Visiting Professional & Education Work

In addition to her varied professional composing and musical direction engagements, Zara has worked extensively in music and theatre education over twenty-plus years and has specialised in major large-scale devising and performance projects both in the UK and internationally. Along with traditional teaching in drama school and musical theatre actor training settings, her experience ranges from work with pre-school right through to undergraduate and adult education, across a broad spectrum of demographics, and along with more traditional forms of teaching, has also covered specialist areas such as, devising music theatre (bespoke projects, commissioned projects and visiting artist engagements), devising opera, songwriting, composition, harmony, part-singing, Musical Theatre and singing for adults.

From early 2017, she made the decision to move away from the education strand of her career in order to focus all of her time solely on her own writing and commissions. Since that time, although behind the scenes, she has continued to make contibutions to the education field through such things as designed online resourses, specialist workshops, and other consultations on projects, she does remain committed to her writing, so her being available for work on the kind of projects listed below these days, is exceptionally rare, but if you’d like any further information about any of these past projects themselves, please do get in touch.

Most Recent & Notable

24 DAY (THE MEASURE OF MY DREAMS)

Arranger, Musical Director

Almeida Theatre 2023
Community and Participation Production featuring an over-100-strong Community Cast.

Director Jack Nurse
Participation Producer Simon Stephens

IN THE DEEP

Music Mentor, MD support

Almeida Theatre 2023
Young Company New Musical Theatre Participation Production

Directors Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong & Abi Falase
Participation Producer Simon Stephens

EASTER MUSICAL THEATRE DEVISING PROJECT

Musical Director

Almeida Theatre 2023
Young Company Participation Production

Directors Jordana Goldbourn
Participation Producer Simon Stephens

BEAM 2023

Mentor
Providing blocks of bespoke mentorship sessions to participating writing teams for the 2023 Showcase

Mercury Musical Develpments & Musical Theatre Network 2023
Showcase held at Oxford Playhouse

Mentorship Team Coordinator Kate Golledge

THE KEY WORKERS CYCLE

Composer, Musical Director

Almeida Theatre 2022
Community and Participation Production

Directors Various
Participation Producer Simon Stephens

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK

Musical Director

City Academy Musical Theatre Company Production 2019
Adult Ed

Director Al Pearson

LONDON BOROUGH OF HILLINGDON MUSIC HUB

Borough-Wide Choir Competiton
Judging Panel Member
and Co-Lead on full festival singing warm-up for participating choir groups

Summer Term 2017

Music Service Lead Suzy Davies

ARTS EDUCATIONAL SCHOOLS

Singing Tutor, Musical Director

MA Actors 2016 & 2017

Course Director Dierdre McLoughlin

YARICO EDUCATION PROGRAMME

Musical Director for the Actors’ Company (2016)  & Music Workshop Consultant (ongoing)

TRESTLE THEATRE COMPANY 2016

Director Emily Gray

SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARVES

Composer, Lyricist, Musical Director, Workshop Facilitator, Video Producer, Video Editor

LONDON BOROUGH OF HILLINGDON MUSIC HUB in partnership with COMPASS THEATRE 2015

Songwriting Commission, Outreach project, Film Production

Commissioned to:

  • Write the words and music for the Dame’s song for Compass Theatre’s production of ‘Snow White & the Seven Dwarves’ according to the director’s brief.
  • Deliver an outreach project consisting of primary school devising workshops, where the children created some of their own material as well as learned my song, which was called ‘Perfect Pie’.
  • Make, produce and edit a film of the children presenting their creations and singing their version of the song. The films were then shown every day of the professional show’s run during the interval.

BBC RADIO 1 ACADEMY

Musical Director, Workshop Facilitator

Part of RADIO 1’s BIG WEEKEND, Norwich 2015

Songwriting Masterclass with special guest star ELLA EYRE

With 30 participants, plus house-band. Facilitated a two-hour songwriting devising workshop which culminated in the creation of a group song that was performed with Ella Eyre.  For more information, please read the press article Masterclass was highlight of academy’s visit’, written in response to the event by singer-songwriter Lisa Redford.

Royal Central School of Speech & Drama

Between 2005 and 2014, Zara was a Visiting Professional member of staff at Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. During that time she worked on numerous shows for the BA Drama & Applied Theatre in Education (DATE) course (definitions below), namely the first-year Directed Production unit, which included the public productions that went to the Minack Theatre, Porthcurno each year as part of the much sought after schools fortnight season. After a restructuring of the unit, there were several smaller DP shows made either in tandem with the Minack show or as separate entities that did Under 5’s tours of Cornwall, featured as part of the Fuse Festival (Medway, Kent), and undertook a school’s tour in and around Oldham, amongst other locations. For BA (DATE), Zara also undertook work on some of the the second-year Playtext units which was a studio-based performance project. Elsewhere at the school she also completed projects between 2008 and 2010 for the School of Professional & Community Development (SPCD). The Directed Productions were devised and created over eight weeks. As well as being MD, Orchestrator, Arranger and composing/writing a vast amount of additional and supporting material for these shows, Zara was responsible for facilitating an intensive two-week period in devised composition and song writing prior to rehearsals, that produced the foundation of musical material and songs for the final production, with the students from the cast who had pre-selected music as their craft specialism. They often included and incorporated a broad range of skills and music performance techniques, including actor-musician work and the use of junk/found instruments.

 

Musical Director, Arranger, Composer, Orchestrator
THE GOOD EGG, 2014
Director Vicky Ireland
for the Oldham Schools Tour (DP)
Musical Director
OH! WHAT A LOVELY WAR, 2013
Director Karen Tomlin
for second-year Playtext Unit 
Musical Director, Arranger, Composer, Orchestrator
ARABIAN NIGHTS, 2013
Director Joyce Branagh
for RCSSD at the Minack Theatre
Musical Director, Arranger
PETER PAN, 2012
Director Ray Downing
for RCSSD at the Minack Theatre
Musical Director, Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator
ALICE (based on Alice in Wonderland), 2011
Director Gareth White
for RCSSD at the Minack Theatre
Musical Director, Vocal Tutor
SUMMER SCHOOL, 2010
Project Managers SPCD
for Gifted and Talented students from Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster
Musical Director, Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator
THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER (based on All’s Well that Ends Well. See below for extra notes. This production was set during the French Revolution.), 2010
Director Gareth White
for RCSSD at the Minack Theatre
Musical Director, Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator
THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER (based on All’s Well that Ends Well. This was a simlutanteously run devised production as the one above but with a smaller group of BA first-years. It was created over the same eight weeks and devised from the same source material, but the result was a completely different show inspired by the music and style of the Second World War (Andrews Sisters/ George Formby), 2010
Director Joyce Branagh
for Medway Arts, Fuse Festival Kent (touring)
Musical Director, Vocal Tutor
SUMMER SCHOOL, 2009
Project Managers SPCD
for Gifted and Talented students from Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster
Musical Director, Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator
THE GREEK, 2009
Director Alex Murdoch
for RCSSD at the Minack Theatre in collaboration with Cartoon de Salvo
Musical Director, Vocal Tutor
SUMMER SCHOOL, 2008
Director Chris Stafford

for SPCD. Based on the Weimar Republic, Kurt Weil, Bertolt Brecht & agit.prop theatre.

Musical Director, Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator
LIFE OF PI, 2008
Director Keith Robinson
for RCSSD at the Minack Theatre in collaboration with Twisting Yarn
Musical Director, Composer, Orchestrator
COMMON CHORUS (based on Lysistrata), 2007
Director Gareth White
for second-year Playtext Unit
Musical Director, Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator
THE GRIMMS’S TALES, 2007
Director Steve Farrier
for RCSSD at the Minack Theatre
Musical Director, Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator
AN ARTIST AND A MARINER, 2006
Director Amanda Stuart Fisher
for RCSSD at the Minack Theatre
Musical Director, Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator
A TIME MACHINE, 2005
Director Steve Farrier
for RCSSD at the Minack Theatre

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Musical Director
SCENE to SONG Project 2016
Director John Brant
Post-graduate Musical Theatre.
Musical Director, Orchestrator
THE BEGGAR’S OPERA 2014
Director Marina Calderone
2nd-year Actor-Musicians. Abridged version of the show with 28 instruments and 11 performers.
Musical Director
BABES IN ARMS 2013
Director Heather Davies
Post-graduate public show. Bernie Grants Arts Centre.

International Schools Theatre Association

Between 2011 and 2015, Zara was on the artist team for the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA). During that time she worked on several of their international arts events including theatre festivals (listed below), delivering work as part of their exciting Artist-in-Residence programme, delivering masterclasses at their TaPs events (Theatre & Performance Symposium) and delivering teacher workshops. As a global arts organisation, ISTA produces over 50 international arts events each year for young people, teachers and artists and provide world-leading International Baccalaureate teacher training.

Music Ensemble Leader
NIST International School

BANGKOK November 2015

THEATRE TO CHANGE THE WORLD

 

Artistic Director
Michael Westberg

Four-day theatre festival.

An ISTA Connects Festival. Leading and facilitating devised music with an assigned ensemble to be integrated into a final performance piece with work made in response to our visits to some of the Community & Social enterprises helping vulnerable children & adults in Bangkok. These visits included a trip to the Concordia Day Care Centre in the heart of the Bang Na Slums. (Around 100 festival participants).

Artistic Director
Le Chataigneraie, International School of Geneva

GENEVA October 2015

DYING FOR A MUSICAL

Artistic Director
Zara Nunn

Four-day theatre festival.

Artistic Director for a devised musical, where three ensembles devised music and songs that were integrated into a final performance piece made using the stimulus of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Lake Geneva. Also responsible for developing the artistic inspiration materials in consultation with the host and in response to the previously agreed starting point. (Around 75 festival participants).

Music Ensemble Leader
Vienna International School

VIENNA 2015

CITY OF DREAMS

Artistic Director
Daniel Sarstedt

Four-day theatre festival

Leading and facilitating devised music with an assigned ensemble to be integrated into a final performance piece made in response to city of Vienna framed by elements of Freud’s dream theory with around 100 participants.

Musical Director
Dresden International School

DRESDEN 2015

BRIDGES

Artistic Director
Louise Clark

Four-day theatre festival

Leading and facilitating devised song and music across five ensembles for a promenade sharing performance with around 120 participants.

Musical Ensemble Leader
British School of the Netherlands

THE HAGUE 2015

ART AS ILLUSION

Artistic Director
Jess Thorpe

Four-day theatre festival

Leading and facilitating devised song and music with an assigned ensemble culminating in a promenade performace inspired by the work of M.C. Escher across three disciplines with around 60 participants.

Musical Director
American International School of Budapest

BUDAPEST 2014

THE WHITE STAG

Artistic Director
Daniel Sarstedt

Four-day theatre festival

Responsible for leading and facilitating devised song and music across four ensembles for a live-streamed performance with around 140 participants.

Musical Ensemble Leader
Verdala International School

MALTA 2014

HIDDEN

Artistic Director
Dinos Aristidou

Four-day theatre festival

Responsible for leading and facilitating devised song and music across four ensembles for a live-streamed performance with around 140 participants.

Musical Ensemble Leader
Victoria Shanghai Academy HK

HONG KONG 2013

LEGEND HAS IT

Artistic Director
Sherri Sutton

Four-day theatre festival

Leading and facilitating devised song and music with an assigned ensemble to be integrated into a final performance piece with 190 participants.

Musical Ensemble Leader
Copenhagen International School at the Frilandsmuseet

COPENHAGEN 2013

WHO LIVES IN A HOUSE LIKE THIS?

Artistic Director
Alan Hayes

Four-day theatre festival

Leading and facilitating devised song and music with an assigned ensemble for a site-specific, site-responsive promenade performance with 90 participants.

Musical Ensemble Leader
French International School HK

HONG KONG 2013

MEMORIES

Artistic Director
Dinos Aristidou

Four-day theatre festival

Leading and facilitating devised song and music with an assigned ensemble to be integrated into a final performance piece with 180 participants.

Musical Ensemble Leader
North London Collegiate School, Jeju Island

JEJU ISLAND, SOUTH KOREA 2012

THE ISLE IS FULL OF NOISES

Artistic Director
Jess Thorpe

Four-day theatre festival

Leading and facilitating devised song and music with an assigned ensemble to be integrated into a final performance piece with 180 participants.

Musical Ensemble Leader
International School of Brussels

BRUSSELS 2012

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS

Artistic Director
Rebecca Bell

Four-day theatre festival

Leading and facilitating devised drama and song with an assigned ensemble inspired by the work of Renee Magritte to be integrated into a final performance piece with 160 participants.

Musical Ensemble Leader
Dresden International School

DRESDEN 2011

ALL THIS HAPPENED MORE OR LESS

Artistic Director
Jez Greg

Four-day theatre festival

Leading and facilitating devised song and music with a 26 member music ensemble based on the themes from Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

Idle Chatter Theatre Company

Between 2008 & 2010 Zara was commissioned to deliver various bespoke music theatre devising projects under her company name ‘Idle Chatter Theatre Company’.

Director, Musical Director, Composer, Producer

TURN IT OFF!
2010

The Bluecoat School, Stamford
Suported and funded by Creative Partnerships.

Devised musical commissioned by the school for 60 children in years 4,5 and 6. Based on the theme of Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, the piece was devised, created composed and performed from scratch all within 9 days.

Director, Musical Director, Composer, Producer

TELL ME A STORY…
2009 

Lincolnshire Music Service
commissioned & funded by LMS for their Extended Schools provision.

Three-day devised music theatre project & performance involving selected students from 8 schools within the Branston extended schools cluster.

Director, Musical Director, Composer, Producer

TELL ME A STORY…
2009

Lincolnshire Music Service
commissioned & funded by LMS for their Extended Schools provision.

Two consecutive two-day devised music theatre project & performance involving selected students from 7 schools within firstly the Stamford and secondly the Spalding extended schools clusters.

Director, Musical Director, Composer, Co-Producer

TELL ME A STORY, SING ME A SONG
2008 

Monk’s Abbey Primary School
in partnership with Lincoln Drill Hall

Pilot project. Three-day devised music theatre project & final performance at Lincoln Drill Hall.

English Pocket Opera Company

Between 2004 & 2008 Zara worked as a Visiting artist, MD and Workshop Leader specialising in composition, devised opera, and devised music for film for English Pocket Opera Company.

Visitng Composer, Musical Director

THE LOVE FOR THREE ORANGES 2008

Director Mark Tinkler

The Britten Theatre
Royal College of Music

Six weeks of artist residencies in 14 schools covering five workshop outcomes. Each school then either performed in the final professional production or had their outcomes presented/displayed at the theatre.

Visiting Composer, Musical Director, Co-Director

EPOC at BRENTFIELD 2006

Co-Director Michael Roulston

Brentfield School
Wembley

Six week project involving 240 children from year 3-6 devising and introducing opera.

Visitng Composer, Musical Director

EPOC at THE JUNCTION 2006

Directors Various

The Junction Theatre
Cambridge

Week-long intensive devised opera based on the themes and story of The Magic Flute.

Visitng Composer, Musical Director

THE MAGIC FLUTE 2006 

Director Mark Tinkler

Broadway Theatre
Barking

Six weeks of artist residencies in 30 schools covering seven workshop outcomes, including a devised element. Each school then either performed in the final professional production or had their outcomes presented/displayed at the theatre.

Visitng Composer, Musical Director

I PAGLIACCI (THE CLOWNS) 2006

Director Mark Tinkler

Millfield Theatre
Enfield

Six weeks of artist residencies in 30 schools covering three workshop outcomes, including a devised element. Each school then performed in the final professional production.

Visitng Composer, Musical Director

I PAGLIACCI (THE CLOWNS) 2004

Director Mark Tinkler

Cochrane Theatre
London

Six weeks of artist residencies in 30 schools covering three workshop outcomes, including a devised element. Each school then performed in the final professional production.

Oldham Theatre Workshop

Musical Director, Composer

ONE-DAY WORKSHOPS 2008

A series of 3 one-day music theatre and devising workshops for primary schools.

Musical Director, Composer

THE LINE 2007
One in July, one in August.

Two separate week-long intensive musical theatre devising projects.

Musical Director, Composer

SUMMER SCHOOL at LIMEHURST 2006

Week-long intensive musical theatre devising project.

Musical Director, Composer

RED HOT 2005

Week-long intensive musical theatre devising project.

National Youth Music Theatre

Musical Director, Singing Specialist

AUTUMN OPEN TASTER WORKSHOPS 2008

Open workshops for students considering auditioning for NYMT.

Musical Director, Singing Specialist

SUMMER OPEN TASTER WORKSHOPS 2008.

Open workshops for students considering auditioning for NYMT.

Eastside Educational Trust

Musical Director, Workshop Facilitator

ISLINGTON MUSICAL THEATRE PROJECT 2003

15 week course. Also Lead Facilitator & Co-director for final masterclass day bringing four centres together for a joint performance.
Final performance: City & Islington College.

Musical Director

MUSICAL THEATRE SUMMER UNIVERSITY 2003

Week-long intensive for 13-19 year olds.
Final performance at The Old Vic.

Other Projects (Various)

Vocal Tutor, Musical Director

SINGING FOR FUN 2009

Designed & delivered a ten-week singing course for onsite employees.
For EnjoyWork.com Chiswick Business Park

Musical Director, Composer

TELLING TALES 2005

Cross-cultural education project. Taking traditional stories from Chinese, Indian, and African culture, and devising a retelling of them with four primary school groups during artist residencies. They were then performed in with full costume, lights and set on the theatre’s main stage at the end of the project. Zara also delivered a teachers’ INSET session during this project.
Director
Fiona Ross for Everyman Theatre Cheltenham, Education & Outreach department.

Vocal Tutor

TEENAGE KICKS 2003

Theatre Royal Bath
Foundation Theatre Course.