Queer Rural Connections:
Mediating Rural Queer Identity through Technology, Theatre and Film
Queer Rural Connections is led by actor/director/writer Timothy Allsop and researcher/artist Dr Kira Allmann alongside the theatre and education company, Turn of Phrase, and audio production company, Cherry Soup Productions.
The project blends research and theatrical interpretation to explore how rural LGBTQIA+ communities experience connection and disconnection in a rural setting. We start with the life stories of rural queer people, which will soon be available in a free, public archive, and based on these interviews, we adapt the stories into a theatre, film, and artwork.
By spotlighting rural experiences, we hope to decenter queer aesthetics from urban, metropolitan spaces. We also examine the impact of digital communications technologies on queer rural spaces, generational divides, social life, coming out experiences, and support service access.
The film and theatre piece have already toured several heritage and arts venues (summer 2021). We also host workshops, talk-backs and opportunities for audiences and participants to engage with queer archival material as part of the project. Check out our upcoming events for more info.
Introducing Queer Rural X
Timothy Allsop and Dr Kira Allmann discuss the inspiration and aspirations of Queer Rural Connections.
Tim is an actor, writer, and director. After studying History at Balliol College, Oxford, Timothy trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Tim holds an MA in Creative Fiction from Royal Holloway. His plays include Open (co-written with Chris Adams) and fiction work includes The Smog, along with various short story publications. He is co-leading the Queer Rural Connections Project, writing the original play based on real life interviews, and directing the live theatre production and film.
Kira is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Media Law & Policy at the University of Oxford. Her research and writing focuses on local, grassroots solutions to closing the digital divide, especially in rural communities. She holds a BA in Government and Linguistics from the College of William and Mary and an MPhil and DPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford. She is co-leading Queer Rural Connections, overseeing the research agenda, designing project graphics and artwork, sound mixing and directing.
Suzy is a filmmaker working with Fresh Cut Productions. She has previously worked for Angel Sharp Media and produced films with the Oxford Human Rights Hub, the World Health Organisation and the Officer for the High Commission of Human Rights exploring how human rights law can assist in the fight for sexual and reproductive health. She is filming and editing video content for Queer Rural Connections.
Conor is a Manchester based musician and educator. His music tells stories — instrumental and lyrical — and he’s known for weaving dark themes into chirpy tunes. With a background in French literature, Conor enjoys exploring the interplay of form and meaning by exploiting the tensions between words and melodies. He is composing original music for Queer Rural Connections.