Trans Creative Launch

Trans Creative, a brand new theatre company led by award-winning transgender artist and activist Kate O’Donnell, is launching on the weekend of February 10th. The company is the first of its kind in England, made possible by three years of financial support from Arts Council England’s Elevate Fund as well as partnerships with several LGBT and NPO arts organisations. The company is based in Manchester and counts Contact as one of its partners. It will launch across the opening weekend of Queer Contact festival, Contact’s annual LGBT arts festival, which takes place during LGBT History Month.

During the weekend of its “soft launch” Trans Creative’s Artistic Director Kate will make a speech at Queer Contact’s opening party, present an evening of theatre and take part in an afternoon of workshops, debate and panel discussions for young LGBT people. The weekend demonstrates the company’s work across diverse areas in performance, education, politics, audience engagement and commitment to diversity and visibility; showcasing its current projects, the scope of its work and its intended impact moving forward.

The company’s Artistic Director Kate has a strong track record of delivering high-quality theatre performances that highlight the experiences of the transgender community. She was LGBT Foundation Role Model of the Year 2016 and was also recognised by Manchester Council for her work in making the trans community a happier and safer place with the 2015 Be Proud Special Achievement Award.

Said Kate O’Donnell: “Trans Creative was founded in response to a growing demand for creative trans work with the goal of raising the visibility and positive representation of marginalised trans people in the arts, creating trans-led projects that boast trans-told narratives. In a culture in which it is commonplace for transgender stories to be written and performed by cisgender (non-trans) artists, we want to offer an authentic voice that represents the community. In the past three years trans referral for young people has increased threefold, which indicates the demand and need to creatively explore these stories, increase representation and nurture a confident trans community within the arts and in wider culture.” 

The ground-breaking company has pledged to use its funding to create high calibre artistic work and educational programmes that are “trans led, trans positive and trans creative” – the company’s slogan and mission statement. Additionally, the company aims to increase participation in the arts and accessibility by and for transgender people of all ages. Trans Creative aims to create an unparalleled impact not only for trans people but also for the wider cultural sector by garnering national acclaim for its work and creating employment and creative opportunities that highlight the North as a destination for innovative art. 

On Friday February 10th, Kate will outline the company’s mission statement and creative ambitions to invited industry guests and audiences at the Queer Contact launch before opening the festival with a Trans Creative curated evening of performances. Trans Creative is a showcase of two new short cabaret style pieces created by transgender artists, exploring transgender narratives personal, political and cultural. Hayley and Me, presented by Kate, explores eighteen years of trans history both real and scripted in tribute to small screen icon Hayley Cropper. Brand New Boy, by emerging artist Elijah Harris, tackles both the intricate complexities and often mundane realities of transitioning from female to male in a playful cabaret style.

Kate is also proudly part of the culmination of a three-month project from Contact and The Proud Trust in partnership with LGBT young people from across Greater Manchester. Queer Youth Gathering profiles the issues affecting LGBT young people, with a day of discussion and panels, accompanied by a major new photographic and video exhibition Queer Youth In Focus. Kate will sit on the Sexuality, Gender and Family panel exploring the impact of gender and sexuality on relationships. The panel is chaired by Rachel Morris (Cosmopolitan) and also features Annie Wallace (Hollyoaks), Romario Wanliss (founder of PureGender), Elijah W Harris and Newton Orlando Sperring (The Proud Trust). 

During Queer Youth Gathering, Trans Creative will present the film Mum, a short autobiographically based fiction film co-created by Kate and Anne Marie O’Connor. The film is about the love between a mother and a daughter and the things that go unsaid in families. Following an argument, Mum sees Kate reunite with her ageing Mum to spend some time together, flashing back to show their relationship when Kate was a little boy and a young man.

Listings information:

Queer Contact: Trans Creative

Venue: Contact, Oxford Road, M15 6JA

Tickets: £11/  advance. Guidance: Over 14’s

Dates: Fri 10 and Sat 11 Feb, 7pm

Tickets: £11/£6 concession / 0161 274 0600

Queer Contact: Queer Youth Debate

Venue: Contact, Oxford Road, M15 6JA

Tickets: £6/ £3. Guidance: All ages. 

Dates: Sat 11 Feb, 12pm-5pm

Tickets: £11/£6 concession / 0161 274 0600

For further information, interview requests, comments, images or review tickets please contact:

Trans Creative Communications Manager Megan Griffith: | 07717844434


story published on  Mon, 6 Feb 2017