Yusra Warsama is a performance poet, actor, workshop leader and theatre practitioner. Her passions lie in creating work through play and exploration of life experiences in the world we live in. Past, present and future work takes many forms, from her developing a one woman show which uses spoken word, storytelling, live art and physical expression, to ‘Grace’ (05) and ‘Make – Believe’ (09) with Quarantine, which looks at exploring theatre without focus on characters but on the one to one relationship between performer and audience.
Yusra began her theatre career at Contact Theatre, Manchester, whilst studying (BA HONS) Criminology & Sociology. From there she worked alongside national and international artists and companies such as Morganics, Sista Native, Lemn Sissay, Victoria (Belgium), Afro-Reggae (Brazil), and a host more through the many art projects.
Yusra has been involved in community work from a tender age, as a member and facilitator, in groups such as the Manchester Young People's Council, Moss Side Power House Board and Liverpool Community Spirit. She now also engages her art to engage different types of people into the theatre through writing and drama workshops.
Major collaborative work includes Don Lett’s ‘Speakers Corner’. This was a spoken word theatre piece along side artists such as rapper Skinnyman and Mad Flow, to commemorate the abolition of slavery.
She has gone on to work with Apples and Snakes on the national poetry tour ‘Exposed’ (06), and as part of a national poetry residency ‘Incubate’ (08-09), which resulted in a collaborative commission with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre for the work in progress piece ‘Three-Way’, alongside poet Malika Booker and grime artist R.T.
Yusra is also a mother, Somali, Muslim, Mancunian female; elements which all inform her work directly or indirectly.
Yusra considers her self to be an individual and to be creating work in the moment, allowing the space, people and time to create the story, using the minimum amount of manufactured thought and premeditated ‘scenes’. Her love is in people and her art. As she is constantly evolving and growing so is her work.
“Yusra is potential personified. She has the ability to be a significant figure on the UK and international poetry scene. Her understanding of the human condition is pinpointed by her fearless politics.” (Benji Reid)