photo© Richard Davenport


Cress is half American, half British and went to University College London.

She is a Freelance Director and Artistic Director of award winning Offstage Theatre. She was Resident Director at the Royal National Theatre’s Studio from 2007 - 8

Since 2006 she has commissioned, developed and directed premieres with over 50 emerging and established playwrights including Caryl Churchill, Mark Ravenhill, Timberlake Wertenbaker, and April DeAngelis. Her work repeatedly makes nationwide headlines most notably with interviews on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, BBC Radio 4’s Today’s Programme, Channel 4 News, ITN, BBC News, and multiple features in the Evening Standard, Independent, Guardian, Times, New York Times.

Collaboration with a wide variety of communities is at the heart of her work with Offstage Theatre: from former Olympic swimmers to Watermen on the Thames, from Drawing Campaigners to Free Will Academics, from Housing Associations to Homeless Refuges, from Afro-Caribbean Elders to Freedom of Expression Activists and many more. She is most proud that that 40% of her audience for work produced through Offstage Theatre classify themselves as non-theatregoers on feedback forms.

This last year direction included The Political History of Smack and Crack by Ed Edwards (Paines Plough’s Roundabout, Soho Theatre and the Manchester’s homeless refuge The Mustard Tree), and Twelfth Night in China (produced by Guangzhou Dramatic Arts Centre, part of the Royal Shakespeare Company Translation project), and Icarus by Katrin Lange at the Unicorn Theatre, and Speaking Freely by Chris Bush, and Hotel Du Vin by Richard Bean at Theatre503 for The Words Are Coming Now. She made her first documentary, Ruby Francis’ Nubian Songs which was bought by Little Dot Studios, and featured on BBC TV and Radio news.

She is currently developing new plays with the playwrights Chris Bush, Ed Edwards, Beth Flintoff, and Chinonyerem Odimba.