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Jess Donn

Jess Donn


I started working at the theatre in my first year of University in 2015 by, mostly, shadowing every role I could. However, I didn’t start getting fully involved until my adopted theatre mum Darcey (adopted because I didn’t do Freshers’ Fringe and only did backstage roles) sent me a message to the effect of “you might be interested in running for committee”. With her encouragement, I ran for Workshop Manager and was elected to the 16-17 committee. I was also lucky enough to be invited up to Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016 with an external company made mostly of NNT members, Strickland Productions, a company I went on to work with for 3 Edinburgh runs.

In my time as Workshop Manager, I was responsible for helping to run the weekly get ins and get outs for both the In House and Fringe seasons, particularly regarding the set design/construction. As well as this, I helped to maintain the workshop equipment and train the membership in its usage.

However, the main project that I undertook this year on committee was Unscripted. As committee, we decided we wanted to extend the role of the previously named drama club which ran an un-auditioned project to be a full devising troupe writing and performing our own scripts. I offered to take it on thinking that it would be a chill weekly session with a few other people. Cut to the winter holidays where we were writing a script for 17 actors with a 6 strong creative team of directors and writers. Camp Macbeth was an incredibly strong start to Unscripted’s lifespan and the ticket sales directly contributed to NNTs season charity. I’m so proud of running Camp Macbeth and Potential (the summer term Unscripted show) for the people it brought into the theatre as their first chance as a project and for what it then did for the NNT. Unscripted is making its way to being a third season alongside with In House and Fringe and has an entire committee position to help run it!

In my third year, I got involved with as many shows in as many different roles as I could, including a run of 5 different shows in 5 different roles in 5 weeks. Third year also saw my first (and only real) acting credit as the 9 year old child in A Doll’s House. Finally, being 5ft HAD helped me out, even if I did corpse my way through every single show. I also got the opportunity to produce Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, a show that I thought about or worked on for just under a year and saw me on a production team with one of closest friends. Dirk was a purposefully silly time and I loved literally every second of working on it.

I couldn’t quite let Uni and NNT go and so in my MSc year I worked on numerous more shows including directing Adult Child/Dead Child and producing The Seagull (a show which, again, I worked on with an incredibly close friend for a very long time - it was a bit of a white whale for us and I was happy to have finally conquered it). Alongside this, I was also In House Coordinator, managing 16 productions across both the Autumn and Spring semester seasons. Within this role I also produced the second NNT 72 in 72 initiative of Twelfth Night. I also finally took a show to Edinburgh Festival Fringe with the NNT itself, producing Franz and Marie: Woyzeck Retold.

NNT has given me so much joy to be a part of for 4 years, and I’m incredibly grateful for all of the skills I was able to develop, all of the projects I got to complete, and all of the friends I made along the way. It’s a very special building and a very special community and I sincerely thank everyone who made my time at NNT possible. Here’s to everything that is to come.

(Oh and in my final In House show I was a plant in a scripted role and I didn’t corpse. It all gets better, folks.)

Bio last updated 2019-07-08, submit updates.


Computer Science BSci
Human Computer Interaction MSci