About

Queer Rural Connections (“Queer Rural X”): Mediating Rural Queer Identity through Technology, Theatre and Film

Queer Rural X 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. We are collecting life stories of rural queer people for a free, public archive at the University of Oxford and adapting these stories into a theatre piece and short film.

We invite interviewees to participate in all stages of the project, including developing ideas for the theatrical productions.

The project aims to explore how rural LGBTQIA+ communities experience connection and disconnection in a rural setting. Through spotlighting rural experiences, we hope to decenter queer aesthetics from urban, metropolitan spaces. We will also look at 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 will tour several heritage and arts venues, and will also be part of an Oxford panel day in the summer of 2021. There will be workshops, talk-backs and opportunities for audiences and participants to engage with queer archival material as part of the project.

Project Partners:

Introducing Queer Rural X

People

Timothy Allsop

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 Allmann

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.

Conor Molloy

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.

Suzy Shepherd

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.

This project is supported by TORCH as part of the Humanities Cultural Programme