Cheryl worked with us on BAD GIRL and WAR TIME (Michael Jameson’s first show with the company) in the late 90s – 2000. Cheryl was a talented and brave actor teacher, who took on difficult material, put herself on the line and worked honestly and empathetically with all the groups we worked with. We were very sorry to lose her! We emailed Cheryl about the Legacy Project and she sent us these reflections on her time with the company.
“I cannot believe that you are approaching your 50th year as a company, what an achievement! (It’s the same age as me).
I worked with Leeds TIE approximately 19 years ago, I had to leave at the point I was due to have my first baby who has just turned 18 years old so at that point I sadly had to move back to Birmingham, so where does the time go?
I wanted to share my memory of the brilliant work that Leeds TIE do, because it impacted on me greatly. I was in my early 30’s when I auditioned and got the job with yourselves and worked with you on ‘Bad Girl’ and then ‘War Time’ and the OCN courses which were great.
The process for rehearsal was stimulating, the writing was truthful and relative to the world, and the content of the plays made connections between people and the places where they live. The work/play was a stimulus for discussion, to ask the questions ‘what do we know?….to be true’ and ‘what do we think we know?’ and ‘what do we want to know?’. A simple, honest exploration of the world of the play…which is the world that we all live within.
What I learned, whilst working with Annalyn and Paul (and Michael when he joined) I took with me into my future career afterwards as best I could. However, I found that all the companies I worked with thereafter, as a freelance actor and drama worker, lacked the truthful, questioning, curiosity and socialist values that were held within the Leeds TIE ethos.
Although I have not been in touch with you all for many years, which I am sad about as I think about you often; but life, family and work have come first.
Even though it was only a short period of time that I spent working with you (in the grand scheme of life) it was such a rich and meaningful experience for me, you taught me to work ‘with’ people, whoever they may be, and whatever they may have experienced; and to do so with dignity, respect and equality and to remember: that class matters.
I wanted to thank you all for having a significant effect on my life, my work and practice. In the past 8 years I shifted from working in the world of drama education and TIE (redundancy being a main driver of change). I worked as a learning mentor in a primary school working with children & families who have barriers to learning. I worked a lot using restorative practices which made a connection to some of the work we had done together.
I have recently taken another career change and am now a qualified social worker for children & families, specifically children in care. I am now one of the ‘devils incarnate’ that I remember many of the people we worked with together hated!!
Please continue to develop your work, keep writing and producing… loads of love and hope, that the company’s legacy continues.
Please add me to your mailing list if you have one…or perhaps nowadays you have a Facebook page…who knows!! Lots of love and best wishes for the next project,