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Ophelia (Illustration by Ellie Kavanagh)


Queer-Forward Adaptation In Practice

MFA Advanced Theatre Practice

Sustained Independent Project

Portfolio of Works & Documentation

The Project

Hamlet's Ophelia. Everyone knows how the story goes. A young girl driven to madness by grief and rejection. Her only escape - to end her own life. Another female character in the canon without a voice. ECHO is an adaptation project that attempts to correct that. Told from the point of view of Ophelia, ECHO reimagines the original story in a way that exposes the oppressive structures of power and allows the central female character a voice she does not have in the original text.


This play is the result of my research into the field of contemporary adaptation manifesting through practice. Throughout this project, my research has been informed by my practice and vice versa. The scope of this research encompasses adaptations of the so-called classical canon of dramatic texts. The initial questions that I began with were:

  • What types of adaptation can we identify in contemporary theatre?

  • What is the place of adaptation in the current cultural landscape in the UK, in Europe, and beyond in terms of marketability, financing, audience reactions?

  • What is a director’s adaptation and what is a writer’s adaptation?

  • Where does an adaptation become a new work?

Over time my research evolved to include feminist and queer theories and practices and the main question that I was tackling was how to adapt with a queer and/or feminist perspective. Academically, I have consolidated my research findings and arguments in an essay titled Adieu, Adieu, Re-Member Me (A Queer-Forward Practice of Adaptation: Exploring Feminist and Queer Temporalities) in which I conceive of my practice and the creative decisions made in the writing process during this project as “queer-forward” rather than “straight-forward” and as deliberate tactics for resisting dominant narratives and reinventing the classical canon.

How to Read This Website

This website documents the creation and development process of ECHO. Each piece of documentation links to a relevant reflection entry. You can visit the pages in any order you like or click the arrow/button at the bottom of each page for a curated experience through the website.

In this portfolio you will find an assortment of materials outlining the scope of the project and steps undertaken to realize it such as:

Enter the world of Ophelia!
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