About Cutting Edge Theatre

 

REGISTERED CHARITY SC032252

CUTTING EDGE THEATRE was formed in 1995 by Suzanne Lofthus with the aim of making a difference in people’s lives through transformational theatre.

We are a diverse company working in many different areas. Over the years, we have been involved in a number of projects and productions, working mainly with people who are disadvantaged in some way. This has taken the company to many places both here in Scotland and overseas including Malawi, Zimbabwe, USA, Italy and Brazil. We have set up and run a number of youth theatre projects in Scotland as well as working in a number of prisons and communities.

The company produces both professional and community productions and was short-listed as one of the 2010 Guardian newspaper Charities of the Year.

We were also delighted to be one of the winners of The People’s Project Fund  2017 which enabled us to develop our work on the INSPIRE project and to tour the production of “Downs with Love”.

You can now donate to Cutting Edge Theatre via Stewardship –

http://stewardship.org.uk/partners/20109801

We have staged and toured a number of different productions over the years including historical plays “Mary, the last farewell” and “Glencoe Lament”,  a number of different takes on the Passion story and produced many different community theatre productions.

From time to time we commission new projects and enjoy seeing them go on to enjoy success outwith the company.  Our work in Musical Theatre has also produced a number of new works including being the originating Producer of “Whisky Galore – a musical!” before it was picked up by Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Written by Ian Hammond Brown [http://ianhammondbrown.com/] and Shona McKee McNeil for the  Edinburgh Fringe, we were then delighted to see that production being picked up by Pitlochry  where it broke all box office records in their history.

The Company has a Christian ethos as a foundation and our work is varied.

Suzanne as a Freelance Director also specialises in producing and directing large scale open air productions both here and overseas. Work in Scotland includes the annual Easter Play in Edinburgh – http://www.easterplay.org

“We aspire to inspire!”

See Testimonials page for some quotes on our work.

OUR AIMS/OBJECTIVES:

  1. AUDIENCE

We believe that everyone should have access to and be able to engage with the Arts

  • We aim to increase the diversity of people accessing the creative industries in Scotland and to do this we will: 
  • Continue to create high quality productions 
  • Create productions that are relevant to our audiences
  • Create productions/projects that are accessible and inclusive

2. ARTISTS

We believe that there should be greater representation of diversity in the Arts 

  • We aim to increase the visibility of disabled artists creating within the creative industries in Scotland and to do this we will: 
  • Create more projects with disabled artists 
  • Widely advertise and promote opportunities for projects and productions
  • Hold open auditions that are fully accessible and inclusive
  • Create a platform and route for career progression into mainstream theatre opportunities
  • Enable and facilitate disabled artists to tell their stories in creative ways

3. PARTICIPANTS

We believe that everyone has the right to participate in the Arts 

We aim to increase participation in the arts and creative industries for those who are more marginalised and to do this we will:

  • Create projects that are accessible and inclusive
  • Encourage those participating to develop their skills within productions 

OBJECTIVES 

  •  Enabling young people and adults who have learning difficulties/disabilities through our year-round INSPIRE projects to discover their talents and learn new skills by using drama techniques, all designed to boost confidence, self-esteem and improve vocal issues. Our INSPIRE projects include developing employment skills and furthering creative opportunities.
  •  Engaging with grass-roots communities of adults and children through our annual PASSION plays set in outdoor spaces by encouraging them to become part of a community play. We believe that the process of gaining self-confidence and learning new skills is as important as the play itself and the recognition for their achievements in the wider community.
  • Developing the creative potential of female and male offenders through our regular mentorship drama projects set in prisons in Scotland and beyond (USA, Italy and Brazil). These projects are aimed at increasing offenders’ confidence and empathy, improving their wellbeing and bringing recognition and sense of achievement. Participation in the arts has shown to help reduce the likelihood of re-offending behaviour.   
  • Increasing the diversity of people accessing the creative industries in Scotland by staging and touring a fully inclusive professional theatre production every two years and by addressing contemporary issues through theatre relevant to our audiences and artists including disabilities, stigma, suicide and mental health issues. 

Link to Annual Report and Accounts

Cutting Edge Theatre is a registered Scottish charity – SC 032252.

Company number – 222790

Registered Office – 6 Albion Terrace, Edinburgh, EH7 5QX

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

DOUGLAS ROBERTS [CHAIR]

Douglas is a solicitor who specialises in corporate and sports law. He is actively involved in St Stephen’s Comely Bank Church in Edinburgh and enjoys keeping fit, watching football, rugby and pretty much any sport and travelling to new places

Douglas has been a supporter of Cutting Edge’s work for a number of years and been involved in a few of the projects in different capacities.

GEOFFREY BAINES

Geoffrey is a dreamwhisperer, the kind of dream people have when they’re wide awake.  His joy is listening to peoples’ talents, dreams, and experiences, helping them to hear what their lives are saying but they perhaps cannot hear, then walking with them as they develop these into their stories, the unfolding dramas of their lives.

Geoffrey finds himself working with individuals from all sorts of backgrounds and longs for what he does to be accessible to as many as possible.  He also works with teams encouraging everyone to bring their enthusiastic best.

More and more, Geoffrey finds himself exploring slowness to make this happen.  Seeing life rushing us along, a little slowness makes it possible to see so many of the details otherwise missed.  Geoffrey increasingly finds himself reading slowly, walking slowly, involved in slow conversations, and doodling (dawdling), believing finding time for slowness accomplishes a lot more than being rushed along by life.  The doodling has been one of the surprises along the way and a book of doodles is coming out soon.

SARAH HALLIWELL

Sarah is currently the Curriculum Manager for performing arts, technical theatre and youth theatre in Fife College. She has been a member of Equity from the age of 12 working professionally as an actor both in TV and film throughout her life.

Sarah founded the current youth theatre at Fife College and transferred her career into full time lecturing and working as an SQA verifier for Drama and Theatre Arts.  Sarah is planning on growing old disgracefully by returning to her theatrical roots and founding a centre of excellence for inclusive practice in Drama in Fife through education for children and vulnerable adults.

Sarah is passionate about creating jobs for vulnerable adults and young people in the creative industries and using drama process as a medium for learning and teaching and essential skills.

SARAH HENEY

Since 2012 Sarah has been employed on a consultancy basis as the Marketing Manager at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts in Edinburgh.

Prior to that, in her role as Marketing Manager of the Edinburgh Playhouse from 1989 to 2012, Sarah led the marketing of the Playhouse through its transformation from rock venue to the hugely successful home to the West End musicals that it is today.

Through her strong links with the tourism sector both in Edinburgh and more widely in Scotland, Sarah was invited to join the boards of The Audience Business, Luxury Edinburgh and The Edinburgh Capital Group and was part of the Tourism Innovation Group, a select group of 40 Scottish tourism leaders. She was also one of a group of ten Tourism Innovation Ambassadors who were brought together by Scottish Enterprise to promote innovation and creativity in Scottish Tourism.

Prior to her move to Scotland in 1989 Sarah spent 8 years working in the London theatre scene, with 2 years at the Polka Children’s Theatre, two years at the London Coliseum and four years at the First Call Ticket Agency as Operations Manager and then Group Sales Manager.

SUZANNE LOFTHUS [ARTISTIC DIRECTOR]

Like many other artists, Suzanne discovered theatre at a very early age and then was introduced to youth theatre as a teenager where she soon learnt the benefits that theatre brings. Over the years, Suzanne has had many adventures after leaving her job as a Manager in an oil company including performing outdoors in a banana plantation in Honduras to directing plays in prisons overseas.

She works in the company as a Director, Producer and has written a number of plays and books for musicals.

She set Cutting Edge Theatre up in 1995 to “make a difference” and loves seeing how theatre can affect and change lives for the better.

ALAN SCOBIE

Alan spent 20 years in travel and tourism,  and has also been involved in variety of other business activities. Currently involved in business management, Alan supported the work of Cutting Edge Theatre prior to joining the board in 2001 and has been key in helping the company develop and expand over the years. Alan really only has one hobby – football.

 

INSPIRE TUTORS

KATIE MILNE [Lead Tutor]

Katie trained in Acting for Stage and Screen BA (hons) at Queen Margaret and Napier University in Edinburgh and is an actress, part time lecturer at Fife College, freelancer within the creative industries, youth theatre facilitator and co-creator of children’s theatre company Pipe Up Productions.  Katie has worked as an INSPIRE Drama tutor for Cutting Edge Theatre since 2012.  She absolutely LOVES facilitating weekly drama classes and has a real passion for growing and developing Inspire.  Katie is extremely grateful for the fantastic opportunities she has had while working for Cutting Edge and looks forward to many more adventures as they continue to grow.

Katie is also one of the Actors in the new production “Downs with Love” which will tour in 2018.

NICHOLAS ALBAN

Nicholas is a professional Actor working on stage, screen and as a voice artist – as well as being a Drama Facilitator for young people and adults. He currently works with Cutting Edge Theatre on our Inspire programme and is also a Drama Leader with Edinburgh Youth Theatre, running weekly classes all year round.

He is an Associate Artist with multi-award winning theatre company Creative Electric, performing in a number of their shows as well as collaborating in many of their engagement and outreach projects, often facilitating workshops for people of all ages.

 

MARILYN WILSON

Marilyn has worked as an actor and director since graduating in 2009. She has worked with a variety companies including Police Scotland and LGBT youth. She is one of the artists-in-residence at Abbeyhill Primary School. More information about Marilyn can be found at http://www.marilynblythwilson.com