Neil Coppen is one of South Africa’s most prolific storytellers working across a variety of mediums and disciplines including theatre, journalism and film. Coppen has won several major awards for his writing, design and direction work including Naledi’s, Fiesta and Kanna Awards, the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Drama 2011 and the 2019 Olive Schreiner Prize for Drama.
Works include Tin Bucket Drum, Tree Boy, Abnormal Loads, Izipopolo, and NewFoundLand. His latest play Isidlamlilo- The Fire Eater premiered at this year’s 2022 NAF festival.
Coppen is co-director of the a social-justice, theatre-making methodology titled Empatheatre. Empatheatre has created ground-breaking theatre projects, including Soil & Ash, which focuses on rural communities facing pressure from coal-mining companies, and Lalela ulwandle, an international project supporting sustainable transformative governance of our oceans. Empatheatre is the recent recipient of the Bertha 2022 Artivism Award.