Leading lights in East Midlands theatre industry share their stories

Inspirational women in theatre will shine a light on the roles they have played in the shaping of the industry in the East Midlands.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 9:20 am
Lights Up living history project shines the spotlight on inspirational women in the East Midlands theatre industry.
Lights Up living history project shines the spotlight on inspirational women in the East Midlands theatre industry.

Artistic directors, playwrights, a lighting designer and an actor have contributed to a living history project called Lights Up which will be premiered online on Friday, May 28, from 2pm, as part of Derby Theatre’s Check-In Festival.

Angharad Jones is joint artistic director of Fifth Word, the theatre company which conceived the project with Derby City Library. She said: “Lights Up aims to better record women’s experiences and achievements, and to help redress that balance acknowledging that women have always been 50 % of the population but only occupy around 0.5% of recorded history.

“We are delighted that so many brilliant women agreed to be interviewed as part of this project. They are all pioneers, game changers and have made a real, lasting, and tangible difference to the world of theatre. Especially for us who call the East Midlands home.”

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Young women, between 16 and 21, have received training in photography, film and oral history to curate the project. Their work, including the podcasts with the nine inspirational women in theatre, is documented in a bespoke website.

The interviewees are:

Jenny Sealey (artistic director, Graeae Theatre Company)

Indhu Rubasingham (artistic director, Kiln Theatre)

Sarah Brigham (artistic director and chief executive officer of Derby Theatre)

Sonali Bhattacharyya (playwright)

Ava Hunt (theatre maker and actor)

Emteaz Hussain (playwright)

Alex Stafford- Marshall (lighting designer)

Esther Richardson (artistic director, Pilot Theatre)

Amanda Whittington (playwright).

Playwright Amanda Whittington said: “I was incredibly fortunate to be a part of this community of East Midlands theatre-makers who reshaped the landscape for young women and girls. By sharing our stories, I hope we’ll empower the next generation to find their voice and their place in theatre.”

Tickets for the premiere of Lights Up can be booked by visiting Tickets can be booked by visiting https://attenborougharts.ticketsolve.com

To find out more about the Lights Up project and to listen to the series of podcasts, visit www.lights-up.fifthword.co.uk