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Daniel Hallissey

I’m a freelance writer & creative, involved in writing, co-writing, and creating successful new material for fringe, small, and medium-scale national tours, and theatre festivals. My strengths lie in comedy, physical comedy, and farce and I have a particular interest in raising awareness around social and mental health issues and the human condition. As an Oxford School of Drama graduate, I bring the craft and experience as a trained actor to my work, allowing a strong understanding to create characters with depth and emotional arcs that breathe life into thought-provoking stories. For the last few years, I have been working as a freelance creative producer.

My understanding of the writing craft continues to evolve, which stemmed from my struggles with dyslexia. What was first a huge obstacle has now become a strength and guided me to create my own process, allowing me to help and support many other writers. I continue to find new styles and techniques to build on current processes and understanding, as well as collaborating with highly skilled creatives to make exceptional work that's engaging and of the highest standard.

On Theatre

Theatre has become expensive, sometimes inconvenient to attend, and can feel targeted towards certain social classes. Figuring out what purpose theatre has in modern times is challenging and exciting. Why, when audiences have screen-based home entertainment at their fingertips, would they come out to the theatre? To figure this out I’ve learned that, yes, it is entertainment, but it’s also about the idea that theatre tells stories that talk about our time, give us some truth that deepens our understanding of who we are, shares in emotions, and makes us ask questions. We connect far better surrounded by others than alone. We understand the importance of community and enjoying an experience with others. It's a powerful feeling. With the increase each year of connectedness, there is also an increase in isolation and feeling alone.

Stories change us profoundly. We connect with stories far better than we do facts. Stories give us insight, insight gains our empathy, and with empathy comes compassion. Through stories, we can create perceptions, and alter our future perceptual-based behaviour. To imagine experiences without the risk of enacting them. And not only in the present but about events in the past. This means, parallel to our trial-and-error, empirical physical engagement in the real world, we can use our brain to change our brain internally. Stories told at the right time in someone's life, can have a profound effect on their future.

Theatre will be where we go, not only to experience a live moment but also to be surrounded by others, to feel a sense of togetherness you won't be able to feel from your screen-based home entertainment. I believe theatre can play a role in creating a conversation, by seeking to understand the rules and commonalities that govern our lives to create thought-provoking narratives and characters. We learn about ourselves, our culture, and our society through stories. By holding up a mirror and having the opportunity to look from the outside in, seeing experiences of others, their choices, mistakes, and understanding, we can change the way we think, feel, and behave, to make better choices, thoughts, and relationships. Theatre can achieve this through carefully crafted language, music, design, and movement to tell stories in imaginative ways.

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© 2021 by Daniel Hallissey
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