Press Release – The Berry Theatre partners with SPI Lasers to support career development of young women

The Berry Theatre has announced it has partnered with SPI Lasers in Hedge End to sponsor six young women from Wildern School to shadow a professional theatre company’s production week at the venue.

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Press Release

The Berry Theatre has partnered with SPI Lasers to support the development of young women, placing them in a creative and technical environment, enabling them to learn key new skills. This week the six students from Wildern School have worked closely with one of the country’s leading family theatre companies Stuff and Nonsense to learn about lighting, costume design, composing and the logistics of special effects on stage.

“The girls from Wildern School have been a delight to work with. It is not often that companies open up their doors during production week, but the girls have very much thrown themselves into this unique experience and are taking every opportunity to engage with the team and the activities.” – Producer at Stuff and Nonsense, Jane McGibbon

This new partnership was born out of the organisation’s shared passion for supporting the career development of young women in Hedge End. SPI Lasers’ Malcolm Varnham is dedicated to encouraging women to take on roles in STEM subjects – a career path that in the past has been predominately led by men. The company offers fantastic career development for women as well as men and is focused on creating long lasting roles for them:

Vice President & Company Secretary Malcolm Varnham stated: “SPI Lasers is committed to encouraging more women to take up scientific and technical subjects. This partnership is a great opportunity to expose the students to technical problem solving in a fun and challenging environment. Our business is built upon science and engineering and is core to the production and manufacture of many of today’s most popular products. However, these subjects are all too often overlooked when students consider their future career options. This partnership is just one step in trying to tackle the issue and ensure the continued supply of talented employees.”

Stuff and Nonsense is currently in residence at The Berry Theatre developing new-for-2018 Christmas production Puppet Panto. The show will debut at the venue on Saturday 15th December. The company is a @HOME artist at the theatre’s sister venue The Point, Eastleigh, and will work closely with them over the next four years to engage communities and national and international audiences in exciting new opportunities.

“People from all over the world are coming to Hedge End to work with the team at SPI Lasers and to perform professionally at The Berry Theatre; we are celebrating this wealth of internationalism and championing the vital skills and inspiring work they bring.” – Artistic Director at The Berry Theatre, Sacha Lee

To find out more about The Berry Theatre visit:


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