Helen Varley Jamieson is a theatre-maker whose work includes writing, directing, producing, devising and networking; since 2000, she has been experimenting with the internet as a site for live performance, developing a new artform - cyberformance. In 2008 she completed a Master of Arts (Research) at Queensland University of Technology, titled"Adventures in Cyberformance: experiments at the interface of theatre and the internet".
Helen's interest in theatre began with childhood classes at Dunedin's Globe and Playhouse Theatres, and in 1982 she and her sister Philippa won the Junior Playwriting Cup at the Otago One Act Play Festival. She studied theatre, directing and playwriting at Otago University, graduating in 1992 with a BA (English and Theatre). Her first professionally-produced play, Women Like Us, was commissioned for the Centenary of Women's Sufferage and premiered at the Globe Theatre, Dunedin in 1993 then toured to the Wellington Fringe Festival (Taki Rua Theatre) in 1994. Later that year she co-directed Riwia Brown's play The Debate in the first Young & Hungry festival, and in 1995 her next play, Risky/Risque, premiered at BATS Theatre. Her third play, Between, was commissioned by Young and Hungry and premiered at BATS Theatre during the 2001 Fringe. Phone Jam, her fourth play for the stage, awaits production.
Helen is a Trustee of the Magdalena Aotearoa Trust (a network of women in contemporary theatre) and the Web Queen of the international network, the Magdalena Project. From 2002 to 2007 she created cyberformance with the globally dispersed troupe Avatar Body Collision (including swim - an exercise in remote intimacy which was presented at BATS during the 2005 Fringe and the[abc]experiment at BATS, 2002) and since 2003 she has managed the development of a purpose-built online platform for cyberformance, UpStage. In 2005 she produced the STAB show Demeter's Dark Ride - An Attraction, directed by Madeline McNamara, and in 2009 she collaborated with Italian scenographer Antonella Diana on the performance installation Let ME Go, which toured regional libraries in Denmark. During 2010 she developed the ongoing networked performance project, make-shift, with theatre-maker Paula Crutchlow (UK).
Helen has also written and directed short videos, created a range of solo and collaborative networked performances and online projects, and is a web copywriting specialist. She is currently based in Munich, Germany.
Helen's personal website
the UpStage site
Avatar Body Collision site
Magdalena Aotearoa site
the Magdalena project site