South West-based playwright and PR Laura Horton created Theatre Stories in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic to recognise the value of theatre in society as venues across the country faced closure.
The campaign provides people with a platform to reflect on what theatre means to them and be part of conversations about the industry’s future. This bottom-up approach to collecting stories brings forward new perspectives, broadening access and participation.
Theatre Stories collects personal memories from a diverse range of people. Previous participants include a Big Issue seller and young theatre makers. Whether sharing a single line or a full story, we want to hear from everyone!
You can submit your theatre stories via an online form using the below button.
You can also contact Laura Horton directly to discuss your stories or share them privately, in-person or via telephone or video call.Share your story
Media narratives about the importance of theatre are often led by celebrities and high-profile theatre makers, and though I understand the importance of this, I also think we need to hear from other people engaged in theatre. The Northcott has wonderful audience engagement and outreach programmes. I’m excited to work with them to shine a light on community voices through Theatre Stories, expanding narratives about the arts industry and who it exists for.
Laura Horton, founder of Theatre Stories
This collaboration forms part of our The Stories We Tell heritage festival on 1 May. The event will feature stories from those who have been part of the Northcott’s journey to date and explore the role of theatre in the community with people that we are currently working with. It is one of several partnerships and projects through which we are expanding our community activities across the South West.
Theatre Stories is a really exciting campaign which the Northcott has connected to through our heritage project and ongoing work engaging the communities of Exeter with our Archive collections. Both projects highlight the importance of individual and personal memories in how we understand the bigger picture of theatre and its role in our lives. As we live through this period of unprecedented change and upheaval, theatres are changing too, and it is important to capture the history of what the Northcott has meant to its communities as we take stock and plan for the future. We would love to hear from anyone connected to the theatre, its productions and its projects since it opened in 1967, to mark this unique moment in history and to share your perspective on what the Northcott could be for future generations.
Sophie McCormack, Heritage Manager at Exeter Northcott Theatre