Ursula Early

Associate Artist


Ursula is a theatre-maker, creative engagement producer and director. She is a founder and Director of Waltham Forest based theatre companies Blackhorse Arts and East London Shakespeare Festival.  She is also Producer and Programmer for Walthamstow’s performance venue The CentrE17.  Previously, she founded Big Bear Theatre Company and was Production Coordinator for Commercial West-End and international touring Production Company: Glynis Henderson Productions (Producers of STOMP and others). 

Ursula is an experienced workshop leader and facilitator and has designed and delivered an extensive range of performance workshops for schools, companies and drama schools.  She has a Level 3 OCNLR Accredited Diploma in Leading Dance for Older People (course provided by Green Candle Dance Company) and taught acting at City Academy. She and has taught on ‘The Speaking Dancer’ CPD Programme at Dance Research Studio.


Ursula Early


Dance Research Studio is currently supporting ‘Swimming Wild’ with seed funding, mentoring and in-kind rehearsal space. Ursula is researching and developing a new piece of site-specific storytelling, set in wild swimming spots around the UK.

Wild swimming is one of the purest and most pleasurable experiences we – humans – can enjoy, it allows us, for a short time, to feel at one with nature. This multi-disciplined (theatre, dance, music and film) piece will aim to engage and entertain audiences – both new and established – with performance and the beauty of wild swimming and dare them not to be in the water by the end of the show!




Ursula was one of the 12 invited artists to take part in a dialogue hosted by Jacky Lansley and DRS – through online group meetings and shared writing. Participants were asked to reflect on issues they face as freelance, independent artists, concerning: identity, visibility, professional context and economic stability – and how organisations, including DRS, could expand support and contribute to positive change.

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Ursula was a participant of Crossing Paths: an experimental, interdisciplinary programme curated by Dance Research Studio in partnership with the Siobhan Dance Studios.

Participants from arts, academic and community ecologies, crossed paths to explore significant biographical experiences through experimental performance methodologies and discussion of the wide-ranging concerns impacting on the independent sector. All strands of Crossing Paths R&D were informed by the concept of ‘The Personal is Political’ and crossed borders of generation, ethnicity, gender and physical ability.

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