About 20 South Street and Julia Stubbs

The important thing is not to know where you are going, to be open to accidents. That’s what keeps it fun.

Robert Lepage

20 South Street is run by Julia Stubbs, an experienced director, producer, dramaturg, and multidisciplinary artist with a background in acting, devising, new writing, and classical texts. The company was founded in 2010 and its title comes from the address of the house where Julia was born and grew up.

The company is a creative home for collaboration and has evolved through Julia’s admiration of practitioners Robert Lepage, Declan Donnellan, and Katie Mitchell and the collective ethos behind Steppenwolf Theatre Company – all of whom place the playwright’s text and its creation at the centre of the process.

Julia is passionate about new writing and new work. As a director and producer, she seeks to create collaborative projects that explore the forms of theatre and short film with a breadth of vision. As a dramaturg, she strives to collaborate with writers, assisting in the development of their pieces from the ground up – asking key questions, starting conversations, providing context, and working together to tell their intended story.

The philosopher Gaston Bachelard saw a house as

“the shelter of our imagination itself, a nest for dreaming”

Julia trained as an actor at the Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre. New writing and collaborating with writers to develop their work has been a core part of her career as an artist. This began as a theatre actor working on new plays between 1990 and 2005 and continued as Joint Artistic Director of the new writing/new work company Weaver Hughes Ensemble from 1997-2009. A new play was also the catalyst for Julia to begin directing in 2007 when she read Thin Toes by Laura Stevens.

Julia’s theatre directing credits have since included fringe and Off-West End productions in London and at festivals in Edinburgh, Europe and South Africa. She has directed the debut plays of writers Louise Buchler, Laura Stevens, Steven Hevey, and Andy McQuade, as well as the UK Premiere of the landmark play by Catalan theatre’s most celebrated writer Josep Maria Benet i Jornet – which was 20 South Street’s first production.

Most recent theatre directing credits include the revival of Sparks by Simon Longman for Upper Hand Theatre (★★★★) on the London fringe. In 2023 on the London fringe, Julia directed the Premiere of What I Really Think of My Husband by David Pinner for And Tomorrow Theatre Company (★★★★), and the Premiere of Still Here by Mari Lloyd (Standing Ovation Nomination from London Pub Theatres, ★★★★), as well as a national tour of Mark Glentworth’s solo autobiographical musical Seven and a half Years for MMG Productions (OffFest Nomination from Off West End, ★★★★).

Julia works with writers as both a dramaturg and director, assisting in the development of their plays, short film scripts and ideas, most recently directing new work by Kelly Long, Brian Coyle, Laurel Green, Andrew Bruce-Lockhart, and Tim Stubbs Hughes.

During the 2020 lockdown, Julia had the opportunity to begin directing short films and her latest project is the original short film To Womb It May Concern by emerging writer Georgia Lovell. The short, which Julia has produced and directed, was shot on location in Cornwall and is currently on its festival circuit in the UK and Europe.

Julia’s work as a writer includes Summer, her stage adaptation of Edith Wharton’s groundbreaking novel (published by Playdead Press), and Hamlet our brother, her reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a solo piece from the perspective of Horatio. She is currently developing her third play, an adaptation of a short novelette by the renowned diarist and writer Anais Nin. Wanting to continually develop as an artist, Julia is also exploring her ever-growing interest in photography.

In 2019, Julia became the Literary Associate at the award-winning London fringe venue the Jack Studio Theatre and an Artistic Associate in 2021. Julia has been a member of the Genesis Network at the Young Vic since 2007 and an associate director with the London-based theatre and film company Broken Hearted Youth since 2022.

To see all of Julia’s credits, please view the CV

I’ve always felt that the scene is something that happens in the space between the actors.

Declan Donnellan

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