The Writers of Wales Database


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J.S. HartleyJennifer Hartley has been a resident of Wales since 2003. She went on to study applied theatre and therapy through the arts after completing a degree in Literature & Linguistics in her home town of Glasgow, Scotland. After a number of directing theatre ventures in the UK and abroad she began working in South America where she produced and directed theatre in both Spanish & English. As well as teaching and lecturing on applied theatre, Jennifer specialised in therapy through drama working extensively with theories and methodology related to Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed. Through study and practise Jennifer developed her own working practise from these methods, a practise she now uses to work with minority and oppressed groups internationally. This in turn has led to a number of studies, publications and works including plays, academic articles, and poetry.
Jennifer regularly works on various theatre projects both community and therapy based, from which new writing is also being developed. After a number of years teaching and lecturing in theatre and drama Jennifer is now dedicating her time to writing & directing. She continues to teach through conducting workshops, training & various theatre projects when her schedule allows.

Jennifer has received various awards and recognition for her theatre writing including numerous awards in South America and Europe, and shortlisting for the Amnesty International Prize at the Edinburgh Festival.

She has been a keynote speaker at international conferences and festivals across every continent giving speeches at events such as TEDx (Thailand), Performing the World and Theatre of the Oppressed International (USA), African Leadership Academy (South Africa), the Chamber of Senators in Paraguay and the Paraguayan National Congress, UN events, International Youth Biennale of Scenic Art celebrating the UN rights for children in Sweden, human rights conferences throughout Africa and Asia and various International schools festivals around the world.

Ongoing projects include a novel and a theory based theatre book.

With respect to A Puppet with no Strings (Arandura Press, 2007)

"…brave, bold and beautiful…"
Jose Luis de Tone, ABC

"...impressive and heart felt, Hartley knows how to talk to her reader..."
Jose Luis Espinosa, Ultima Hora

"...I hate poetry. I loved this!..."
Mike Aitken, US Review

With respect to The Art of Silence (Arandura Press, 2005)

the play that stunned South American audiences..."
Brian Beacom, Evening Times

"...Hartley is a sensitive and talented artist, with the courage to write of the things we were too scared to…"
Alcibiades Gonzalez Devalle, Ultima Hora

"...a bold script..."
Thom Didbin, The Stage

"...Not only does Hartley give us insight on the activities, reactions, and thought processes of the captive but she addresses an idea not often considered, the aftermath of being in captivity for prisoners of war or hostages or kidnapped victims. Powerful stuff this!..."
Catherine Lamm, The British Theatre Guide

Selected Publications:
A Puppet with No Strings (Arandura Press, 2007)

El Arte del Silencio (Arandura Press, 2005)
The Art of Silence
(Arandura Press, 2005)
The Sin Eater
 (Arandura Press, 2007)

La Opresion Como un Estimulo (Arandura Press, 2005)

Contributed to:
Laughter Under the Bombs (contributor) (Author House UK, 2007)

A Puppet with No Strings (Arandura Press, 2007)

Extract from the prologue:
A Puppet Without StringsThis book of poems has been formed from a number of poems written over recent years – reflections on my present and my past, hopes and fears for the future. They are both my own stories and the stories of the people who have passed through my life and shared with me; their experiences and mine joined on the page as a memory, as a means to reflect, sometimes to smile, sometimes to deal with my own thought processes that are easier written than spoken. The poetry was never intended for publication, it has always just been part of my own reflective process and probably always will be, but over the years so many people have asked for copies of various poems or asked me to write them one for a situation they were going through that I decided to print a few of them here. They are here to be shared in all their simplicity and honesty.

They are a part of me just as I am in the essence of all that I write. They carry my dreams, my hopes and my fears as well as my moments of doubt and questioning.

The poems selected are from memories as a child, the pain of growing up, the pain of being a grown up and a few taken from what I often call the Paraguayan years or the research years even though they were all neither spent in Paraguay or doing research! Some are from the pain of others who shared their stories looking for sense through chaos whether that was a death, a lost love, or an inability to enjoy the joy that life can be.

But the poems should be allowed to speak for themselves. They mean what they mean to each individual with his/her own history and emotions that are brought to the open page. Poems I believe mean exactly what each and every reader understands them to mean, they are limitless in interpretation and defined by the reader alone.

To purchase this title from Theatre versus Oppression please go to or, or click on the front cover to go to