My name is Lauren Desjardins and I have been working as a Stage Manager in Edinburgh for four years. I first came across Catherine Wheels while I was studying at Edinburgh Stage Management School and I was on a placement at the Traverse. I spent the day helping with the get in for White (to this day one of my favourite theatre shows!) and the team took a chance on me, offering me a placement on their next show. It was a fantastic learning experience, and I am happy to have worked with Catherine Wheels on many shows since.

During lockdown I began thinking more and more what I wanted to come out of this situation and what I wanted my future to look like. I started a podcast reading from my teenage diaries (while my husband makes fun of me), and thought more seriously about something I had been considering for a long time – directing. I am fortunate to have worked with many talented directors during my career as a Stage Manager, so I contacted a few to ask for advice on where to start, including Gill.

Gill immediately offered to help me as much as she could, the company once again taking a chance on me by offering guidance and shadowing opportunities. The time I have spent in the unit on the Make Space projects and some of Catherine Wheels’ own development has been invaluable to me. I am still finding my creative feet, so being in an environment where I feel comfortable to explore ideas and give my input is really helping with my confidence, and working alongside such talented creators is a fantastic experience.