Penelope Youngleson is a theatre maker, designer, writer, activist and educator based in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Recognition for her creative work includes two National Arts Festival Standard Bank Ovation awards, two NAF Silver Ovation awards, a Gold Ovation award (she was the second woman to win this award in the history of the festival) – and a Fleur du Cap award for Best New Director. She has also been nominated for two additional Fleur du Caps for Best New South African Script (Siembamba 2016, Sillage 2017) with Philip Rademeyer.
She has guest lectured at the University of Cape Town, the University of Stellenbosch, AFDA Film and Television School (Cape Town and Durban campuses), and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She currently lectures full-time at the Durban University of Technology.
Her integrated work with learners, educators, caregivers and school management led to a thesis on using drama to create safer spaces and encourage healthy vulnerability and reflexive resilience amongst South African youth – particularly in the LGBTQIA+ community.
She was a Bertha Scholar at the UCT Graduate School of Business; and was named one of the Mail and Guardian Top 200 Young People of 2016.
She offers an intersection of practical experience, industry mettle and academic rigor in her work – and is able to translate the realities of a creative economy in South Africa into teachable curricula.