Sooree Pillay trained as a theatre performer at Desmond Jones School of Mime and Physical Theatre (London, 1997) and later at Ecole International de Theatre Jacques Lecoq (Paris, 2001). She achieved BA Hons (2:1) in Drama, Theatre and TV Studies from the University of Winchester (1997), where her focus was on performance as well as community drama, theatre for development and documentary film making for development. Her early post-university career saw Sooree as co-founder of Frontline Theatre Company (1993-1998), also writing and directing three of her own theatre shows, which were performed as part of Brighton Fringe Festival, as well as other venues in the South of England.
Sooree continues her practice in physical theatre under Yorgos Karamalegos (theatre practitioner and teacher at LAMDA). In the last four years she has completed artist residency programmes at New Art Exchange, Surge Physical Theatre Festival (Glasgow) and with City Arts as part of Refugee week (2011).
Sooree moved in to visual arts and began working at New Art Exchange in 2012, moving swiftly from programming and theatre direction of the young people’s theatre company, YARD, to managing complex partnership projects. She showed herself to be a leader, and was given the opportunity to lead on Special Partner Projects at the venue. She now co-leads the residency artist development programme, ExperiMentor, and annual southern Asian festival, Mela, at the venue. She is artistic director of YARD Young Peoples Theatre, and leads the youth programme for the venue. Recent partnership projects include artistic director/writer and project manager of Get Up Stand Up! – an award winning immersive audio visual gallery tour about global civil rights, project manager of Bubble – a local learning initiative for the region, funded by EM Bridge organisation for Arts Council England, involving action research projects exploring arts provision for young people in the city of Nottingham. She was researcher, artist liaison and executive support for the R&D phase of Here, There and Everywhere (Re:imagine India – Arts Council England), and will co-curate the summer Re:Imagine India exhibition in 2017.
Sooree works closely with the curatorial team at NAE, interpreting the exhibitions and designing and creating new work which is predominantly performative in nature. Using her experience in the theatre medium, her area of interest explores the object and/or body in the space and the relationship between curation and dramaturgy.
Sooree is a fellow of RSA, represents NAE on the Board of Primary (artist led studios), Nottingham and is also a community governor at Radford Academy, Nottingham representing NAE, and developing arts engagement strategy with the school.