In 1984, two people came together in Bristol UK, and started Travelling Light Theatre Company. Kim Reuter and Jinny Paige performed their first play ‘Down at the Dumps’ as a two person team, on a small stage in front of a grass field where their audience sat.
Slowly expanding to include a team for prop construction and then sound, their team of 2 slowly but surely started growing. From then, Kim and Jinny grew the company; hiring more until they got to a significant number form the foundation of their company. With the right people in, Kim and Ginny then worked towards making their programmes and theatre groups accessible to one and all – achieved through the help and support of sponsors of the theatre.
How This Started
Starting by registering the theatre company as a charity and a member of the English Art Council, Travelling Light gained financial support from Bristol City Council, Arts Council England South West, Community at Heart, Clore Duffield Foundation, Youth Opportunities Fund, Quartet Foundation and FOREX towards the start of the 2000s. All of them key partners who donated money in support of the arts and education programmes which the theatre group was running. Their support enabled more children to enter the company, as well as for the company to continue in its production of shows – many of each had successful reruns and tours outside of the UK.
The Growth of the Theatre
As the years went by, Travelling Light received more sponsors, namely the Tudor Trust, Youth Social Action Fund, Ann Rylands Small Donations Trust, Big Lottery Fund Awards for All and Tesco Bags of Help who came on board to walk alongside them on their journey to have a greater impact on the English children, especially those with additional needs. These sponsors all play an important role in the continued development and growth of inspirational ideas in the theatre space.
On top of corporate sponsors, Travelling Light Theatre Company gained ‘friends’ – families and individuals who like what theatre does to society or have been on the receiving end of these plays and decided to give back in the form of monthly donations. These donations start at 10 pounds and can increase incrementally to whatever figure they may desire. Travelling Light now has 12 ‘friends’ and if interested to be a ‘friend’, go ahead to their website to make a donation to a worthy cause.
Travelling Light has prospered over the years, partially in thanks to their sponsors and friends. However, it is really their quality of work, their love for theatre and last but not least, their love for the children who want to be involved in theatre that aided their cause. It was their outstanding quality of work and ability to engage that encourages sponsors to give, it was their love and patience for children that prompted friends to contribute. All these would not have been possible without the sheer dedication and hard work of Kim, Jinny and everyone at Travelling Light Theatre.