Royal Court Theatre’s Young Female Employees Announce Programme of Workshops for Initiative Take Up Space

Published on Thu 8 Mar 2018

Today, International Women’s Day 2018, nine of the Royal Court Theatre’s female employees announce a new series of free workshops and discussions starting in April as part of the movement #TakeUpSpace.

Milli Bhatia, Royal Court Theatre Trainee Director, states;

“The inspiration to launch TakeUpSpace grew out of the sense of empowerment we feel, surrounded by the volume of extraordinary women that work at the Royal Court, a building that champions the voices of women both onstage and off.

In the wake of celebrations for ‘100 years since the vote’, we as a group of nine that is almost entirely made up of women of colour, women from working class backgrounds and from the LGBTQ community, were questioning our lack of visibility and representation in the suffrage movement as well as in our industry today, and whose stories are more often told and celebrated both historically as well as across our stages.

As a result, we felt motivated to investigate and confront the inequalities that are present in our industry, and to create safe spaces in which to do so. We propose active ways in which to use the resources and platform available to us at the Royal Court, not just to celebrate International Women’s Day, but to actively engage with the future and instigate change.”

This series of workshops are being created to further empower women in the arts, champion the growth of female leadership and to interrogate the current state of creative industries. The objective: for women to take up space.

The workshops will be documented on the Royal Court Theatre’s Blog in order to continue the conversation actively and widely.

Workshops will be led by Milli Bhatia (Trainee Director), Alysha Laviniere (Trainee, Production) Monica Siyanga (Trainee, Casting), Geraldine Vaughan (Trainee, Admin And Producing), Alex Constantin (Interim Company Manager), Romina Ahearne (Assistant to Executives), Ellie Horne (Literary Assistant), Jasmyn Fisher-Ryner (Trainee, Young Court), Ellie Fulcher (Young Court Workshop Leader)

Workshops will include;

100 years: 100 years since some women were given the right to vote – what do we hope that the next 100 years will look like? Workshops facilitated by Ellie Fulcher (Young Court Workshop Leader).

Alongside the workshops, we invite visions for an ideal future in 100 years from now, through a series of questions that will be live on the Royal Court website. We will then collate these responses as well as those created in the workshop, and accumulate them into a series of stimulus for writers.

Play in a day – Facilitated by Ellie Horne (Literary Assistant) and Milli Bhatia (Trainee Director). A workshop for those who’ve never written a play before, but have a story that they want to tell.

Women offstage – Facilitated by Alysha Laviniere (Trainee, Production) and Alex Constantin (Interim Company Manager). A workshop to showcase roles offstage for women in theatre. This event will include a guided tour backstage and a workshop with members of the production department, Young Court department and stage management. We want to explore the opportunities that are currently available for these roles and encourage more women to take up space backstage.

Empowerment and Taking Up Space – Facilitated by Jasmyn Fisher-Ryner (Trainee, Young Court) and Ellie Fulcher (Young Court Workshop Leader). Our Empowerment and Taking Up Space workshop is aimed at those aged 14 – 18.  This is a space to express opinion and to ask questions through a series of exercises and discussions. Young women’s voices are often silenced, patronised or ignored and we want to encourage them to take up space and be activists of their own future.

Script Club – recurring. Facilitated by Monica Siyanga (Trainee, Casting), Ellie Horne (Literary Assistant) and Romina Ahearne (Assistant to the executives). Each month, we’ll read and discuss a play that is written by a woman. This will be discussion based, and we are excited for participants to bring their own knowledge of female led work. We will give notice of which play we intend to discuss, and participants can either purchase their own copy or read a copy from the building.

A networking event for Women of Colour in theatre. – Facilitated by Alysha Laviniere (Trainee, Production), Monica Siyanga (Trainee, Casting), Milli Bhatia (Trainee Director), Jasmyn Fisher-Ryner (Trainee, Young Court) and Geraldine Vaughan (Trainee, Admin And Producing), Are you a producer, writer, director or designer seeking collaborators or to simply wish to broaden your network? We invite WoC to come and talk with each other about their experiences and interests within the arts. This will involve a ‘speed dating’ networking session.

Discussion: Are quotas helpful or harmful?  – Facilitated by Milli Bhatia (Trainee Director) Alysha Laviniere (Trainee, Production) and Ellie Fulcher (Young Court Workshop Leader). Examining current models and structures that strive for diversity, inclusion and integration, and looking to a possible future. What are the next active steps we need to take in order to diversify our industry? A workshop culminating in break out groups and discussion.


The workshops are free and for anyone who is non binary or who identifies as a woman, of any age and experience.

Booking for the first series of workshops will open the week commencing 19 March 2018. Please sign up to the Royal Court mailing list here to be informed as to when booking opens.