The End of State of Play Theatre

To all our audiences, collaborators and supporters, a very Happy New Year to you all!

It has been a long decision in the making, but State of Play Theatre will be closing during the New Year.  It is hard to make the decision to let go of a company that you conceived of and ran with absolute passion for eight years. My sense of urgency for sharing stories and connecting people is stronger than ever, but creating work as State of Play is no longer the right fit and now is right time to close this chapter and start a new one, continuing forward as a freelance artist and saying yes to the exciting opportunities ahead.

As I look back on the shows we made, the incredible artists we collaborated with, the places we toured our work to, audience feedback, reviews and thousands of production shots, I am filled with immense pride for our work, and a sense of gratitude to everyone who went on the journey with us. There are so many memories from over the years, the hours and hours of making and painting our show masks into the small hours of the morning, spending summers touring The Revenge of Mr Trout to Latitude, The Beautiful Days Festival, the Just So Festival, and many local, magical festivals around York, and the pure joy on children’s faces as they were handed a bucket of water and realised that they were going to be allowed to throw it at someone. Taking The Unholy Trinity, a play about British care homes, aging and the fight for autonomy to open the Shanghai International Contemporary Theatre Festival, and the incredibly moving post show talks that would follow.

There are so many memories. These are a few moments I will always be grateful for:

  • Meeting Damian Cruden, artistic director of York Theatre Royal. He welcomed us as an associate company into the heart of the York Theatre Royal family. The York Theatre Royal co-produced many of our productions and Damian has been the most supportive, respectful artistic producer you could wish to work with. Thank you, Damian.
  • The invaluable support and encouragement over the years from Arts Council England and Tanja Geier-Thompson who generously supported all of our projects.
  • The emails and messages we received over the years from audience members. I will always remember an email from a young person who said they had chosen to take GCSE drama as an option after being inspired by watching The Fantasist’s Waltz.
  • The incredible support and loyalty of our audiences over the years and their help to raise the money to donate 20% of our tickets for The Mischief Before Christmas to six local charities who support families in need. For some families in our audience that year it was their first experience of theatre, directly due to the support of this campaign and I will always be grateful to the public for their support and to YTR for continuing to run the campaign in subsequent years.
  • We have worked with so many incredible people over the years – producers, performers, administrators, makers, designers, photographers, musicians, illustrators, writers, marketing departments, technical departments- thank you to every single one of you. Special thanks must go out to Damian Cruden, Liz Wilson, Paul Veysey, Anna Belderbos, Suzy Meese, Robin Simpson, Porl Cooper, Julia Negus, Tanja Geier-Thompson, Nibby Williams, Beckie May, Liam Evans-Ford, Caitlin Hazel, Slung Low, In Flow Training, Katie Posner, Abbi Ollive and Sarah Rorke.

And finally, and most importantly, a huge thank you to all our audiences, to all the families who came to see our shows each year at Christmas and at festivals across the country. To all the schools, colleges and universities who have worked with us over the years, thank you.

For me, it feels like now is the time, more than ever, to create projects that share stories and experiences that help to break down barriers, that connect us in our communities and with each other as human beings. We need projects that create awareness and understanding, a feeling of hope, that mobilise us into action to create change for the better. This is where I’ll be putting my energy.

If you are interested in working with me please get in touch via the methods below. I’d love to hear from you.

New website coming soon….

 

Twitter: @TheLizzieWiggs

Email: lizziewiggsprojects@gmail.com

 

Much love and gratitude,

Lizzie

Artistic Director

State of Play Theatre