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Residencies announced for Scottish diversity project

The Megaphone fund was crowdsourced by new Glasgow company the Workers Theatre, in partnership with Scotland-based Egyptian playwright Sara Shaarawi. The Megaphone fund was crowdsourced by new Glasgow company the Workers Theatre, in partnership with Scotland-based Egyptian playwright Sara Shaarawi.
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The four Scottish theatremakers of colour who will be supported by the £12,500 Megaphone fund have been announced.

Bibi June Schwithal, Mara Menzies, Hannah Lavery and Lucas Kao will undertake residencies, as well as receiving mentoring and other support to create new works.

The fund was crowdsourced by new Glasgow company the Workers Theatre, in partnership with Scotland-based Egyptian playwright Sara Shaarawi.

It was launched earlier this year with an aim to actively address a lack of diversity in Scottish theatre programming.

The original target of £11,000, to fund three people, was surpassed as 470 donors took the total to £12,500, allowing support for four artists.

They will be working with mentors and venues in Scotland to produce new works. The in-progress results will be shared at a weekend festival organised by the Workers Theatre at Glasgow’s Glad Cafe from June 9 to 11.

Harry Giles from the Workers Theatre told The Stage that the fund had applications from “several dozen” artists across Scotland, with backgrounds in directing, storytelling, poetry, film, dance, performance art and children’s theatre.

Schwithal’s piece will explore five generations of her family as they move from Indonesia to Holland to Glasgow.

She said: “The Megaphone residency is giving me the opportunity to tell a personal story about the women in my life who never got to tell their own.”

Fellow winner Menzies welcomed the opportunity to explore current topical themes through the African mythology used in her piece.

She said: “I hope that this journey challenges how people see ‘diverse’ art, and I welcome opportunities to engage with the wider Scottish cultural community.”

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