Luvvie launch pad celebrates 30th birthday

March 8, 2002

The Strathclyde Theatre Group celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

The informal academy of theatre arts, which sprang from an English department student society, receives scripts from the United Kingdom, Ireland and North America.

The 400-member group specialises in radical and experimental pieces, from reworkings of Shakespeare and improvised plays to musicals, puppet shows and mime.

Director Susan Triesman said: "It is open to everyone in the university but also people outside. We have a huge community group - young, unemployed people, hairdressers, lawyers, teachers and journalists - and that makes it really exciting because they challenge one another's views of the world."

Although members are unpaid, Ms Triesman described the company as semi-professional rather than amateur. It runs a broad range of courses linked to theatre work, which are subsidised for members. It has also built strong links with the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and STG members often move on there.

"People coming out of college drama courses looking for work, or Equity members, who are not always in work, see this as a place where they can develop and challenge themselves," Ms Triesman said.

Past participants have included Holby City star Siobhan Redmond and actor, screenwriter and director Peter Capaldi.

The STG is housed in a former church, maintained by the university. It has only two paid staff, Ms Triesman and theatre administrator Sylvia Jamieson, and a budget of £18,000 a year to cover production costs.

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