Ben Payne

The Minister for Stories

June 2024
writer, dramaturg, consultant
United Kingdom

Ben Payne is a writer, dramaturg, and arts and non-profit consultant based in London. He served as the Literary Manager and Associate Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre for over 10 years, where he supported writers through script development, commissioning, producing, and directing the company's new writing program. LGBTQIA+ stories have always been central to his practice and experience.

He wrote "SINNER," a dance theatre collaboration that toured the UK, US, and Canada, inspired by the case of David Copeland, who planted bombs in various parts of London and a gay bar in Soho in 1999. The show interrogated the 20 “lost” minutes Copeland spent in the bar with the bomb at his feet while another man bought him a drink. He is also the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Ministry of Stories (MoS), a writing center for young people, and its trading arm, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, a shop for monsters. He was part of the team that led its development, programs, and organizational narrative.

Ben is excited about his residency with Radar in Sofia, which has partly been made possible by an R&D grant from the Arts Council in England. This focus will give him the space to develop and challenge his dramaturgical practice in new ways and to investigate a new project that aims to bring LGBTQIA+ performers and community members in Sofia and Bulgaria together with their counterparts in the UK. He is keen to meet anyone who is part of this community during his time with Radar to make connections and explore the potential of this idea.

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