M*****classes is the new Artist Development opportunity supporting women in technical roles in theatre. Each set of M*****classes will be based around a specific creative area and will consist of workshops and talks with professionals and will include theatre visits.

Across Scottish publicly funded theatres in 2014/15 Christine Hamilton’s report Where are the Women? identified that: 6% of lighting designers were women and Women made up 11% of composers, musical directors and sound designers

Our M*****classes series directly responds to the gender imbalance due to the lack of women working in creative design roles within the performing arts sector of Scotland, specifically in the areas of technical design [sound, lighting and AV].

Over a three-year period, Stellar Quines are offering a unique training opportunity for women who have some experience or interest in the field but require refreshment or up-skilling before presenting themselves as a viable candidate for these positions. Designed to run over a sequence of weekends, this series enables participants to learn while maintaining their day to day working lives.

M*****classes are open to applications from individuals or small companies be that emerging or mid-career, who identify as women including cis, trans and intersex people and non—binary or gender fluid people who identify in a significant way as women, femme or female.

M*****classes 2020: LIGHTING DESIGN

These workshops will aim to demonstrate and combine the creative techniques underpinning the art of lighting design for theatre, with the means for applying those techniques.

Three areas will be looked at in detail: Light: From Concept to Focus; Different Approaches, Different Venues; Roots into Lighting Design.

Meet this year’s participants.

Participants will be taking part in the following workshops led by the UK’s leading female identifying lighting designers:

    • Saturday 18th January 2020 [Edinburgh]
      Introduction workshop to the series lead by Katharine Williams, presented at Traverse
    • Saturday 25th January [Edinburgh]
      Morning/Afternoon: Approaching a play lead by Lizzie Powell. Evening: Pride and Prejudice (sort of) presented at The Lyceum
    • Sunday 26th January [Edinburgh]
      Morning/Afternoon: Designing for Devised work lead by Jessica Hung Han Yun [tbc]
    • Saturday 22nd February [Perth]
      Morning/Afternoon: Approaches to concept and architecture lead by Lucy Carter Evening: Smile presented at Dundee Rep Theatre
    • Sunday 23rd February [Perth]
      Morning/Afternoon: What the Chief LX needs from you lead by Karin Anderson
    • Saturday 28th March [Glasgow]
      Morning/Afternoon: Relighting workshop lead by Louise Gregory Evening: Mrs Puntilla and Her Man Matti presented at The Citizens
    • Sunday 29th March [Glasgow]
      Morning/Afternoon: ‘Putting it all Together’ including a panel discussion of Scottish based Lighting professionals and representation from the Association of Lighting Designers, Stage Sight and a networking opportunity with other artists from the sector

M*****classes 2018: SOUND DESIGN

The first exciting M*****classes opportunity was to gain hands on career experience in the role of sound design in theatre.


For the first in our three-year M*****classes programme we asked to hear from women who had experience in the field of music, who were looking to take that experience to the next level, explore the field further, learn professional processes, increase confidence and build practical skills. Ideal participants were working musicians or composers, sound engineers and sound designers with none or little theatre experience.

The 2018 M*****classes in Sound Design received a fantastic response with applications coming from women of all ages, places, experience, backgrounds and with different ambitions, skills and areas of focus.

The eight Scottish based sound designers, composers and musicians who came together for a series of workshops, talks and performances were from L-R: Nerea Bello, Zoe Irvine, Heather Andrews, Alicia Matthews, Kim Moore, Beldina Odenyo, Patricia Panther, Fi Johnston (not pictured here).

Many of those involved have gone on to gain work as a result of the programme. We also received some fantastic feedback:

The classes provided me with a stronger sense in practicing within this field and also the realisation that it was entirely possible. I would continue to try and pursue working in theatre.

It has been great to find out that there is a support network of female sound designers, that I would have never known about.

This course sets an almighty bar that hopefully will encourage other organisations to follow.

The fact that Stellar Quines created MULTIPLE classes that weren’t just a token one off – really shows me that other organisations could follow Stellar Quines’ experimental lead on creating such an impactful event.

It has begun to open up a lot of opportunities for me not just in theatre sound design but also film.

The experience has been life and career changing.

It feels good to feel a part of a community of sound designers.

I am delighted to be in this community, it is truly supportive.