C.V and credits

Vanessa Brooks


Artistic Director and founder Separate Doors CIC

Our mission is to increase the representation of actors with learning disabilities in theatre film and TV, our means is the Silent Approach and our purpose is to develop excellent new integrated work which includes exceptional creatives with and without disabilities. We train and work with non disabled professionals to increase inclusion in general audience work. (www.separatedoors.org).

Writer, novel: LAVENDER PARK: The Glass House and short stories.

Writer, factual book: THE SILENT APPROACH: Stanislavsky without words

Consultant: Mentoring and consultancy for Artistic Directors across the U.K.


Keynote speaker: Hand in Hand, collaboration between playwrights and actors with learning disabilities- University of Essex.

Producing, shooting and writing the SEPARATE DOORS (1, 2 and 3) projects, 1: a short film and report featuring interviews with leading actors with learning disabilities, the directors who work with them and the companies they work for. Released and published in July 2016. 2: Producing and directing an action research process with an integrated ensemble of actors at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), a showing to 50 industry leaders and the writing and publication of the Separate Doors 2 report in June 2017. 3: Silent Approach masterclasses for playwrights, director and theatre makers with an integrated ensemble forum at RADA for 75 industry leaders.

Research and development processes for new plays I LOVE YOU BABY and  A MAN WITH DOWNS SYNDROME TALKS ABOUT LOVE AND TELLS A STORY in collaboration with York Theatre Royal, New Wolsey Ipswich, the Lowry Salford, seven further UK venues and Dark Horse theatre.

Positions held

Artistic Director Dark Horse Theatre (7 years until April 2015)

Freelance playwright and director working in theatre and television (20 years)

Arts Council dramatist in residence Stephen Joseph Theatre

Literary Associate New End Theatre

Plays and productions

SNAKEBITE, HARVEST, SING SOMETHING SIMPLE 1 and 2, COLONY, HYPOTHERMIA*, HEAVEN LIVES IN HOLMFIRTH  All Dark Horse, premieres at Lawrence Batley Theatre, regional and national touring to venues including Stephen Joseph, Cockpit London, Dukes Lancaster, Arena Wolverhampton, The Lowry Salford and Lincoln Drill Hall.

QUEENS ENGLISH* Watford Palace Theatre

SWAN SONG** Southwold and Trinity Arts

POOR MRS PEPYS* National tour, Red Shift

ALL AT SEA* Chester Gateway

ON THE COUCH WITH CHRISSIE  Orange Tree, Bridewell, Southwold

LOVE ME SLENDER* Stephen Joseph, Orange Tree, No.1 national tour    

LET’S PRETEND* Stephen Joseph, Chester Gateway       


PENNY BLUE* Stephen Joseph, Greenwich


*Published by Josef Weinberger

**Published by Samuel French

Film and T.V

Various sit com and comedy sketch writing commissions.

Consultancy Channel 4/Shameless.

Tutoring/consultancy and teaching

The creation, construction, delivery and management of formal actor training courses devised to offer DramaUK equivalent Stanislavsky-based actor training to students with learning disabilities.

In partnership with the RTYDS (Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme) the creation, construction, delivery and management of an introduction to theatre directing course.

Creator/trainer in the Silent Approach– a non verbal inclusive approach for integrated rehearsal rooms (when making work featuring learning disabled and non disabled actors in theatre, film and T.V).

Diversity consultancy for the media industries.

Dialogue and performance coaching for learning disabled actors.

Masterclasses, acting technique tutor and freelance director at Drama UK drama schools including ALRA and Mountview.

Script consultancy (reading, editing, ghosting and doctoring) for various individuals and organisations.

Writer development including consultancy work for the Arts Council (Devising a method for the teaching of playwriting in schools) and playwriting/production process tutoring for the Arvon Foundation.

Skills and knowledge

Fundraising, ACE strategic and grant funding, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Lloyds TSB, BBC Children In Need, Big Lottery Fund.

Strategic planning, development and organisational change management, HR, PR strategy, positioning and rebranding processes for independent theatre companies.

Production development and project management from idea to delivery, managing large teams of administrative, technical and artistic staff (both static and touring productions).

Competent film editor, Adobe Premiere Pro and proficient use of Adobe Creative Suite to design and generate marketing materials.

Speech writing.

Qualifications and affiliations

BA Hons Acting Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain

Member of the ITC (Independent Theatre Council)


J.B Priestley award/Royal Literary Fund

Longlist Bath Short Story Award 2016

Shortlist H.E.Bates short story award