Birkbeck University and RADA have kindly joined forces with the Michael Ross Estate to create a yearly award for aspiring students in the Text and Performance MA course.
The winner of the Michael Ross Award this year is Emma-Louise Howell.
“I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to the Ross family for this prize. I really am honoured to be the first recipient of the award which provides invaluable support, not just in the future development of Patterns, but for the initial steps into my directing career. It is an especially difficult time to be breaking into the industry but this award, and the support of RADA, Birkbeck and the Ross family, offers timely and much-appreciated encouragement, hope and confidence for my ongoing development. ”
– Emma-Louise Howell
Emma is an emerging writer and director from Lincolnshire. Committed to pursuing a career in the arts, she read English at Durham University and performed regularly in productions with Durham Student Theatre. In her final year, Emma was elected as the society’s President where she was responsible for taking productions to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, National Student Drama Festival and on both national and international tours.
Upon graduating from Durham, Emma began her studies at RADA and Birkbeck, where she continued to develop her skills and passion for directing on the MA Text and Performance course. As a director, her work aims to investigate the thin line between humour and stark social truths; she enjoys exploring these boundaries in both existing and new writing alike.
Alongside her studies, Emma has been fortunate to develop her skills by assisting directors at a number of venues such as the Arcola Theatre and VAULT Festival. Her credits include:
Directing: Patterns (RADA and Birkbeck) The Last Straw (Arcola Theatre), Honest (E-Merge Festival)
Assistant Directing: 21 for Lunch (Hope Theatre), Days of Significance (Arcola Theatre), Who Cares (VAULT Festival)
Acting: Jessie in Screen 9 (Pleasance Theatre), Ophelia in The Secret Love Life of Ophelia (Greenwich Theatre), Viola in Twelfth Night (UK/US Tour), Louise in After the End (Durham Student Theatre, Special Commendation for the National Student Drama Festival).
Her final dissertation project, Patterns, for which she receives the Michael Ross Award, explores the psychological impact of coercive and controlling behaviour. It was was short-listed for the Royal Court’s Introduction to Playwriting Programme and the award will be fundamental in supporting its future development in 2021.