From canvassing for MPs to petitioning for gender-neutral toilets, I have always sought to bring about a better world both inside and outside of the theatre. I'm lucky to have gained a broad range of experience both from my degree which centered on teaching activism as well as volunteering within Green New Deal Rising, a youth organisation working to get the Green New Deal passed in parliament. While I consider all of my work political, with social change embedded in each and every show I work on, this section is to outline my explicit activism.
To summarise a few of my more recent actions:
I spoke at Oily Money Out on behalf of Green New Deal Rising about the need to hold our politicians accountable to a just transition away from oil and gas.
I was part of an action with Green New Deal Rising activists where we disrupted a panel at Labour Confrence 2023 sponsored by Offshore Energies UK, calling on Keir Starmer to revoke Rosebank.
Along with other Green New Deal Rising activists, I infiltrated and disrupted MP and Head of Immigration Robert Jenrick to demand answers about 222 missing asylum-seeking children.
With Kate Marlais and Sarah Middleton supported by Mercury Musical Development, I helped research the large discrepancies in the gender balance of composers, lyricists, and playwrights in UK theatre.
I've produced a series of panels with Musical Theatre Network focusing on marginalised groups and practical steps theatre makers and producers can take to make theatre more open.
I've written multiple open letters signed by the likes of Travis Alabanza, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, and Chris Sonnex regarding trans representation within theatre.
Successfully petitioned Rose Bruford to create gender-neutral bathrooms on their campus.
Research finds gender imbalance in theatre writing - Arts Professionals
MMD launches initiatives supporting Female Writers - Mercury Musical Development
As part of my degree in Theatre and Social Change, I started researching cultish behaviour and it's presence in the Musical Theatre industry. As part of this, I developed a diagnostic tool called the Cultish Behaviour Quotitent or the CBQ to be used for this study and beyond. I am planning to release further papers related to this research in the future.
This paper examines if cultish behaviour is present in the musical theatre industry, looking specifically at drama schools and industry settings. While both drama school and industry settings showed a high presence of cultish behaviour it affected demographics differently and was more harmful in drama school settings. Utilising the Cultish Behaviour Quotitent (CBQ), a diagnostic tool developed for this study, it was found that conditions for thought reform could exist within drama school settings.
Incorporating qualitative and quantitative data from the CBQ and other online sources, this study demonstrates that is possible to not only develop an initial diagnostic tool but to use it on a large scale to explore the effects of totalistic behaviour within industry cultures.
Keywords: cults, cultish, abuse, musical theatre, cultish behaviour, drama schools, diagnostic tool, CBQ.
This paper contains in-depth discussions of ableism, abuse, abuse of minors, cults, dissociation, eating disorders, mental health, racism, self-harm, sexism, the sexualisation of minors, and transphobia.
Photo by Matthew Ferguson