The Traverse is delighted to regularly enjoy the company of talented and exciting of artists, including our group of Writers in Residence. Each of them are currently writing and developing a play commissioned by the Traverse. We believe that these artists are the UK's most promising and innovative dramatic voices, helping to move British theatre into a bold new future, and we are extremely proud to count them as part of our team.

Isla Cowan

Isla Cowan is the IASH/Traverse Playwriting Fellow for 2024.

Isla is a Scottish playwright, performer and director, based in Edinburgh. She specialises in creating ecofeminist performance and believes in theatre that challenges both its audience and its makers.

Isla's recent work for stage includes, amongst others, She Wolf (Assembly Roxy) Alright Sunshine (A Play, a Pie and a Pint @ Òran Mór) And... And... And... (Strange Town Touring Company). Isla was selected as one of four playwrights to be mentored at Hampstead Theatre on the 2019 INSPIRE Playwrights Programme, mentored by Roy Williams, and was a Traverse Young Writer in 2021.

Isla regularly leads and facilitates workshops - particularly on environmental theatre and eco-dramaturgy - for all ages and stages.

Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney

Michael Patrick and Oisín Kearney were the 2022 IASH/Traverse Playwrighting Fellows, working on their play Union of Craic.

Michael Patrick (actor/writer) and Oisín Kearney (writer/director) are a creative partnership based in Belfast and Edinburgh respectively. Having collaborated as an actor & director several times, they wrote their first piece together, My Left Nut, in 2017 and have continued writing together ever since. They like to write entertaining scripts which sit on the knife edge between comedy and drama.

The pair were part of BBC Writers Room Belfast Voices, where they started developing their skills in writing for television. Through this they wrote sketches for BBC NI’s Soft Border Patrol, and pitched the idea for My Left Nut to Rollem productions, which was ultimately picked up by BBC Three.

Apphia Campbell

Apphia Campbell was the IASH/Traverse Playwriting Fellow for 2021 and is currently working on developing a new play with the Traverse.

She is originally from the United States, and graduated from Florida International University with a BFA in theatre performance.

In 2013 Apphia wrote her critically acclaimed piece, Black Is The Color Of My Voice and opened in Shanghai to rave reviews before performing a sold-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2014. In 2019, the show gave Apphia her West End debut and it has continued to play across the country for 10 years since it's premiere.

In 2017, her new show with Meredith Yarbrough, Woke, was presented as part of the Made In Scotland Showcase, won a Scotsman Fringe First, a Highly Commended award from Amnesty International, and was shortlisted for The Filipa Bragança Award and Scottish Art Club Theatre Award. The show then made its London premiere at the prestigious Battersea Arts Centre in 2019.

Uma Nada-Rajah

Uma has been a Traverse Writer in Residence since 2021.

Uma is a playwright based in Kirknewton, Scotland. She was one of the BBC's Scottish Voices 2020 and was most recently the Starter Female Political Comedy writer-in-residence at the National Theatre of Scotland.

Uma is a graduate of École Philippe Gaulier and a previous participant of the Royal Court's Young Writers' Programme and the Traverse Theatre's Young Writers' Programme. In 2014 Uma won the New Playwrights Award from Playwrights’ Studio Scotland. Her play Exodus premiered at the Traverse Theatre during TravFest22. She also wrote the audio play The Watercooler for the Traverse in 2020.

She works as a staff nurse with NHS Scotland.

Morna Young

Morna is working with the Traverse to develop a new play throughout 2024, supported via the Peggy Ramsay/Film4 Playwriting Bursary Award.

Morna was one of our 'UK in Japan Season 2020, British Council' Writers in Residence. She is a playwright, actress and musician from Moray. She was recipient of the 2017 Dr Gavin Wallace Fellowship (hosted by Creative Learning, Aberdeen City Council), the New Playwrights Award 2014 (Playwrights' Studio, Scotland) and the ‘Tomorrow at Noon’ award for female playwrights 2018 (Jermyn Street Theatre). In 2018, she was playwright-in-residence for BATS Theatre in Wellington, New Zealand.

Lost at Sea, her debut play, premiered at Perth Theatre in April 2019 before touring Scotland. The critically acclaimed production received four nominations and won two categories at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS). Her adaptation of The Snow Queen is at the Lyceum Edinburgh in December 2023.

Class Act Facilitators

We are fortunate enough to work with a wide group of artists year round across many of our projects and in particular Class Act, our flagship education programme. By engaging with artists and bringing them into schools and youth group settings, we enable the sharing of skills between creatives and young people alike. Some of those currently working on Class Act include James Ley, Sara Shaarawi, Leila Nashef, Jack Nurse and Harry Mould.