Gareth Osborne: concept design and writer
Gareth is a children’s author, specialising in fiction for 8-12 year olds, and a teacher of twenty years’ experience using storytelling and drama to inspire young people in the classroom and over online platforms. These interests have led him into academic research, firstly at the National Centre for Research into Children’s Literature and now through a postgraduate research project at the University of Bristol, exploring new models of immersive storytelling that blend private reading and theatre experiences to create more participative fictional experiences for children.
His first stories were published while working as a writer and content developer with Pearson on their digital reading scheme that aims to boost child literacy, used by more than 8,000 teachers and 1 million children worldwide. With Pearson he worked with editors and illustrators to hone story structure, as well as collaborating with web and graphic designers on extending children’s engagement over virtual platforms.
He has also written two children’s novels. Rogues and Muses was longlisted for the Times Chicken House Prize 2016, and Cogs of Castile won the Bath Children’s Novel Award in 2017, selected by a panel of child judges. He is represented by literary agent Julia Churchill at A. M. Heath, London.
Fran Moulds: director of the immersive theatre episodes
Fran is a theatre maker based in Brighton and London. Fran makes inventive, provocative theatre as a director, writer, and performer. She also creates immersive theatrical experiences to inspire and empower young people.
Fran has been creating immersive theatrical experiences for young people for over 15 years with such award-winning companies as Punchdrunk, Coney and Kit Theatre. She is interested in creating spaces where anything becomes possible. Whether devising a learning adventure for children, or running physical theatre workshops with teenagers, she is primarily concerned with the world of the imagination – guiding people into rich, unknown territories.
Her approach is playful and inclusive, with a firm belief that every person has their own unique creative voice. Fran works to inspire young people, empowering them to know and express themselves.
Tom Bowtell: actor playing the story shaman
Tom is a writer, director and performer who has been making adventurous work for. by and with young people for 10 years. He founded KIT in 2015 with a mission to use Adventures in Learning to improve children’s educational engagement and achievement and unlock their creative talent. Tom has written or co-written 15 Adventures in Learning, including Inspiration Days, Arabian Nights and The Astronautical Challenge, which won the 2011 National Charity Award for Arts, Culture and Heritage. Tom co-created and starred in BAC’s Offie-Nominated The Good Neighbour in 2013/14 and was a game designer on the BAFTA-winning educational game Nightmare High.
Nele Diel: illustrator
Nele is a well-renowned game illustrator based in Germany. After finishing University in Communication Design in 2016 she started working fulltime as a freelancer doing illustrations for Games, Books, Albums and many other projects with a focus on fantasy landscapes and characters. She has illustrated board games such as Battle for Rokugan by Astorian Press and Valhal by Tetrahedron Games. She produced all the illustrations for Storyhaven.
Andy Campbell: tech consultant
One to One Development Trust are an award-winning arts organisations who work with communities to co-produce digital storytelling projects. Through their multi-award-winning in-house digital storytelling and games development studio, Dreaming Methods, One to One’s Digital Director, Andy, has been helping to develop the reading game app and website for Storyhaven.
Game Designer Nikki Valens’ 2017 table-top roleplaying game, Legacy of Dragonholt, has been an important inspiration for Storyhaven. Nikki has given generously of her time to talk to the project about the potential of blending such table-top roleplaying games with live-theatre elements to bring children’s game playing to life.
The research element of Storyhaven is based in the Department of Theatre at the University of Bristol, the School of English at Cardiff University and the School of Creative Industries at the University of Bath Spa, where it is supervised by the adaptation and theatre for young audiences specialist, Dr Katja Krebs, children’s literature scholar and young-adult author, Dr Catherine Butler, and new digital media writer and scholar Professor Kate Pullinger.
Playwright and academic Judith Bryan provided important input into the project’s conception through her Senior Lecturer role at the National Centre for Research into Children’s literature at the University of Roehampton.
Storyhaven’s development has been supported by the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, the Temple Quarter Engagement Fund at the University of Bristol, and the Bristol Doctoral College.
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