Stellar Quines & Glasgow Women’s Library launch Play Amnesty

Stellar Quines and Glasgow Women’s Library have launched a Play Amnesty to showcase female playwriting talent.

The Play Amnesty is a call out for plays written by women. As we both champion female voices we are asking people to donate copies of plays and scripts written by women that have been published, produced and/or performed for a new drama shelf.

To reflect the rich diversity of the Glasgow Women’s Library’s collection plays are sought from female writers of any nationality. The Library is particularly keen to receive plays that have a female focus, or strong roles for women, and writing from the Trans community and Women of Colour. Plays not written in the English language are also welcomed.

Plays can be posted to or dropped off at Glasgow Women’s Library or donated at one of our Amnesty Drop Off points.

Alongside the public Amnesty we will be working with Glasgow Women’s Library to ensure culturally diverse voices are represented in their collection of plays, identifying women playwrights and sourcing plays. The plays will be available to members and will be used by the Library’s Drama Queens Group for readings.

FULL STORY

Stellar Quines & Glasgow Women’s Library Play Amnesty

Stellar Quines and Glasgow Women’s Library have launched a Play Amnesty to showcase female playwriting talent.

The Play Amnesty is a call out for plays written by women. As we both champion female voices we are asking people to donate copies of plays and scripts written by women that have been published, produced and/or performed for a new drama shelf.

To reflect the rich diversity of the Glasgow Women’s Library’s collection plays are sought from female writers of any nationality. The Library is particularly keen to receive plays that have a female focus, or strong roles for women, and writing from the Trans community and Women of Colour. Plays not written in the English language are also welcomed.

Alongside the public Amnesty we will be working with Glasgow Women’s Library to ensure culturally diverse voices are represented in their collection of plays, identifying women playwrights and sourcing plays. The plays will be available to members and will be used by the Library’s Drama Queens Group for readings. The project has the support of two of Scotland’s leading playwrights Linda McLean and Lynda Radley who have commited to donate their work to the drama shelf.

Linda Maclean, playwright:

When I was growing up I didn’t know that it was possible to be a playwright and a woman and alive. And while I comfort myself that things are changing I often meet people who cannot name a female playwright. I am so glad Stellar Quines and Glasgow Women’s Library is having a Play Amnesty.  It is such a positive step towards recording the many plays by women, living and dead, who have contributed to the body of Scottish Theatre, and who deserve to shine.

Lynda Radley, playwright:

I am delighted to donate copies of my published work to Glasgow Women’s’ Library, an organisation I have been aware of since I first moved to Glasgow eleven years ago. Glasgow Women’s Library provides excellent tailored resources including safe spaces for women to learn and to grow, resurrects fascinating local her stories and curates a programme of work that celebrates and challenges. Their values mirror those of Stellar Quines, an organisation I have also had to pleasure of being nurtured by, and I feel honoured that my work will sit alongside that of other female playwrights in Glasgow Women’s Library. 

The Amnesty closed on the 28th February with the drama shelf is to be unveiled on the 8th March to mark International Women’s Day.

Drama Shelf Launch

Glasgow Women’s Library

Wednesday 8th March, 2.00 – 4.30pm – Free – all ages welcome.

Tea and cake served from 1.30pm

A launch event at Glasgow Women’s Library will include readings by the Library’s Drama Queens group, and workshop sessions with playwright’s Linda McLean and Lynda Radley and a discussion and Q&A with Stellar Quines Artistic Director Jemima Levick.

Come along and join in championing and celebrating the stories of women and girls.

Thanks to Playwright’s Studio, Tron Theatre, Traverse Theatre, Dundee Rep Theatre, Shetland Arts & Horsecross Arts for supporting the project and collection of plays during the Play Amnesty.

 

You can still post plays & scripts to:

Play Amnesty 

Glasgow Women’s Library, 23 Landressy St, Glasgow, G40 1BP

 

Play Amnesty Press Release

Faith Liddell

How would you describe the work that you do?

Basically, it’s all about collaboration. I work with the 12 major festivals in Edinburgh on their joint strategic ambition working across programme investment, international working, marketing, innovation and environmental practice. In order to this, we collaborate in turn with a whole range of creative and funding partners in our city, in Scotland and indeed across the world. It’s a wonderful job that has constantly evolved over the last 8 years.

What do you like best about it?

Keeping great company and the constant, intense learning involved in what still feels like an endless experiment.

What do you consider your best work and why?

There are individual productions and projects I’ve produced or created and of course, there is a visceral thrill in seeing these coming together – which probably has something to do with the fear that comes before. However, I do feel the scale and depth of this work with the festivals and the fact that a lot of our approaches have rolled out into the wider cultural or tourism sectors, has been profoundly satisfying – which probably has something to do with the fact that it is so bloody challenging getting to that collaborative sweet spot.

What was your first ever job?

My first job was in a bar and my first job in the arts was in a bar, the Traverse Theatre when it was still in the Grassmarket.

What was the contact/opportunity/job offer that you feel has made the most difference to your career?

Well, weirdly it might have been that one. When I was working in the Traverse Bar, the job of Marketing Manager came up and I wrote cheeky letter to Ian Brown and Ann Bonnar who were running the theatre at the time and said I wasn’t really a bar person but a market research wiz and that, working on the front line, I knew more about their audiences than they did. They interviewed me and it was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life but it got me noticed and when the Box Office Manager job came up, Katie Stuart (currently with the FST) offered me the job. She didn’t even ask if I could count! It was my entry into the professional world of the arts, my life’s work and the friendships that continue to sustain me.

What’s the biggest opportunity that you missed or wished you had taken up but didn’t? 

Do you know, I’m mostly with Edith Piaf on that one. I tend to be very clear about what I need and want and focused in pursuing these. However, I have fallen in love with Brazil and Brazilians later in life and think I would have moved there if that coup de foudre had happened in my early 30s, but I have very precious friendships and have had some wonderful adventures there. I could say a lot more about the things I shouldn’t have pursued!

What’s your favourite play or piece of theatre?

I was talking about this with a colleague just the other week and we both agreed that Robert Lepage’s Dragon Trilogy at the Tramway was a transformational theatrical moment for both of us, that it bound us permanently and passionately to the world of theatre as audiences and professionals.

What do you like the best about working in the arts?

Being the privileged witness to that first moment of encounter between the art and the audience, be it a play, a dance piece, an exhibition, a film premier, a musical commission or newborn song. To feel, the pride, the curiosity, the fear and the anticipation invested in that moment and the sense that what we are doing matters even if it doesn’t always work out.

What advice would you give emerging female practitioners in the arts today?

What can I say? I’m still learning but I reflect a lot on the value of what I do with my colleagues and indeed on how to do it. I laugh a lot too. As a woman working in the arts I think you have to develop complex combinations of attitude or artistry – for example integrity of purpose and steeliness of will, expansiveness of mind and intensive attention to detail. Most important though, is learning how to sit in complexity of all kinds, until the right idea evolves. I think women are good at that, at avoiding the orthodoxies and looking for the real answer not the right one.

Who would your Stellar Quine of the month be and why?

You’ve featured some of the Stellar Quines in my life already and I work and have fun with some truly wonderful women. Can I give a collaborative answer and nominate the four stellar festival directors/Executive Directors I work with – Kath Mainland, Joanna Baker, Sorcha Carey and Julie Weston. I learn from and relish them all.

Faith Liddell was recently awarded an OBE for Services to the Arts in the New Years Honours List 2015.

 

 

 

 

Fiona Sturgeon Shea

How would you describe your current job and what do you like best about it?

As Creative Director, I am responsible for the overall leadership of the organisation which supports, develops and promotes Scotland’s playwrights. A great deal of my work right now is making and nurturing our partnerships – with playwrights, obviously, but also with theatre companies, academic institutions, funding bodies and others – here in Scotland, the UK and internationally. We are governed by a great board of directors made up of professional playwrights and other skilled professionals. And I’m supported by a talented and industrious small team in Emma Mckee, our General Manager, and Emma Campbell, our Communications and Administration Co-ordinator.

I love my job. It is an absolute privilege to work with playwrights in the way that I am able to. It’s a great honour to have people share their stories and their work with me, often when they are still raw and unformed – and to be invited into the different processes that playwrights practice. I never underestimate what a gift this is.

You were recently in Canada – what are your thoughts on the artistic links between Scotland and Canada?

We are part of an international network of playwright development centres across the world. Canada has a particularly strong tradition of this. We would love to work more regularly with our Canadian colleagues and that was part of the reason for my research trip.

Playwrights’ Studio was originally modeled on Centre De Auteurs Dramatiques, the Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal (and others). I wanted to check in with these organisations to compare our models and our activities, hear fresh thinking and discover innovative approaches to developing plays from experienced colleagues. Our Canadian peers were very open to hearing about our work. Playwrights supporting one another through mentoring is something that we are particularly strong on in Scotland. Obviously, I was also there to promote Scotland’s playwrights and was really heartened to discover that awareness is still very high. I saw posters of plays I had worked on at the Traverse and elsewhere in new Canadian productions adorning the walls of many theatre companies.

Our international work is designed to complement that of producing new writing companies like Stellar Quines and the Traverse whose work with Canadian artists has been exemplary. So, watch this space – or rather www.playwrightsstudio.co.uk!

What was your first ever job?

My father was a professional artist so I grew up in a family business. I worked in our art gallery and shop from a very early age. It didn’t pay very well and I doubt if I was a model employee!

My first full-time job was Marketing Assistant at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. This is where I met Tom McGrath when he was Associate Literary Director (for the whole of Scotland but based at the Lyceum). Tom felt that I was wasting my brain stuffing envelopes for most of the day – which really was the main job of a Marketing Assistant in the pre-Internet dark ages – and would give me scripts to read instead. That first year at the Lyceum was very important in giving me a real understanding of how a professional producing theatre works. Doing things as basic as gathering biogs for the programmes helped me understand the different roles and contribution people made.

Has there been a particular person or an opportunity that you feel has made the most difference to your career?

Tom McGrath was one of the most inspiring and supportive people I knew – even when we were arguing about things! He had such an influence on so many people – and still does through the Tom McGrath Trust. Another person I met at the Lyceum was Faith Liddell (now Chief Executive of Festivals Edinburgh). She and Tom were the people who believed in me and recognised potential in me that I didn’t necessarily see myself.

What has been your favourite theatre production?

Oh gosh, there are too many to choose from! The one production I will mention was Sarasine by the theatre company Gloria, adapted by Neil Bartlett from Balzac’s story. I saw it in the old Traverse and I’ll never forget Bette Bourne’s entrance (in complete blackout) as a 300 year old castrati. It was so brilliant, powerful and atmospheric, it’s really stayed with me.

What do you like the best about working within theatre?

It’s really always been about the playwrights for me – even when I was working as I did for many years in Audience Development. I loved what we achieved at the Traverse in the 1990s, spending a really significant amount of time with the playwright to communicate their intentions about the play in a way which also met the audience’s expectations. The playwright Nicola McCartney says that what I used to do was dramaturgy through marketing. That always makes me smile.

Who would your Stellar Quine of the month be and why?

Ella Wildridge the translator and dramaturg and patron of the Tom McGrath Trust – the woman is a genius. She’s inexhaustible and puts me to shame with her energy, ideas and the fact that she’s always learning.