02/08/2016 by juno theatre
A full house applauded and cheered Salisbury-based Juno Theatre Company’s first showcase performance at Salisbury Arts Centre on Sunday evening, 7th February, as a company of five directors and ten actors came together to perform five original plays by female writers from the south west region.
Juno Theatre was recently established to support professional theatre writing and theatre making by women, who – according to a report by the British Theatre Consortium – are still significantly under-represented in their industry.
The showcase, which was funded by Arts Council England, featured the work of playwrights Lesley Bates, Clare Macnaughton, Elaine Miles, Vivian Oldaker and Clare Reddaway, who came up with five original short plays inspired by the theme “Circling the Square”.
The plays were directed by Kirstie Davis, Laura Jasper, Claudia Leaf, Nancy Medina and Charmaine K Parkin and the set and costumes were designed by Bex Kemp, with lighting designed by Sarah Bath.
Sunday night’s performance was attended by industry professionals from a range of high profile regional arts organisations, including Salisbury Playhouse and Salisbury International Arts Festival. It ended with a Q&A session with the writers, directors and performers at which Claudia Leaf, Artistic Director of Juno Theatre, expressed delight at the successful outcome of the evening:
“Sunday night was the culmination of two years of work by a small and dedicated team and it has been fantastic to watch it all come together”. She went on to add: “For some of our writers, this is the first time they have had a play professionally performed and it has very rewarding to watch their confidence grow. Juno has been proud to support them and we look forward to seeing more of their work in future.”
Juno is developing plans to stage a youth project for young women aged 11-19 later in the spring and the company will also offer three professional development days for writers.