Matthew Hahn is an international theatre director, playwright and theatre for development facilitator, post-graduate with experience of creating, coordinating and implementing theatre projects in the United Kingdom, the United States, East & Southern Africa. He is also experienced in co-creating international theatre projects focusing on developing and enabling young people, social cohesion, peace-making and conflict resolution in the Global South & North.
Under lockdown, he has been busy adapting his practice for an online world though the facilitating and directing of online plays & workshops for a variety of theatre festivals, community centres, theatres companies and organisations. Recently, he directed a Zoom live theatre performance of Catastrophe featuring Tony Award winning actor John Kani & Jack Klaff. He also created & curated New Normal / New Writing Theatre Festival, an online 24 hour festival which brought together theatre-makers from around the world. Before the lockdown, he directed two new plays for the South by South East Festival at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury: Trust, which was developed as part of the Folkestone 48 Play Festival, and imPEACHable, a tribunal theatre piece based on the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Upcoming projects include a second edition of the New Writing / New Normal International Theatre Festival in October 2020.
As a theatre for development practitioner, he facilitates interactive and participatory theatre projects focusing on social cohesion, peace-making and conflict resolution. His play, The Robben Island Shakespeare, has been performed in the United Kingdom, United States and South Africa; he regularly facilitates ‘Ethical Leadership’ Workshops based on his interviews with former South African political prisoners and selections from ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.’
From 2008 to 2018, he was a Senior Lecturer at St Mary’s University, London specializing in theatre for development. From 2006 to 2016, he was a training facilitator with Theatre for a Change, a UK charity which utilizes interactive theatre to train teachers and facilitators on the topics of gender equality and sexual and reproductive health. Matthew has degrees in Political Science & Journalism from Indiana University (1995) in the United States and is a graduate of the Goldsmiths College Masters in Theatre Directing programme (2002) in the United Kingdom. He trained with the SITI Company in New York (2000) and with Anne Bogart in Dublin, Ireland (2005). He has also trained with the Cardboard Citizens Theatre Company (2005) in London in their Forum Theatre / Joker Training Programme.
As an artist and social activist, he is drawn to complex political opportunities that allow him to utilize his skills as a theatre director, writer and facilitator to further developmental goals.