Here you will find information about Pam Schweitzer, the creator of "What Did You Do In The War, Mum?"

Pam Schweitzer directing the RTA Company. Photo: Lorenzo Hernandez

A brief biography of Pam Schweitzer

In the early 1970s Pam Schweitzer was a teacher of English and Drama in London comprehensive schools, and in the same period was involved in the Theatre in Education (TIE) movement, editing a 3-volume collection of TIE scripts for publication. In the early 1980s she worked as Education Officer for the voluntary sector group Task Force, bringing old and young together and using theatre to connect communities.

In 1983 she founded Age Exchange Theatre Trust, the first full-time professional theatre company to specialise in taking reminiscence shows to older people all over the country. Since then, she has devised and directed 30 new shows for Age Exchange, and published as many books of photos and recollections around important themes in London’s social history.

In 1987, she set up the Age Exchange Reminiscence Centre in Blackheath, South East London as a reminiscence arts and training centre. In 1993, she founded the European Reminiscence Network with partners in fifteen countries in the European Union to share best practice and collaborate on international reminiscence projects. In 2000 she received the MBE for services to reminiscence.

She continues to publish work on Reminiscence Theatre, and works on projects relating to reminiscence theatre and reminiscence in dementia care across Europe. In 2005, she became an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Greenwich. In 2012/13 she began working on the the transfer of the Reminiscence Theatre Archive to the Drama building at the University of Greenwich.


Pam Schweitzer is a writer, theatre director, trainer and lecturer. Following many years teaching and writing about Theatre in Education and Educational Drama, she became fascinated by Reminiscence and Oral History.

In 1983, she founded Age Exchange Theatre Trust and was its Artistic Director until 2005.

She has devoted the last 30 years to recording and preserving for posterity the memories of older people on key themes in the social history of the 20th century. From these recordings, she has created and directed 30 professional theatre productions, which have toured nationally and internationally.

To accompany these shows, Pam Schweitzer has co-ordinated professionally designed 3-dimensional exhibitions and produced booksof edited reminiscences and photos collected during the research periods.

Pam opened the world’s first Reminiscence Centre in London in 1987, as a focus for professional training in reminiscence, a meeting place for people of all generations and cultures to participate in reminiscence projects.


She has subsequently supported the establishment of other Reminiscence Centres both in the UK and in other European countries.

In 1993, Pam founded the **European Reminiscence Network** with partners in 16 European countries.

As Co-ordinator, she has organised several international conferences, seminars and festivals of shared work in the fields of reminiscencetheatre, intercultural reminiscence work and reminiscence in dementia care.


Also in 1993, Pam founded the **Good Companions** older people’s theatre company and was its Artistic Director until she and the group retired in 2005 after producing 10 original productions, which played across the UK and Europe. She has since helped to set up older people’s theatre groups for ethnic elders from the Caribbean, Africa, China and India, promoting and co-ordinating their work in local national and international festivals.


Pam Schweitzer has published widely on her work, contributed chapters to **books** on theatre and reminiscence, and written her own books and manuals on working creatively with older people.

With every Age Exchange reminiscence theatre production over the last twenty years, Pam Schweitzer has edited and published a matching book containing edited reminiscences and related photographs and documentary material. Here are some of the titles. Others are on the Age Exchange website at ****.

RYCT - a long running project

Since 1997, Pam has been actively involved with the European Reminiscence Network developing a reminiscence project in which families who are caring for a relative with dementia at home can participate in a series of reminiscence sessions with professional and volunteer support.
The purpose of these sessions is to engage people with dementia and their family carers together in remembering, sharing and recording their long lives.

Visit the RYCT project website:

In 2000 Pam was awarded the MBE for services to Reminiscence.
Pam Schweitzer is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Humanities Department of Greenwich University.
Pam Schweitzer received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the 5th National Dementia Care Awards
The awards ceremony was held on November 11th 2014 at the 2014 UK Dementia Congress at the Hilton Hotel Metropole in Brighton.

The Judges said: "Pam was chosen because of her passion for creating fun and re-igniting love and a sense of cohesiveness for couples and individuals living with dementia. Pam has been an inspirational leader through her internationally recognised reminiscence networks, publications, training & resources."

Pam Schweitzer- 11th 2014 at the 2014 UK Dementia Congress

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