Samara Hersch is an artist and theatre director working between Europe, Australia and Asia. Her practice investigates the encounter between contemporary performance and community engagement and her research explores intimacy as a political act, imagining different modalities that can be inhabited by non-professional performers and the public together. Samara received the prestigious Caroline Neuber Scholarship in Leipzig in 2023 and is part of the EU Network; ACT; Art Climate Transition. She completed her Masters at DAS Theatre in Amsterdam in 2019.

Samara acknowledges that her practice has been developed and presented on the lands of the Kulin Nation whose sovereignty has never been ceded and pays respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

Recent projects include: It’s Going to Get Dark, a work that explores how darkness shifts the way we speak and listen through intimate conversations between teenagers and seniors in darkness (co-commissioned by Theatre Rotterdam, Spring International Arts Festival, Utrecht, Theatre Der Welt(en), Frankfurt, and Brut, Vienna 2023), Body of Knowledge, a work that invites teenagers to remotely host conversations with adults regarding questions they have about the body and body politic; (presented at FOURI! Festival, Bologna 2023, Kyoto Experiment, Japan 2022, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art 2022, Residenz Schauspiel Leipzig,  2022, Sophiensale, Berlin 2021, Spielart Festival, Munich 2019, Live Works Festival, Sydney 2019, SICK! Festival Manchester, 2019 and BUDA, Kortrijk 2019), Sex and Death and the Internet an intimate encounter led by performers in their Seventies and Eighties (Presented at  Adelaide International Arts  Festival , 2021, Darwin Festival, 2020,  Moodestraat, Amsterdam 2019, Victorian Senior’s Festival, 2016 and Festival of Live Arts, Arts House Melbourne 2016) and Dybbuk(s)– a feminist conversation with the dead, presented by Chamber Made in 2018 and winner of the Music Theatre Now Award in Rotterdam 2021.

Some of these works have recently been adapted to remote experiences in response to the pandemic; Body of Knowledge – At Home, co-commissioned by Zurich Theater Spektakel and Kampnagel Sommerfestival, 2020. Body of Knowledge- At Home was selected for Impulse Theatre Festival, Germany (2021) and has been presented at Theatre Practice, Singapore, Schwankhalle, Bremen, Brut Vienna and Spring International Arts Festival, Utrecht; For the Time Being a remote, inter-generational encounter created during the pandemic (presented at West Kowloon, Hong Kong 2021, Auawirleben Festival, Bern 2020, Kammerspiele, Munich 2020 and  Far Fabrique, Nyon 2020) ; Call Me Anytime You Want, a remote conversation about soap operas, fantasy and family, together with her cousin, Zac Chester (Presented at Theatre Rotterdam, Welcome to Our Guesthouse, 2021).

Samara occasionally collaborates with artist Lara Thoms. Together they engage youth activists to explore the performance of alternate histories. Their work subverts notions of adults as experts, foregrounding the voices of young people in the retelling of national stories and identities. Their work, We All Know What’s Happening won the ZKB Jury Prize and Audience Prize at Theater Spektakle, 2019 and the Green Room Award for Best Contemporary and Experimental Performance in 2017 (Presented at Arts House, Melbourne 2017, Campbeltown Arts Centre, 2018, Vitalstatistix, Adelaide 2019, Noorderzon Festival, Netherlands 2019 and Theater Spektakle, Zurich 2019) ; Please Stand a work that explores the rituals, mythology and politics of National Anthems from around the world, (presented at Zurcher Theater Spektakel and Noorderzon Festival, 2023) and Invisible Opera a contemporary performance for public space, together with lead artist, Sophia Brous, (presented at Perth International Arts Festival 2024, Rising Festival, Melbourne 2022 and Steirischer Herbst, Graz 2021).

Samara has recently participated  in Breaking the Spell, an artistic research project that reflected practices of thinking-with and being-with, curated by Marta Kiel, with Residenz Schauspiel Leipzig, Vooruit Gent, Performing Arts Institute Warsaw, Munich Kamerspiele and  Grzegorz Reske.