Happy International Women's Day
In honour of International Women's Day we caught up with some inspiring women at The REP, including Ruth Morgan (Company Stage Manager), Margaret Rees (Head of Construction), Suzanna Reid (Events and Sales Manager) and Kay Wilton (Head of Wardrobe) .
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE THIS CAREER?
Ruth: Back in 1993, having no experience of working in theatre, I worked on a semi professional production of Henry V. There was a woman there who seemed to do everything and be in charge of everyone and very much held her own in what was a very male dominated company of creative and production staff. Looking back now, I realise she was the company production manager. She was amazing in how she handled and spoke to all the different personalities and temperaments always calm and always smiling while juggling many jobs and ever changing schedules. I decided then that was a job I wanted to do.
Margaret: I studied engineering at university and it was only in my final year , when I began to prototype my designs, that I realised how much I enjoy creating things. I find constructing something physical extremely satisfying, and I enjoy seeing the individual scenic elements come together as the build progresses.
Suzanna: My mum was my inspiration, she had so much love and passion for the hotel and catering industry that it was contagious and my career has just spiralled from there.
Kay: I was always interested in making things, which led me to completing a degree in fashion design. I found fashion quite limiting and after getting my first job at The REP's hire department I was inspired to want to create costumes and hats for the theatre. I then went on to run my own business for 10 years.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT?
Ruth: I joined The REP in 1997 and have now been Company Manager for 12 years. Every show I work on I think I learn and achieve something. Recently I have been immensely proud of being part of the lead team on Project Octagon, #we are here.
Margaret: I've built many sets for The REP in my time here so it's difficult to choose favourites. The Little Shop of Horrors stands out for me – with its eccentric revolving trucks opening to transform Skid Row into a flower shop , or the atmospheric 12 Angry Men with a raked revolve.
Suzanna: I have several notable accomplishments in my career but one of the highlights was landing a dream job in New York.
Kay: I think my greatest accomplishment has been gaining the position I now hold as head of the wardrobe department.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN INTERESTED IN YOUR CAREER?
Ruth: Always push yourself beyond your comfort zone and get involved in everything.
Margaret: I'd suggest to other women interested in construction based careers to be persistent and try to find your niche area where you can offer specialist skills. Scenery building is a combination of creative and technical disciplines and has been the perfect environment for me, but I've had to work hard to get here.
Suzanna: With passion, creativity, thinking outside of the box and with a lot of hard work you will succeed.
Kay: The advice I would give is to be prepared to work hard, gain as much practical experience as possible and don't let anything hold you back.
WHAT DOES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY MEAN TO YOU?
Ruth: A celebration of all things women can, have and will achieve, through supporting and encouraging each other always.
Margaret: International Women's day is particularly important in the current political climate . It's vital not to lose sight of the progress that has been made for women's rights , but equally to remember there are still many parts of the world where women do not have the freedoms that I enjoy everyday.
Suzanna: Celebrating inspirational women who have had a profound effect on me as an individual. Also remembering the strong and influential women from history who have paved the way for all women.
Kay: I am ambivalent about the day, I appreciate that rights for women have been hard fought for but the fact that we still have a women's day suggests that there is still a long way to go.