Charlie Westenra | British Youth Music Theatre

Our People

Charlie Westenra

Charlotte is a stage director and dramaturg specialising in political theatre and new writing, with an emphasis on the development of British musicals.

Her upcoming work includes: Agreement by Owen McCafferty at the Lyric Theatre Belfast for the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement; a revival of Our Girls Our Game for BYMT at the Birmingham Hippodrome about the Dick, Kerr Ladies Football Club and Sin a one woman musical satire by Richard Hough and Ben Morales Frost for the Barn Theatre, Cirencester.

She is currently developing a contemporary political musical with composer Ruth Chan and lyricist Darren Clark; a quirky British romantic comedy with writers Bateman, Hughes & Conley and a children’s crime caper with composer, lyricist Jonny Berliner with a libretto by Rhys Jennings.

After graduating with first-class honours for Drama at the University of Manchester and training at Augusto Boal’s Centre of the Theatre of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro, Charlotte’s career started at the Donmar Warehouse, where she was the Resident Assistant Director between 2004-2005. For the Donmar, she directed Kiss of the Spider Woman and Lower Ninth (for Donmar @ Trafalgar Studios). Charlotte was also associate director on Frost/Nixon to Michael Grandage and Piaf to Jamie Lloyd for both the Donmar West End transfers at the Gielgud and Vaudeville respectively. 

Credits include: The Wicker Husband by Darren Clark (music and lyrics) and Rhys Jennings (book) (Watermill Theatre); Indecent Proposal by Michael Conley (book and lyrics) and Dylan Schlosberg (music) (Southwark Playhouse); (Our Girls, Our Game by Victoria Saxton (book) and Vikki Stone (music and lyrics) (British Youth Music Theatre); On Hostile Ground by Juliet Gilkes Romero (book), Michael Henry (music) Darren Clark (lyrics) and co-created by Charlotte Westenra (presented online as part of Royal & Derngate’s “Made in Northampton” new musical theatre festival); A room of one’s own by Virginia Woolf, adapted by Linda Marshall Griffiths and staring Nina Sosanya (London Library); The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Richard Hough (book and lyrics) and Ben Morales Frost (music) (Southwark Playhouse/ Stream.Theatre); I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (The Chiswick Playhouse); The Dickens Girls (BYMT, New Wolsey, Ipswich); The Return of the Soldier (Hope Mill Theatre, New Wolsey); Talking Heads (Gala Theatre, Durham); Shangri-La (Finborough Theatre); Venice Preserv’d (Spectators’ Guild); Brazil and Casablanca (Secret Cinema); The Incredible Doctor Guttman (Karen Simpson Productions); Sunset Baby (Gate Theatre); Titanic; Scenes from the British Wreck Commissioner’s Enquiry (Mac, Belfast); Zephaniah, 2 John, Ezra (all as part of the Bush Theatre’s 66 Books); Decade (503); My Dad’s A Birdman by David Almond (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield); Honk Honk You Donky Donk by Jack Thorne, as part of the Celebrity 24 Hour Plays 2011 (Old Vic); About Bill (Landor Theatre); Blair’s Children (Cockpit Theatre); Gladiator Games (Sheffield Studio and Theatre Royal Stratford East); When Five Years Pass (The Arcola); How Long is Never, Bloody Sunday and Justifying War with Nicolas Kent (Tricycle) and Waiting for Lefty (Battersea Arts Centre). 

She co-wrote the synopsis for Christopher Wheeldon’s new ballet Strapless for the Royal Opera House. She is currently developing two new ballets.

Charlotte has been recognised for numerous awards, including a 2006 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre as associate director to Nicolas Kent for Bloody Sunday – Scenes from the Savile Inquiry. She received a nomination for a 2006 Whatsonstage Theatregoers Choice Award for Gladiator Games; the same play was part of a season at Stratford East, which was nominated for the 2007 Olivier Award for outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre. Waiting for Lefty was a finalist for 2003 James Menzies Kitchin Award for Young Directors (BAC).