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isla cowan

Isla is a Scottish playwright, performer and director, currently based in Edinburgh. She specialises in creating ecofeminist work and believes in theatre that challenges both its audience and its makers.

Isla studied English Literature at the University of Cambridge, before going on to study a Masters in Writing for Performance at the University of St Andrews. Her previous work for stage includes, The View from Portobello (Royal Lyceum, 2018), BANTER (LYT/Traverse, 2017), These Walls (Sweet Venues, 2017), Come Back to Bed (Fitzpatrick Theatre, 2017), and Lily (Corpus Playroom, 2016). Isla was winner of the DDS New Writing Festival in 2017 for her short play, Waiting, and has since participated in several writing festivals, including REP STRIPPED (Dundee Rep) earlier this year. Isla was recently Assistant Director on GUT (Traverse/NTS, 2018) and The Duchess [of Malfi] (Lyceum/Citizens, 2019) and has been selected for the 2019 playwrights programme at Hampstead Theatre.

After its four star run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Isla is now preparing her play, Daphne, or Hellfire, for a new production at Assembly Roxy this November.


'Cowan has taken millennia-old source material and constructed a play that is fresh and resonant'

Theatre Weekly

'Isla Cowan... is an impassioned and illumined playwright',

The Cambridge Student

'writing at its most raw and most captivating',


'The craft of every word in Cowan’s poetry is excellent, the delivery spot on'