The next in our series of blogs from people across the country about what theatre has done for them and their community.
Ella is a student from Hull and is a member of the RSC Youth Advisory Board.
Theatre is such a massive part of my life, from the very first time I stepped onto a stage to becoming a member of the Youth Advisory Board (YAB). I’ve had many interests in my life, but theatre has always been a constant. I love it. For some, it’s an escape. For some, it’s a creative outlet. For some, it’s just a bit of fun. For me, it’s all those things and more. Theatre is a combination of everything I love: music (most of the time), performing, community, and creativity. When I’m on that stage, I feel like I’m on top of the world; theatre is my favourite thing and it will always be a part of my life.
Every time I perform, I feel at home, especially at the RSC; the community is so welcoming, and it feels like a family. The RSC has given me so many opportunities that I’m forever grateful for. I am continually learning new things and growing as an actor and as a person within this growing community. But that does not mean it is perfect.
It’s important that the RSC takes input from all over; people of all races, ages etc, so that the RSC can grow and challenge themselves and those around them. An example of when the RSC has done this well was when we stopped working with BP because of their impact on climate change. This was a suggestion made by the YAB, a group of young people. Their input directly impacted the RSC, showing that the RSC is constantly growing and becoming a company that I am so proud of being a part of. We strive to become better, fixing issues and becoming more inclusive, bringing me onto another area of fulfilment and improvement in the RSC.
As a black person, seeing other people of colour on stages across the country is incredibly inspiring. It shows that the RSC care so much about diversity. As a member of the YAB, I am proud of the diversity we have accomplished there.
I have often been the only black person in a room of actors, but that isn’t the case in the RSC. However, that doesn’t mean we are perfect. We should always be striving for diversity and making the RSC a place for everyone to be heard and appreciated. The RSC can always improve, and this is something I care deeply about. I know that we are working towards this and it is one of our top priorities which is something that I greatly admire. We need to show that we do not stand for racism and that the RSC should be a home for people of all races. I think having open discussions about racism and Britain’s past is a huge step forward in making the RSC a more diverse and accepting community.