Strathclyde Theatre Group

STRATHCLYDE THEATRE GROUP is one of Glasgow's treasures. It is unique in the UK: a collaboration between the University of Strathclyde and the people of Glasgow. Since 1971, it has provided an important, informal academy of theatre arts for the city, for the University and for Scotland. A radical, experimental company, it has helped launch the careers of many actors - from Siobhan Redmond to Henry Ian Cusick - and of directors, from David Mark Thomson to Leslie Finlay - and of writers, from George Mackay Brown to Stephen Greenhorn and Linda McLean. Andrew Cruikshank was one of the princioal movers in setting up STG.

We expect a high level of commitment to whatever project you engage in, as we always work to professional standards. There is a system of internal placements for creative backstage work, so that training is ongoing with every production, in addition to special workshops which have, over more than 30 years, been run by theatre workers as various as the renowned Peter Brook and Scotland's experimental benchtours theatre company. The company presents some 10 to 12 major productions every year.

STG is essentially a living and changing organism, representing the whole cross section of life. As people's lives change, they make different levels of commitment to the company. They may enter the group with no background but with great enthusiasm, and leave to become part of the profession. Many members stay in touch with us afterwards, because they found their STG experience invaluable. New people arrive who have discovered The Drama Centre is the only place they can gain that crucial, informal training in theatre arts in Scotland - in lighting and sound design, set design, directing, writing, arts administration - with their creative ideas tested in public in front of a city audience that expects the highest professional standards. Some STG work can lead to the award of a Certificate in Professional Development. Many members who don't go into the profession are in the company because STG has helped them develop as people, given them self-confidence and enhanced access to their own imagination and emotions.

The creative process is at the heart of the work, and we cover all aspects of theatre from Ancient Greek drama to the creation of new work. The Ramshorn New Playwrights Initiative supports new playwriting through playreadings, courses and production.We ensure that voices in the theatre that do not normally appear in the Scottish repertoire are kept live and vibrant in our programmes. We were, for instance, the first company in Scotland to present major international playwrights such as Sam Shepard and Caryl Churchill, and the enthusiasm generated by these productions created an ongoing audience for these writers throughout Scottish theatre. The quality of the work has been recognised through winning Fringe Firsts at the Edinburgh Festival and the fact that many productions are nationally reviewed.

STG grew out of a student company, nurtured by the Department of English Studies, and has become part of the essential fabric of Scottish theatre. Founded by Hugo Gifford in 1971, it has always been an arena for people to explore what theatre can be. From extraordinary projects such as The Golden City, performed in Glasgow Cathedral, to tours of the Highlands with Rob Roy, to early multi-media productions such as Ghosts, STG has covered a staggering range of dramatic work.

There have been three visionary directors of Drama: Hugo Gifford 1971 - 1979, with Alistair Cording as Assistant Director 1977 - 1980, Peter 'Doc' Watson 1980 - 1984, and Susan C Triesman from 1984 to the present. The Theatre Administrators are no less crucial: Phyllis Steel and Elaine Ness in the early days, and Sylvia Jamieson since 1985. There is a dynamic exhibition of the first 30 years of STG through production photography in the Foyer of the Ramshorn, curated by Ros Casselle, theatre and film director, and our front of house manager at the time.


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