Cory-Anne Shipp

1 April 2020

“I’m Cory, and I’m originally from Blackwood in South Wales and I’m a Set and Costume designer primarily for theatre, but working across all different ranges of performative work.

Being a designer is incredibly tough, but as a female designer in a very male-orientated world it can be even harder! Many very successful designers are women, but most people can recall far more men in the field, and that’s something I absolutely want to change. The tides are turning, but we make brilliant work every day and should be respected and revered for it! It’s tough out there, especially when you’re visiting male dominated construction spaces where the mansplaining can sometimes be very evident! I also take my Welshness with great pride, and love the fact that I’m making work both in and out of Wales at the moment.

I always wanted to work in theatre, but never enjoyed art at school. I had a particularly bad experience at a parents evening once where I was told that I shouldn’t go into the arts when I could’ve been a doctor and so panicked and did an English combined degree – but now I am so glad I did it! It taught me a skill I now use nearly every day – script analysis is a vital part of my job! For me, finding theatre design was a job that people could actually do was when everything in my head fell into place. I had to work tremendously hard to prove myself with no arts training at all, but it’s made it all the more valuable!

The project I have just completed at the Orange Tree has been the most fulfilling (although my graduate show at the RWCMD is a very close second!) The Mikvah Project is everything I love about theatre – stories about human complexity. I was lucky enough to watch it grow from a directors festival show to a man house one, and the director was a wonderful person to work with in the room. Everyone on the team really wanted it to be a success and did everything they could do for that to happen, and thats such a wonderful experience.

Honestly, I’ve been incredibly lucky to be taken at face value nearly everywhere I’ve worked – but I know not everyone has that experience. I have occasionally been reminded that all of my drawings have to be scale (duh!) and sometimes do feel as if technical teams can be simplifying processes and technical informations sometimes, but I have been incredibly lucky in that this is a rarity for me. What is wonderful is the solidarity you feel with other women creatives when we see each other being successful. There’s nothing I like more than seeing women supporting each other rather than tearing them down!”

Find Cory-Anne here:

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