Photo by Sonia Visual Storytelling
Photo by Sonia Visual Storytelling
Nina (they/them) is a political theatre maker and educator based in London. Their work is celebratory, immersive and collaborative, exploring different creative tools for social change.
Nina is Artistic Director of 'Be More Mushroom', their theatre project which explores the many intersections of queer theory and fungi and asks: 'what can mushrooms teach us about identity, society and power?'. Be More Mushroom is being developed as part of an artists residency at St. Margaret's House with Dan de la Motte and a group of queer mycologists, performers and musicians. You can buy tickets for Be More Mushroom here. Nina has also designed three corresponding workshops: Introduction to Queer Theory and Queer Fungi, Make Music Like Mushrooms and Make Theatre Like Fungi.
Nina is an experienced educator and facilitator. They regularly work with ULEX, recently delivering 'Integral Activist Training' and Creative Tools for Social Change' in Catalonia for 50 activists in Europe (2022). They're also an accomplished producer, recently programming and producing Rebel Soul's Queer Takeover Day at Shambala (August 2022), a series of workshops exploring what it means to 'queer', why it's important and how to practically implement 'queering'.
Nina often runs creative trainings in community, educational and arts settings in Theatre of the Oppressed. They trained with Jana Sanskriti, Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed and have lectured at Queen Mary's, Roehampton, UEL and Rose Bruford. They produced and delivered Theatre of the Oppressed for Housing Justice and Theatre of the Oppressed for Renters Rights (Concrete Action and London Renters Union 2019-2021) using theatre to teach eviction resistance and housing rights.
Nina was Artistic Director of You Should see the Other Guy Theatre (2014-2022), a London based grassroots collective made up of queer and women artists which worked on and off stage to tackle housing injustice. Nina has co-written and directed YSSTOG's Land of the Three Towers (Camden People's Theatre 2015-2019), a series of verbatim musicals which were performed on London housing estates. The plays share different methods of resisting gentrification and regeneration. Land of the Three Towers: Vol I has been published in Radical Housing: Art Struggle and Care (ed, Ana Valencia, 2021) which can be downloaded and ordered here.
Nina's baby (pun intended) is Womb with a View (WINNER Best Festival Venue, IAF 2017, WINNER Shambala micro-venues competition 2016), an immersive venue which gives birth to new ideas and an interactive performance which gives birth to YOU. The womb sets out to queer narratives of wombs, childbirth and parenthood. In 2021 Nina received Developing Your Creative Practice Funding to develop Womb with a View, exploring queering trans healthcare and telling the story of birth through cabaret, song and silliness.
Nina has designed celebrated costumes for award winning companies including Kill the Beast's He Had Hairy Hands (WINNER Peter Brook Festival Award, WINNER Manchester Theatre Awards, BBC Top Pick of the Fringe) and The Boy Who kicked Pigs.
Nina loves to teach singing and song-making. They are a long standing member of queer choral collective F*Choir and sing in Kate and Nina Scott, a band with their identical twin sister.
Film by Christina Hardinge
You Should see the Other Guy are a queer led theatre company ran by Nina Scott and Emer Mary Morris. We work with activists and communities fighting towards social change. We began as housing activists with Focus E15 Campaign, supporting people at risk of gentrification and regeneration, since then our work has broadened to include supporting climate activists, the queer community and many more.
Our ethos is DIY Theatre: DIY Resistance and our work sets out to demystify art and demystify activism.
Our methods are non-hierarchical, accessible and queer as we know these philosophies are integral when working to deconstruct and reconstruct systems of oppression.
We believe theatre has the power to spark personal and social transformation and be vehicle for community action. We aim to bring people out of isolation and develop collective celebratory practices while centering voices who are most affected by societal injustice. We aim to collaborate on making a radically inclusive safer space for people, where everyone has access to the tools for making art.
We make work that is...
Radically inclusive: we encourage participation from women and non-binary people from all backgrounds, ages and abilities
Non-elitist: everyone is paid the same and child care is provided so that mothers can be part of our cast and crew.
Accessible: on estates tickets are free and at theatres they are subsidised. Workshop participants get food and travel expenses.
A bit of history...
Our debut production, ‘Land of the Three Towers’ tells the story of the 2014 Focus E15 Occupation of four empty flats on Carpenters Estate, of which we were core campaigners. The occupation criticised Newham council for leaving perfectly decent homes empty and demanded they repopulate the Estate. It ran for two weeks and resulted in 23 homes being reopened for people who need them. Using exclusive documentary footage we tell the story of this historical moment in the fight for ‘‘Social Housing, Not Social Cleansing!’’
The full script of Land of the Three Towers: Vol I can be downloaded and ordered from Radical Housing: Art, Struggle, Care (journal ed. Ana Valencia, 2021)
‘‘From a new generation of thinkers who have, in this inaugural work, taken theatre in a whole new direction.’’ ***** International Times
In January, 2016 Land of the Three Towers enjoyed a sold out run on Carpenters Estate as part of Camden People’s Theatres festival, ‘Whose London is it Anyway’. Our audience feedback stated that 92% of people were more likely to get involved in local housing campaigns after seeing the show. Our coinciding workshops included: Know Your Rights’, ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ and ‘Eviction Resistance’. Our immersive exhibition told the story of Carpenters Estate, Cressingham Gardens and Silchester Estate, and their fight to save their homes.
Over three weeks in October 2016, again supported by Arts Council England, we visited two estates threatened with demolition: Silchester Estate (Kensington) and Cressingham Gardens (Brixton) and enjoyed a sold out run at Camden People’s Theatre. We also expanded our outreach programme, adding ‘Make a Protest Song’ in which we use real words and real stories from residents to collaboratively create a song for the estate.
In 2017 we won 'Most Unique Festival Venue' at the International Festival Awards for 'Womb with a View' an interactive performance which guided the audience from conception to birth and an immersive venue which held talks and workshops about queer parenting, gender identity and reproductive rights.
Land of the Three Towers: Vol 2 was developed in May, 2018 when we worked with a new group of womxn with lived experience of housing oppression, including young people from Silchester Estate and Carpenters Estate. We interweaved personal stories and exclusive material from together we will answer the question: How can we resist social cleansing? This was performed to sold out audiences at London estates resisting demolition and Brighton Fringe.
Later this year we worked with the Trans Sex Workers Union, using Theatre of the Oppressed to support them to co-create a plan on how to respond to the Trans Bill
In 2020-2021 we worked with Eviction Resistance Network and London Renters Union to create workshops which use theatre to explore alternatives to housing oppression. Our workshop series 'Theatre of the Oppressed for Housing Justice' and Theatre of the Oppressed for Renters Rights pooled the knowledge of renters, people who have experienced homelessness, architects and activists and explored Theatre of the Oppressed as a tool for movement building and overcoming oppression.