Diane Stewart is a playwright currently based in Fife, Scotland.
She graduated from Queen Margaret University with BA (Hons) Drama and Performance in 2014.
Diane knew that she wanted to study drama after school but wasn’t sure what career path to follow. She choose QMU's Drama and Performance course for its broad range of subjects, which offered a mix of both practical and theoretical modules, as she believed it would give her a good grounding in whichever direction she chose.
What are your most memorable experiences of being a QMU student?
I have many happy memories from my QMU days, from time spent in the black box for assessments, and my time as Vice-President of the drama society. But, my stand-out memory and the one that's had the most impact, is when I received feedback on my first play as part of the playwriting module in third year. Becoming a playwright, was not something I had considered doing professionally, until that moment.
Tell us more about your career path since leaving QMU.
After QMU, I studied for a postgraduate MA at the University of York in Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance (2016) as well as Performance Studies focusing on Gender and Feminism at Stockholm University (2018).
My work has been performed at the Traverse Theatre, Outwith Festival, Theatre Royal York and by the Lyceum Youth Theatre, amongst others.
I was privileged to be part of Playwrights’ Studio Scotland Mentoring Programme for 2019, mentored by Oliver Emanuel and was shortlisted for the Young Pleasance Playwriting Award 2018.
In 2019, my play 'Work-Life' was part of the Traverse Theatres Edinburgh Festival Fringe Breakfast Play series and an extract was recorded for The Cultural Frontline for BBC Worldview.
I have written multiple pieces for Strange Town Youth Theatre based in Edinburgh and have worked in both Scotland and Germany delivering drama workshops including creative writing to young people.
Alongside playwrighting, I worked with YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement, an intersectional feminist organisation. In 2018/19, I took part in the Young Women Lead programme with YWCA and the Scottish Parliament in which a report was created “To explore the relationship young women have with sport and physical activity, with particular regard to issues that might prevent participation”. I am now part of the YWCA – Scotland Advisory Panel.
What advice would you give to students and new graduates starting out?
Make work you care about, for things you have a genuine passion for. The industry can be hard at times but working on something you love makes that easier.