nurses.jpg

Janys collecting words and stories from nurses at Mold Hospital

The Waiting Room (wrote and directed)

A site-specific play about Denbigh Community Hospital and its role in the community after talking to patients and staff

Flint Words

(Click here to see some of the poems)

Commissioned poems based on words and stories collected from the community of Flint Town; words used to adorn new Flint Health Centre

Workshops for NWAS 

(North Wales Centre Adolescents Services - centre for adolescents with Mental Health difficulties)

Facilitated their creative writing.  One girl wrote a poem Blue: ‘…Light blue is best, the sea-colour/the clear-sunny-sky-colour/Light blue is the middle of my mood/Dark blue is the dark in my mood/The-ice-cold winter colour...’ She subsequently painted the picture in the Link

For Flintshire Arts and Arts Council Wales

One Small Step For Lily

A play about transition

‘Every school in Wales should see this play’ Gwennan Mair, Director Community Engagement Theatr Clwyd

Plays for 100 Children. 

An annual project since 2009 creating 13 original scripts and involving over 2000 children so far. Primary-age children devise material ready for scripting and direction; they make their own sets and props (see links – these are amazing!) with Designers; culminating in huge performances, many staged at Theatr Clwyd.  Examples: 

The Secret Garden (adapted and directed)

The Lost Kingdom (about the legend of Cantre'r Gwelod, wrote and directed)

The Snow Spider (adapted and directed)

The Railway Children (adapted and directed)

I've worked with Janys as a writer and director for over 12 years.  She is an absolute inspiration.  She has brought an expertise to the schools which did not exist before this project started’ Margret Madoc Jones, Headteacher Trelogan and Gronant Primary Schools

‘I was mesmerised by the performance by the young people who beautifully brought my book to life’ Jenny Nimmo author of The Snow Spider 

Jenny Nimmo and cast of Snow Spider.jpg

The joy of participation!  The whole cast on the set they had made themselves for The Snow Spider, with Jenny Nimmo, author of the novel on which this Play for 100 Children, adapted and directed by Janys Chambers, was based

For the Octagon Theatre

Great Expectations (with Bolton School, adapted and directed)

This was such a fantastic opportunity for all the students involved....incredibly enriching and rewarding’ Rebecca Toland, Drama Teacher Bolton School

‘'Pupils Exceed Great Expectations': BAFTA award winning writer and director Janys Chambers created a brand new adaptation of the story, breathing new life into Charles Dickens’ masterpiece. Under her direction, the cast of pupils in Years 8 and 9 from both Boys’ and Girls’ Divisions impressed with first-rate performances. Audiences were blown away by the production’ Alice Bradshaw, staff Bolton School


Card Tricks by Dick Perkins (directed)

Supported the writing of a community writer's site-specific one-man show involving magic, performed at the Holiday Inn Swimming Pool by a professional actor Lane Paul Stewart


Dirty Face by Josie Byrne (directed)

Supported a community writer and On The Go, an age 50+ Community Theatre Company, to create this.  It has since had many performances 

‘You will never be forgotten Janys – your name comes up all the time when we are acting’ Josie Byrne, On The Go Theatre

For the Brewery Arts Centre


Kendal Yarns

Dramaturg and Director on three short new plays as part of a large Festival of new plays by community writers and with community actors

Pulling Threads

Dramaturgy on a script by Martha Sheppard leading to a performance of her play by the Brewery Young Actors Company


For a Consortium of Denbighshire Schools


A Day Out In Ruthin 

(Click on the link to see all the pages of the book)

Led day-trips out and subsequent writing and art workshops with 6 schools to create A Day Out In Ruthin, a book of children’s writing and art


Nantclwyd Y Dre

(Click to see all the pages of the book, plus photos of the research visit.  Takes a while to download but do persist to see the children's artwork)


Led an exploration of the oldest town house in Wales, then used drama, writing, and art to create, compile and edit a Children’s Guide Book

Can I say what a lovely experience it was for our children to work with you.  It was enriching, informative and enjoyable’ Bryn Jones, Headmaster Rhos Street School


For Action Transport Theatre


Stories Alive

Led workshops about folk tales in primary schools and professionally recorded their group-readings to create a podcast for the local Library

For The Arden School of Acting, BA Course, Manchester University





















Morelight by Bryony Lavery (Final Year show, directed)


Jane Eyre by Shared Experience (Final year show, directed)


The Passing out Parade by Anne Valery (Final year show, directed)


For Theatr Clwyd


Morelight by Bryony Lavery (youth theatre for NT Connections, co-directed)


The Crucible by Arthur Miller (youth theatre, co-directed)

For Cheshire Rural Touring

Cross Your Heart (wrote and directed)

A specially commissioned play based on a series of workshops and a residential collecting the experiences of non-attenders at school.  Involved writing the script, sharing it with participants, including them in auditioning, marketing and FOH; then directing and taking the play back to youth audiences in Cheshire.  Subject of a documentary film

For Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama


First year devised plays based on Folk Tales (directed 3 years running)

First year devised plays, Hatcham Woods and Hatcham Sands based on local history (directed 2 years running)


For Greenwich Young People’s Theatre


Yours Painfully (youth theatre, written from devising and directed)

Arthur Awakes (scripted a play for Green Jam, a company of young adults with learning difficulties, from their devising)


I have also run workshops and courses in…



Drama Games

Acting Technique


Monologue Writing


Creative Writing (including poetry and prose)



for all kinds of people…

…adults and young people, primary and secondary school students, teachers, Headteachers, University and Drama School students, ALRA North students, Bolton University students, Salford University MA students, youth theatres, amateur drama groups, choirs, young writers, community writers, writing groups, Pinboard Writers Mold, Phoenix Writers Bolton, Horwich Writers, Library users, adolescents with mental health difficulties, young adults with learning difficulties, professional youth workers, TAPE film makers, actors and

individuals seeking drama school entry or just to write something...

...and have done dramaturgy for countless professional and community writers including…


Kevin Dyer, Shahid Ikbal Khan, Nuzhat Ali, Chris Salt, Josie Byrne, Dick Perkins, Mark Chatterton, George Gallagher, Rebekah Harrison, Carmen Medway-Stephens, Nick Stafford, Cara Novotny, Rosie Adamson Clark, James Leach, Martha Sheppard, Ian Townsend, Oli Sykes, Alex Oates, Gareth Jandrell and Matilda Velevitch

‘I just want to reiterate how much I learnt from you on No Place... I just feel like it boosted my confidence and technically moved me on loads’

Rebekah Harrison

'Blue' painted by a young woman with men

This powerful and moving picture was painted by a young woman with mental health difficulties in response to the Creative Writing Workshop I did at NWAS (see above)   

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