Samantha Bews is a freelance theatre artist working as a writer, actor, performer and installation artist. She graduated from the Victoria College of the Arts in 1989 and in 2002 she received first class honours for Honours in Performance from Monash University. Her recent work includes three major projects on dementia: The Language My Mother Speaks (At Home Residency, Phee Broadway Theatre 2019); Breaking Bread: A Dementia Awareness Café (Artlands Out and About Program and Dementia Awareness Month 2018); and Letters of Love and Dementia for Dementia Australia (with Dementia Australia and Goldfields Library Corporation 2017). In 2019 she presented at the 8th International Ageing and Spirituality Conference in Canberra.
Samantha has worked with diverse communities including the Jarra Jarra people on Dja Dja Wurrung country; Castlemaine Primary and High Schools; and the Karen community in Melbourne. As an actress she has appeared for the Melbourne Theatre Company, Playbox, Woolley Jumpers and the Victoria Arts Council amongst many others. She was co-founder of Hildegard theatre company (1992 – 1995).
Samantha was the recipient Playworks/Varuna Fellowship Grant (1999). She has written four plays: The Telephone Exchange (01 Collection Australian Script Writing Centre 2001); So Wet (Currency Press 2001); Looking into the Heart of a Dying Star (Playworks commission for The Melbourne Writers Festival 2000); My Heart Belongs To Daddy (Commended Melbourne Fringe 1994). In 2018 her poetry collection These Days was published by Mark Time press and is now in its second edition; she writes regularly for The Melbourne Anglican including two series commissions on dementia and faith (2015 and 2019); and was a panellist for The Divide Heart: Arts and Motherhood (Castlemaine Festival 2015). Other written work appears in two anthologies: In Their Branches (ed Gretchen Miller ABC Books 2015) and Heroes of Faith (ed Roland Ashby Garratt Publishing 2015).
Samantha’s work has been funded by the following organisations: Mount Alexander Shire Council (Language); Regional Arts Victoria (Letters of Love and Dementia; Breaking Bread); the City of Greater Bendigo (Breaking Bread); Arts Victoria (The Telephone Exchange, So Wet, Hildegard); Melbourne City Council (The Telephone Exchange), Playworks (The Telephone Exchange); Playbox (So Wet); and Australia Council, Performing Lines, Vic Health, Myer Foundation (Hildegard).