an international network of women in contemporary theatre, conference with Julia Varley
Julia Varley was born in 1954 in London, Great Britain and joined Odin Teatret in 1976. Apart from acting she is active in directing, teaching, organising and writing. At the age of three she moved to Milan, Italy where she did her schooling, including Philosophy Studies at Milan University. Before joining Odin Teatret she worked in Milan with theatre with Teatro del Drago, Centro Sociale Santa Marta and Circolo La Comune, and earned her living as an assistant film producer. With Odin Teatret, Julia Varley teaches in schools and universities and has synthesised her experience in four work demonstrations: The Echo of Silence, The Dead Brother, Text, Action, Relations and The Flying Carpet. Since 1990 she has been involved in the conception and organisation of ISTA (International School of Theatre Anthropology) and of the University of Eurasian Theatre, both directed by Eugenio Barba. Since its beginning in 1986 she has been active in The Magdalena Project, a network of women in contemporary theatre. She is also artistic director of Transit International Festival, Holstebro, and editor of The Open Page, a journal devoted to women's work in theatre. In the framework of The Magdalena Project, Julia also takes part in the collaborative project "Women with Big Eyes" which has been performed in Denmark and Cuba. In connection with Odin Teatret's intercultural productions and Holstebro Festuge, Julia has started an ongoing pedagogical collaboration with groups of young actors ("Ageless", "Jasonites", "Ur-Hamlet Foreigners") both in Denmark and abroad. Julia Varley directs her regular longlasting students. She has directed two productions with Pumpenhaus Theater in Germany (Auf den Spuren des Yeti and Blau), two productions with Ana Woolf from Argentina (Seeds of Memory and White is the Night), a children's production with Hisako Miura from Japan (Fox Wedding) and two productions with Lorenzo Gleijeses and Manolo Muoio (Il figlio di Gertrude and L'esausto o il profondo azzurro) and another with Gabriella Sacco (The Taste of Oranges) from Italy. She has worked as assistant director for the films Anabasis and On the Two Banks of the River, and for the production of the film Come! And the Day Will Be Ours. Julia Varley has written two books: Wind in the West - a novel by a theatre character (Odin Teatret Forlag, Denmark) and Notes of an Odin Actress - Stones of Water (Ubulibri, Milan; Escenologia, Mexico; Alarcos, Cuba; San Marcos-Yuyachkani, Peru; Entretemps, France; Routledge, UK). Her articles and essays have been published in journals such as The Mime Journal, New Theatre Quarterly, Teatro e Storia, Conjunto, Lapis, The Open Page, Performance Research, Teatro XXI and Máscara.