Victoria Gartner - Storyteller
Victoria Gartner is an award-nominated writer,
director and teacher.
Over the last ten years, she has written and directed work around Shakespeare’s life and times in the UK, Switzerland and Germany. She has an MA in English literature with a specialisation in Shakespearean studies as well as a degree in Dramaturgy and Directing.
Victoria is the Artistic Director of Will & Co, which she founded in 2015. Her play Will or Eight Lost Years of William Shakespeare’s Life has been touring for three years in French and English versions, and was last performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
She had the idea for the project Bard in the Yard in the first Covid lockdown, in May 2020. The solo play she write is about Shakespeare having a writer’s block during a plague pandemic. It has been performed in private gardens, schools, care homes and festivals by 23 actors to great public and critical acclaim.
Victoria has been teaching Shakespeare for many years at festivals and universities as well as at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. She is currently teaching Acting and Directing Shakespeare at East15.
She was born in Ukraine which her mother fled, and she grew up in French-speaking Switzerland. She drinks wine, does tarot, and sings very badly.
Born in ex-USRR.
Directs her first play - a solo show about her life. The audience is made of the entirety of her dolls and teddy bears, who sit in a circle around the big Russian carpet against their will.
Writes a lot of fanfiction. Harry Potter stuff mostly, but also stories in which Aragorn invariably ends up falling in love with her.
Début on the big stage: she plays a wolf in a stage adaptation of La Fontaine's Fables with her high school's theatre club. Incriminating pictures of this still exist, and involve some of her best friends.
During her first year at University, an Erasmus group of students decides to stage A Midsummer Night's Dream. Gets cast as Snug the Joiner. Does not fully understand a single one of her lines, but has a really great time.
Sees her first RSC play. Ends up in tears. Wants to hold on to that feeling - something mysterious happened there.
Directs her last University student play : A Streetcar Named Desire. Wins a Best Director Award from the theatre festival FriScènes.
First professional job in the performing arts: Assistant Director for the contemporary opera company NOF (then Opéra Louise). She does not know how to read music before the interview. Works with the company for 2 years.
A l'aube du quatrième jour, her first original play, wins a literary contest. She stages it and enjoys her first writing commission.
Day job as PA to Nobel Prize winner Jacques Dubochet, who teaches her many things, not least among them how to write a good CV.
Has an idea for a non-fiction novel.
First workshop with Kath Burlinson, Authentic Artist Collective.
Will, or Eight Lost Years of William Shakespeare's Life is staged in London. In London!
Moves to the UK.