Lorna Rees describes her career development into early years work
Theatre Producer Activate Performing Arts (2006 – 2012)
My move back to Dorset was motivated by the arrival of my first son – I wanted to move back to where I grew up. I was lucky to secure work with Activate, which has enable me to work closely with some fantastic Dorset-based companies and artists such as The Paper Cinema and Angel Exit Theatre, as well as working on projects such as Inside Out Dorset and programming for Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival. One of the most exciting things I’ve worked on in the past year is Small Wonders, making work in the outdoors for the Under 5s. We’ve commissioned some really exciting work to take place at outdoor festivals all over the UK for some of our most important and discerning audience members.
Independent Producer and Theatre Artist (2004 – present)
Alongside permanent positions I’ve tried hard to maintain a healthy freelance portfolio of work – often as a performer and musician myself. In the past year I’ve been working with one of the South West’s most inventive companies, Hoodwink, and I’m performing with them at the Salisbury Playhouse with an early years piece, Frozen Forest. I’m also co-artistic director of Gobbledegook Theatre: we make work for young people in unusual places and spaces, often for the outdoors.
Education and Community Manager The Broadway, Barking (2004 – 2006)
The Broadway was a brand new, multimillion pound state of the art performing arts venue which opened in December 2004 in an incredibly deprived area of London. I established an education department and set up a very successful youth theatre. The director amassed a brilliant, young and enthusiastic team at The Broadway who have gone onto great things.
Education Manager Greenwich Theatre (2002 – 2004)
Just before I left Central (where I trained) one of my lecturers asked me what my dream job would be – and my answer was that I wanted to be the Education Manager for a theatre. I was lucky enough to land this exact job just a year out of university. At first the role was part-time, allowing me to continue working as a freelance, but I became full-time as the department grew. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s at Greenwich Theatre that I really started to develop a passion for early years work.
Young Writers’ Programme Royal Court Theatre (2001 – 2003)
This was my first proper job out of university and I was employed by the brilliant Ola Animashawun. To work at (arguably) one of the best theatres in the world as a first job was incredibly exciting. I met, on a regular basis, writers and directors who were my heroes: and Madonna or PJ Harvey would just occasionally show up. I will never forget meeting Caryl Churchill and my legs turning to jelly because I was so in awe of her.