A queer African-American woman resident in the UK since 1998, Jennifer Farmer is writer for performance, participatory theatre-maker and facilitator who centres systematically excluded narratives and collaborates extensively with communities made vulnerable, such as young people at risk of social exclusion (The Fall of Lucifer, 2008; Truth or Dare, 2012 and 2017, both for Belgrade Theatre), womxn in prison (Compact Failure, Clean Break/Arcola Theatre/national tour, 2004), refugees (Hear My Voice, Theatre Royal Stratford East), OAPs (Urban Dreams, London Bubble, 2008), young people with dyslexia (Turtle Key Arts), users of the mental healthcare system (V&A Museum) and intergenerational community groups (City Final, site-specific, 2018, Belgrade Theatre). Other work includes: Looking At the Sun (BAC Opera Season, 2001), clean (BBC Radio 3, 2003), 270° (Paines Plough, Young Vic, 2004), A Million Different People (BBC Radio 4, 2005), words, words, words (Tricycle Theatre, 2006), Bulletproof Soul (Birmingham Rep, 2007), Stutter (Hotbed Festival, 2008), These Four Streets (Birmingham Rep, 2009), Eating Our Words (Camden People’s Theatre, 2012), Waltzing Tomatoes (Ithaca Gallery, USA, 2013 and international festivals), Between Constellations (Pittsburgh Festival Opera, USA; Grimeborn Festival, Arcola Theatre, 2018), another city (will be our garden) (Toynbee Studios, 2021).
With a dedication to creating work that is socially engaged and urgent, Jennifer’s current projects include enoa, Britten Pears Arts, and Les Theatres de la Ville de Luxembourg-supported Link In My Bio, a new, interactive opera on the impact of the global rise of the Alt-Right, How Far Apart, a new play commissioned by Utopia Theatre and supported by Sheffield Theatres, the Wellcome Trust and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which examines the impact medical racism has on Black women's experience of childbirth, as well as the dream(ing) field lab, a new commission from Season of Change, Julie’s Bicycle and Artsadmin which utilises radical Black imagination and Afro-futurism movements to facilitate women and femmes of the African Diaspora in re-visioning their relationship with land and environmental inequality. Jennifer’s plays are published by Oberon/Bloomsbury, Samuel French and Josef Weinberger Plays.
Currently an Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths and Central School of Speech and Drama, Jennifer has lectured at Kingston University, the University of Greenwich, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and London South Bank University, and has facilitated workshops for many of the UK’s theatre and arts organisations such as the National Theatre, Frantic Assembly, Almeida Theatre, Soho Theatre and the Royal Court. At Central, Jennifer teaches on the ethics of working with communities made vulnerable, centring under-recognised narratives, and the dangers of art-washing and white saviourism.