Jason Maher Parkes

Jason began his career in 1994 with the now sadly demised Belfast Community Theatre and was lucky enough to be able to train at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. His first play “Ring o’ roses” was performed in 1996 in which year he also received his first theatrical acclaim - The McClintok Award. He went on to read English and Drama at Cambridge University during which time he directed many student and profit-share productions and lost lots of money taking a play to the Edinburgh Fringe. Whilst at Cambridge he was also member of a little known comic troupe known as the Footlights. After Cambridge he “bummed around Europe for a while” and wrote a couple of plays. Since then he has gone on to direct numerous plays including “Waiting for Godot” for the company at Bath Theatre Royal, “The Hunting of the Snark” and “Spies” for Cheltenham Everyman.

His own plays include “My Dark Rosaleen”(1998), “Me and You in the Greatest Pub on Earth” (2002)”, “The Bog Men”(2003) and “Don Quixote - The Last Knight in La Mancha” (2005). He has written a collection of short stories, “Cul-de-sac” and poetry, “The Waves” both of which are due to be published early in 2006.

He was co-founder of “Theatre Without Walls” in 2002 which as well as producing critically acclaimed professional theatre productions undertakes corporate training and consultancy contracts, devises education programmes and works with numerous community groups including adults with learning difficulties, recovering addicts.

In addition to his theatre work Jason has held residencies at several national museums and has just devised a literacy programme for the National Arboretum at Westonbirt. His on going research project on the positive effect that high level brain activities such as creative writing can have on Alzheimers sufferers won a Community Learning award in 2004.