CITIZENS THEATRE CELEBRATES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY WITH INSPIRATIONAL COMMUNITY GROUPS
Citizens Theatre has a long history of working with inspirational women’s groups in the community and today (Thursday 8 March) they are running a celebratory day at local Gorbals initiative ‘Tomorrow’s Women’ as part of their year-round creative programme, working alongside women who are engaging in alternatives to custodial services.
The group, led by staff from Citizens Learning, will be joined by guest speaker DJ Susie McGuire, singing power ballads, including songs written and recorded by the women, sharing poetry, and creating statement mirrors in support of gender parity. They will be making white roses in support of International Women’s Day to mark the #MeToo campaign and encouraging others to #PressforProgress.
The team will be running a similarcelebratory event on Friday 9 March at the Chara Centre, a residential service supporting women who are experiencing homelessness, where the Citizens Learning team has delivered a creative residency for the last six years. The 4th edition of THE C WORD magazine, written and created by women residing at the centre, will be presented at the event.
As part of the theatre’s ‘We Are Citizens’ £1.6 million public fundraising appeal they are sending out an SOS message via social media on International Women’s Day asking people to make donations to #SaveOurStatues and also share stories about women from the city or the stage.
The theatre’s four statue muses represent Comedy, Dance, Music, and Tragedy. The statues are needing saved as part of the Citizens Theatre’s ambitious redevelopment with plans to move them from the building’s foyer to outside on the front of the new building in Gorbals Street.
Judith Kilvington, Executive Director of the Citizens Theatre, said: “Our work generates a safe space within which women can explore issues that impact their lives, so reinforcing a shared female commonality. Our artistic interventions, including Tomorrow’s Women and our residency at the Chara Centre, are designed to generate positive change and personal development. We are delighted to be celebrating the impact of this transformational work on International Women’s Day.
“We are also very pleased that a number of high profile women are supporting We Are Citizens, including Elaine C Smith and Blythe Duff. They are helping us to send out a vital SOS message to our patrons, learning participants, alums, and the people of Glasgow and beyond, to help save our building including our four muse statues. Our building is now showing its age and we need to act today to ensure that we’re still here for our community tomorrow including our inspirational women projects. We want a Citizens Theatre that everyone can be proud of and we can’t do this without others’ help.”
Actress and comedian Elaine C Smith, an Ambassador for the Citizens, said:
“I’m one of the Ambassadors for the fundraising campaign for the Citizens Theatre’s redevelopment campaign. A wonderful theatre, a wonderful cultural artistic hub and really, really important to the fabric of the city of Glasgow. This campaign to get it all refurbished and rebuilt is just wonderful and to be right in the heart of the city as well is wonderful too.”
Actress Blythe Duff, We Are Citizens supporter, said:
“The Citizens has been such an important part of my life. I’ve been an actress now for 35 years, but I used to come as a child to the Citizens. I first appeared on the Citz stage back in 1995 and what has always struck me when I step out on that stage is the intimacy of the auditorium. To know that the building will be transformed but still maintain its Victorian roots is very important to me. The Citizens Theatre is a key character in Glasgow’s story and that’s why I’m supporting the We Are Citizens campaign.”
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Notes to Editors:
Citizens Learning Projects for Women
For many years Citizens Learning has worked in close partnership with Women's Services, Tomorrow’s Women a multi-agency Community Justice Centre which supports women who are at high risk of re offending and who have multiple needs. The Citizens Learning team is delivering a year round creative residency with participants and staff members. Each week, women take part in workshops in the Gorbals and have recorded an album of original songs created in the song writing sessions. The group is also involved in creative writing, drama and costume making sessions. Past projects have enabled Citizens Theatre to work closely with Prison Officers on secondment from their roles within Scottish Prison Service and have taken part in performances at the Citizens theatre.
Chara Centre Residency – funded by Comic Relief
A team of artists lead multi-art form sessions for women every week which include creative writing, performance skills, song writing and costume making which culminate in two performances per year, devised and written by the women residing at the Centre. Stories and music have a huge role in the creative programme at the Chara Centre. By sharing stories and life experiences through the power of drama and music, the work encourages group members to reconnect with play as an adult. Past shows have explored topics such as growing old disgracefully, future plans, strength, femininity, dating, midgy bites, wedding hats and bingo.
The 218 Service
The 218 Service is a Turning Point Scotland service that takes a person centred approach in dealing with issues that women offenders face. The programme at 218 is designed to address issues with substance misuse, physical/mental health and other social needs including housing and childcare. The service deals with women who have current criminal justice involvement and a range of complex needs. The Citizens Theatre is currently delivering a series of creative writing and drama workshops with the women and staff at The 218 Service.
#SaveOurStatues via @CitizensTheatre
The Citizens Theatre building used to share an exterior with The Palace Theatre, which featured columns taken from the Union Bank in Ingram Street and several large statues which were the work of Glasgow sculptor John Mossman. But nobody knows who the four muses are and who commissioned them. The adjacent Palace Theatre was knocked down in 1977 by order of the City Council, with very little notice given. Citizens Theatre staff went in overnight and saved some of the features of the building including the statues of the four muses, William Shakespeare and Robert Burns from the exterior. Restoration of each muse statue will cost £10,000 and Bennetts Associates, our architects of our new building have incorporated the statues into our new exterior.
Citizens Theatre Redevelopment Project– A Building, A Company, A Community
The Citizens Theatre building is now one of the few remaining old buildings left in the area and has been at the heart of the Gorbals since it opened as His Majesty’s Theatre in 1878. It was then known as the Royal Princesses Theatre until the building was first leased to James Bridie’s Citizens Theatre Company in 1945. The building has significant community and historical relevance for the city of Glasgow, and specifically for the Gorbals.
In June 2018, Citizens Theatre Company will move out of its historic home in the summer for two years while the theatre building undergoes its £19.4 million redevelopment. The building, which is leased by Citizens Theatre Company from Glasgow City Council, needs to close to allow builders to move on-site to undertake the essential building works that will transform its Victorian home into a 21st century building fit for purpose.
Thanks to a partnership with Glasgow Life the Company will continue to produce its ground-breaking work at Tramway and provide its Citizens Learning activities at Scotland Street School Museum. The Company will move back into its iconic Gorbals home in late 2020.
The project is being supported by a number of funders including Heritage Lottery Fund, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Government and Historic Environment Scotland.Return to Press