Diane Samuels was born and grew up in Liverpool, UK in the 1960/1970s, and has lived in London since the early 1980s where she has been writing professionally for over thirty years.
Her play KINDERTRANSPORT was winner of the Verity Bargate and Meyer-Whitworth Awards in 1992/93 and has subsequently been produced all over the world, currently studied as an exam text. DIANE SAMUELS' KINDERTRANSPORT, a book revealing the origins of the play, including interviews with actors, directors, designers involved in productions over the years, is published by Nick Hern Books.
Other work includes THE TRUE-LIFE FICTION OF MATA HARI, Palace Theatre, Watford, 2002; 3 SISTERS ON HOPE STREET (with Tracy-Ann Oberman) at Liverpool Everyman and Hampstead Theatre, London, 2008; THE A-Z OF MRS P, with composer Gwyneth Herbert, Southwark Playhouse, 2014; POPPY + GEORGE, Palace Theatre, Watford, 2016; THIS IS ME, snapshots of girlhood, memoir as interactive monologue, Chickenshed, 2018. Plays for BBC radio, include SWINE, DOCTOR Y, HEN PARTY, PSYCHE, and Woman’s Hour serial, TIGER WINGS. In 2005, she was Pearson Creative Research Fellow at the British Library. She has been involved in two Wellcome Trust award-winning projects: 2001/2003, Science on Stage and Screen, exploring pain with medical specialists, PUSH at The People Show Studios, London; and 2016/2018, with composer Gwyneth Herbert, THE RHYTHM METHOD musical love story (with contraception) at Bush Theatre Fertility Fest, 2018. In 2019 she mounted concerts at St James’s, Paddington of new opera SONG OF DINA, with composer Maurice Chernick, giving voice to Dina, silenced sister of the Bible’s Joseph of multi-coloured coat fame.
At the heart of Diane's work is a playful and open-hearted approach no matter how challenging or thought-provoking a particular piece may be, championing the invisibled or silenced, particularly women's experience, bringing private tenderly into the public domain, probing connections between the personal and collective psyche, intimate stories revealing epic themes, and the healing alchemy of art.
Alongside writing and making theatre, Diane trained in her twenties to teach drama at Goldsmiths' college, University of London. After a stint full time in inner London secondary schools, she has continued throughout her adult life to teach and encourage authentic creative expression for all ages, in formal and informal contexts, schools, universities. Diane continues to facilitate residential courses at Cortijo Romero personal development centre in southern Spain and runs a weekly Writers Group online which has been described as 'a magical creative workout'.
She worked in 2021/22 with a team of glaciologists and environmental scientists at University of Plymouth and in Peru on GLACIER GIFTS, a collection of imaginative writings that celebrate the magnificence of glaciers and mourning their retreat due to climate change.
Most recently, her play WALTZ WITH ME has been published by Renard Press, June 2023.