In the Spotlight features the people, venues and organisations that are making Shake the Dust happen. Karen Lodge is Operations Manager at the Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, the venue partner leading the project in the South West.


Barbican Theatre PlymouthWhat do you love about the Barbican Theatre?

I love that although we are a small team we are very close and work very hard to support each other. There is always so much going on that everyone plays a vital role.

I also love the fact that if you have an idea for a project or performance you can more often than not make it happen.

Tell us about how the Barbican Theatre works with young people

We provide opportunities for beginners and for those with experience. We grow talent; provide pathways into professional training and the arts industry.

Many young people within our training companies go on to train at some of the countries leading dance and theatre colleges.

Young people develop solid art and social skills that support them through their education and through whatever path they choose.

Tell us about how the Barbican Theatre works with artists

Through our Flourish programme we offer new and emerging theatre and dance companies the chance to work with us. They can do so as a Flourish Co-Production, perform a piece of work within our Flourish season or show a scratch piece of work at our In the Flesh Festival.

Flourish supports new and emerging artists in the South West by giving them a platform to showcase their creations. Flourish aims to further the potential of this work through opportunities to new networks, to meet promoters and to generate community links within the region. Flourish platforms original work of the highest quality. Flourish is our attempt to sustain the next generation of live performance makers in the South West & beyond.

Why are you excited about Shake the Dust?

There are so many things I am looking forward to within the project;

I am excited to see how the poet coaches work with the young people to develop their work. Also the impact this will have on their poetic skills, confidence and creativity.

I am really excited about the South West regional final. I hope that we can create a really exciting atmosphere and that our hosts make it a very memorable evening for all involved, no matter who wins!

What inspired you to work in the arts?

I was inspired to work in the arts because I knew how much I loved it and wanted others to love it to. Through training, voluntary work, by having great mentors and working in many different areas at the Barbican Theatre I found an area I really love and that I am good at. I put everything into it because I know the amazing results other people can get from it.