Lights Up

Lights Up

Lights Up' is a living history project that aims to shine a light on inspirational women who have led the way in the theatre industry in the East Midlands and inspire the next generation of young women growing up in the region. 
 
We are working in partnership with Derby City Libraries and with support from Derby Theatre to commission photographic portraits and collect oral histories to capture memories and experiences from women in theatre who have lived or worked in the East Midlands. 

The portraits and oral histories will be conducted by a group of young women who are receiving training in photography, oral history interviewing techniques and filming as part of the 'Lights Up' project. This project will look to recapture a childhood photo of each of the sitters that will result in a touring exhibition that will present the original inspirational image alongside the new portrait in pairs. This mobile portrait exhibition will be in situ at Derby Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, Arboretum library and other community and arts spaces across Summer/ Autumn 2020.  

The filmed interviews will be held at Derby City local Studies and Family History Library and will be able to be accessed by members of the public for future generations. We see this project as contributing to addressing the balance of how women are recorded in history and it intends to record for future generations the impact of regional female leaders and pioneers within the theatre sector.


We think it’s’ really important that we find a way for young people to build knowledge of the cultural sector where they live, to inspire them through success stories and to encourage a career in the arts.  There can often be little understanding around what exactly a director does everyday, how a playwright actually works, or a lighting designer’s role within a creative team. This project will help demystify these roles making them more accessible. We hope it might go some way to igniting ambition and increasing aspiration and confidence. Or just for one person to think ‘I could do that!”  or “that could be me!”  

If you want to find out more information, or would like to get involved please contact us.

Lights up is a project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.