My name is Julia White. I moved to Sheffield nearly two years ago to complete an MA in Theatre at The University of Sheffield. Since then I have been working with numerous early career theatre companies, assisting with their marketing and audience development as they bring new and exciting work to the city of Sheffield. I have also had the pleasure of producing some larger scale events in the city. Most recently the Migration Matters Festival, which ran as part of the National Refugee Week and sought to bring the communities of the city together in a celebration of culture and art.
Being from outside of Sheffield and being involved in the theatre, there’s one question I get asked again and again – what do you think of the theatre scene in Sheffield? By and large, I think it’s amazing. There’s such a high calibre of theatre here in the city. Every month, I am amazed by the quality of stage-shows coming to or created in Sheffield! The city has one of the most exciting theatre scenes in the country, with Sheffield Theatres consistently taking heaps of awards. It’s also blessed with new theatre companies, experimental pop-up productions and immersive theatre filling the unused spaces in the city.
We have no fewer than seven dedicated theatres in Sheffield including The Crucible, The Lyceum, The Studio, The Montgomery, The Library, The Lantern and Theatre Deli. We also have a number of other spaces where stage performances are frequently held including Sheffield City Hall and The Leadmill, both of which host regular comedy nights. We also have a rich seem of improv comedy.
And behind all these theatres and event spaces are so many talented people – actors, directors, producers, techies, and an entire admin staff that keep the lights on and the wheels turning. And then of course there are the audiences, which have to be among the UKs best!
The problem – and there is a very real problem – is that unless you’re part of the theatre world here in the city, you might not recognise the picture I’m painting. It’s so easy to be unaware of what’s going on. A lot of this really exciting stage activity flies under the radar! Blink and you might miss it!
You see we’re not very good at sharing what we’re doing and what’s happening. And in this age of social media, we reach those who already like and engage with what we do, but few others. What we don’t have is a stage community in Sheffield – a place where we can come together and talk about theatre and reach more people more often. I was talking to Mick Biggs, the Creative Director of Social Sheffield about this problem. And he suggested a solution. He offered us “a home” – an online social space where “theatre makers and theatre lovers” can come together and share our love of the stage, a place where we can share our news and views on upcoming productions, everything from theatre and dance to stand-up comedy.
What’s more he also gave me a section on Social Sheffield’s online magazine where I can share my recommendations and other articles about what’s going on in Sheffield’s theatre scene, and not just at one particular theatre, or with one particular company, but any of them… as well as providing interviews with the creatives behind the work and presenting reviews, photos and snippets of the productions. There’s no limits to what we can do!… And what’s more this information won’t stay within our community but will be shared with Social Sheffield’s followers across Facebook and Twitter.
If you would like to be part of this nascent community and join the conversation about theatre in Sheffield, pop over to facebook.com/stagesocialshef and twitter.com/stagesocialshef and add a like and a follow… Even better drop me an hello and tell me what you do or what you think about Sheffield’s theatre scene! Also invite your other theatre loving friends to like the page (Facebook has an invite friends tab). And if you have information and photos of current or upcoming productions, want to share what you do in Sheffield’s theatre scene, or want to post for jobs/collaborators, drop them on the Facebook page and post or tag @stagesocialshef on Twitter for mentions and RTs. If we all do our bit, we can build a community of theatre lovers sharing theatre experiences in no time. Meanwhile, i’ll get posting and sharing!… And if you want to be more involved in the community and help me grow this stage community in Sheffield, please drop me a line! I’m sure you know a lot more than I and could do brilliant things!
I hope to speak to you soon!
Latest posts by Julia White (see all)
- Dear Theatre Lovers! - July 12, 2017
- Top 3 Stage-shows in Sheffield this month (May 2017) - May 5, 2017
- Top 3 Stage-shows in Sheffield (Mon. 1 – Sun. 7 May) - May 2, 2017