Liz has appeared in a variety of film and stage productions and over the last 15 years she has worked and volunteered on a variety of community projects and corporate projects with Royal Mail, Shell, First Group and Scottish Widows.
She set up Strange Theatre in November 2010 as a community interest company (CIC) in a response to the hand to mouth culture of theatre companies chasing around for bits of charitable funding.
“I thought we are all creative people so there must be a creative solution to the culture in the industry. You would see many great ideas that didn’t happen because there wasn’t funding or people had to volunteer their time. So I set up Strange Theatre to be a sustainable company.”
Most of the company income is generated from Stock-Film production. Stock-Film produces multi-media library of affordable film footage that charities or public sector organisations can buy to represent and promote social issues such as sexual health or drugs awareness.
“The films are used to promote awareness about issues like the sexualisation of young people, domestic violence, homelessness and prostitution. We are interested in all social issues but there is a strong focus on inequality and how it affects women.”
Strange Theatre is a social enterprise business set up as a community interest company. So any profits are channelled back into Strange Theatre productions.
Liz is driven by making a difference but she says learning to build a profitable business is a real gear shift. “In the arts you almost get into a way of thinking that talking about money is a dirty thing. But it’s not only okay to generate a profit it’s vital for Strange Theatre to have the independence to tackle meaningful projects and challenge social issues.”
“It’s really fulfilling to be able to make things happen. As an actor you often follow someone else’s vision, ideas or script. Now that I have set up Strange Theatre I have this capacity to bring ideas to life. Even if it means I have to learn how to budget and work in an office sometimes!”
Strange Theatre has launched a festival for International Women’s Day, featuring an art exhibition and a new theatre production Goddess.