About The Paper Birds
Each year up to 20,000 young people around the world engage with our work as participants, audiences or co-authors. Our digital impact has doubled during 2020-21, and continues to grow. We strive to encourage change one encounter at a time; we want people’s lives to be improved by the arts and to encourage agency through the workshops, performances and conversations that we lead.
Jemma McDonnell- Co-Director (Artistic)
Jemma McDonnell co-founded The Paper Birds in 2003 and has co-written and devised all the company’s productions to date. Jemma received a 1st class degree from Bretton Hall, Leeds University in Theatre Acting and a distinction in her MA from The University of Chichester in Theatre Collectives.
Jemma has directed all 13 of the company’s productions and has performed and toured in 8 of these shows. Jemma leads on artistic vision for the company and has run projects with partners such as Chichester Festival Theatre, Live Theatre, Derby Theatre and The National Theatre.
Jemma led in the development and creation of a groundbreaking teaching resource ‘The Theatre Creativity Cards’ to aid artists and students with devising. As well as leading workshops for students and CPD for teachers and artists, she is a Guest Director and has run masterclasses at a number of acting schools and Universities throughout the UK including East 15, Rose Bruford, York University, Leeds University and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
“Empathy is acknowledging that every person’s life is as precious and complex as your own.”