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Silva Semerciyan – Bath Spa University

Personal statement

Silva is a Lecturer on the BA Drama course and an award-winning playwright. She is the module leader for Writing and Directing for Performance 1 (writing), Writing and Directing for Performance 2 (directing), and Writing for TV and Radio. She is also a module tutor for Making Performance 1 and Making Performance 2. 

Her research explores representations of women in dramatic writing and the impact of historical trauma on Armenian feminism. She recently completed a PhD at the University of East Anglia, investigating playwriting by Armenian women in the Western diaspora. Her thesis includes a trilogy of her own original plays that seek to capture Armenian women’s experience, past and present.

She has worked on devised community theatre projects for the Young Vic, Bristol Old Vic and Theatre Royal Bath. In 2016, she wrote Under a Cardboard Sea for 100 young company performers to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Bristol Old Vic. The Light Burns Blue, about the Cottingley Fairies, has been performed internationally by youth and student theatre groups. Her other plays for young people include Witches Can’t Be Burned for National Theatre Connections Festival 2020 and 2021 and A Quest for Arthur for the National Theatre’s Let’s Play series.

Silva’s awards include the William Saroyan Prize for Playwriting for Another Man’s Son and Best New Play at the Brighton Fringe Festival for Gather Ye Rosebuds. I and the Village, her Master's thesis play at the University of Birmingham, went on to be a finalist for the Bruntwood Prize and an OffWestEnd Award for Best New Play. Her first radio play, Varanasi, was a finalist for a BBC audio drama award.

She has been a BBC fellow and writer on attachment at the Bristol Old Vic, a writer on attachment at the National Theatre Studio, and a member of the Royal Court’s Studio Group. More recently, she received an Arts Council grant to develop her creative practice in writing fiction.

Academic qualifications

  • HND Performance
  • BA English with distinction
  • MPhil Playwriting Studies
  • PhD Creative Writing Research 

Professional memberships

  • Society of Authors

Areas of expertise

  • Drama
  • Performance
  • Devising
  • Playwriting

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

The light burns blue

Semerciyan, S (2015) The light burns blue. Nick Hern Books, London. ISBN 9781848425026

I and the village

Semerciyan, S (2015) I and the village. Methuen Drama, London. ISBN 9781474248419

Witches can't be burned

Semerciyan, S (2020) 'Witches can't be burned.' In: National Theatre Connections 2020: plays for young people. Methuen Drama, London. ISBN 9781350161009

I and the Village (2015) [REF2021 collection]

Semerciyan, S (2021) I and the Village (2015) [REF2021 collection].

Witches can't be burned (2020) [REF2021 collection]

Semerciyan, S (2021) Witches can't be burned (2020) [REF2021 collection].

Witches can't be burned

Semerciyan, S (2020) Witches can't be burned. In: National Theatre Connections Festival, Royal & Derngate, Northampton, UK [online], February - March 2020.

His peers

Semerciyan, S (2017) His peers. Bath Theatre Royal, Bath, UK, 13 - 15 July 2017.

Under a cardboard sea

Semerciyan, S (2016) Under a cardboard sea. Bristol Old Vic Theatre, Bristol, UK, 4 - 6 August 2016.

Turning tricks

Semerciyan, S (2015) Turning tricks. In: ReOrient Festival, Z Below, San Francisco, SF, USA, 10 September - 4 October 2015.

I and the village

Semerciyan, S (2015) I and the village. Theatre503, London, UK, 9 June - 4 July 2015.

The light burns blue

Semerciyan, S (2015) The light burns blue. Bristol Old Vic Theatre, Bristol, UK, 15-18 April 2015.

The window

Semerciyan, S (2014) The window. Bristol Old Vic Theatre, Bristol, UK, 22 - 25 October 2014.

The tinderbox

Semerciyan, S (2014) The tinderbox. Bristol Old Vic Theatre, Bristol, UK, 23 - 26 April 2014.

A quest for Arthur

Semerciyan, S (2017) A quest for Arthur.

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