I’m not currently accepting assignments (thanks to Brexit) that entail payments moving between the UK and the EU, or any assignment that takes me off The Hirsel, the farm I manage with my husband in the Highlands of Scotland. I am still considering UK-based assignments which can be managed from my home office, and am particularly interested in farm & rural themed projects.
Meanwhile, if you want to know more about my varied (to say the least) career, read on…
Writing & Translation projects: Film, Stage, and Literary/Creative writing
Cultural, Community, and Educational Events
Some Current and Past Projects (please see the links above for a full list)
The Hirsel is a small family-owned farm, located in an ‘area of outstanding natural beauty” in the Scottish Highlands. After a long period of neglect, the farm is now being taken through an extensive renovation process by my husband Donald Gillies and myself, using regenerative and silvo-pastoral methods. We raise heritage breed livestock (Hebridean sheep and GOS pigs), leave lots of room for wildlife, and are developing a fruit/veg field which includes a growing apple orchard. Visit our website, or follow us on The Hirsel’s Facebook page for updates.
As a writer and director, I’ve produced my scripts off-off Broadway, and in the multi-cultural mecca that is Amsterdam; I’ve worked on plays and screenplays as a co-writer, and as a script doctor; and I’ve written guest blogs for various online sites, as well as for occasional print media. My current writing is focused on stories and lessons from the farm, under the general title “View From the Hill”.
I’ve served as translator for multiple Dutch-to-English film projects, including a couple which have actually made it to production. I’ve earned a reputation for speed, and for capturing the ‘voice’ of the original writer. My most recent assignment was De slag om de Schelde/The Forgotten Battle (Paula v/d Oest), now out in Dutch cinemas and on Netflix.
Inverkeithing Arts Initiative (IAI) is a social enterprise formed for charitable purposes. The organisation is based
in Inverkeithing, Fife, registered with the Companies House UK as a Community Interest Company (CIC) # 489172, and has been formed ” to facilitate and support opportunities for community participation in a broad spectrum of educational, cultural & heritage, artistic, and any other activities which foster creativity and lifelong learning.” I worked with IAI as a founding director during the company’s first year of operations.
For more information about Inverkeithing Arts Initiative visit: https://www.facebook.com/InverkeithingArtsInitiative or www.inverkeithingarts.org.
The ABC Treehouse was a small multi-culture center in Amsterdam, owned by the American Book Center (ABC). In the past few years, the ABC has taken it’s cultural programming completely in under the roof of their book stores, but while the Treehouse existed, it served as the premier Amsterdam location for Dutch and international residents and visitors to meet for classes, art exhibitions, and events. During my tenure as the Treehouse manager, I brought my theater projects in-house, and ventured into exhibition curation, while professionalizing and expanding the Treehouse programming.
The Westbeth Theatre Center was located at 151 Bank Street in New York City. Under the direction of Arnold Engelman from the late 70’s to 2002, it developed into an 18,000 sq. ft. performance facility and production company with three stages and two full bar facilities. Under Mr. Engelman’s direction, it hosted “Showcase” and Off Broadway productions, cabarets, concerts and solo shows, as well as Broadway-bound rehearsals and outside events. As Associate Producer and Venue Manager for five years (1994-1999), my responsibilities included: client management, on-site event and production management; scouting and booking projects; troubleshooting capacity, box office, and guest list issues; oversight of all aspects of the day-to-day operations; hiring, training and supervision of staff and volunteers; community outreach and problem solving; facility management. I also curated the New Works program, for which I was responsible for playwright and script development; coordination and direction of readings and workshop productions; search and hire of workshop teachers and directors. Mr. Engelman continues to produce On- and Off Broadway as Westbeth Entertainment.
“Donna is a serious, committed theatre professional. She has excellent organizational skills and a keen eye for discovering new talent. She is fully able to nurture new voices and work within a creative process to develop it to the fullest potential. She gives herself fully to the artist and the results of her labors have led to several workshops here in New York City. She is tough and determined and I know any theatre employing her will benefit from their association.” – Arnold Engelman, Producing Director, Westbeth Theater Center (now Westbeth Entertainment)
Culture and Donna define each other. She chooses, promotes, produces, and inspires many different kinds of activities. The people who join in are individuals, creative, effective, and lively – her space is not for hangers-on or couch-sitters! In the past years, the place she has occupied has attracted talent and creativity and held events that allow people of all sorts to create together. Any community would benefit and she should have full support and encouragement. I urge you to give it. – – Carrie Ballard, owner Vestri Optics
Visit this page for my CVs, project lists and contact information.
Click here for a bit of my backstory.