12 August 2020
“Haia, I’m Lauren Connelly from Llanrumney in Cardiff.
I’m an aspiring actor, writer and director who loves creating ‘things’ with people out of weird and wonderful conversations…loves being creative me.
Being a creative woman is important to me because women are incredible; women have risen from oppression and continue to do so, and just being a tiny part of that empowers me everyday. The amazing creative women I’ve met have inspired me by paving the way, making sure that other women are heard and are seen; without these women I wouldn’t have been able to start my creative journey. I want to do the same…I will do the same by listening and elevating women’s voices.
The murmuring creative change in Wales excites me. We don’t know what’s next but we do know we need to be bolder. The pandemic has made us realise how things can completely change overnight, the importance of human relationships, the privilege we possess and how we should use that to elevate others. As an emerging creative it excites me because I can be a part of that conversation, that change, whereas before I felt like I was on the sidelines. Change is when growth happens, it’s a process that every community needs to be a part of, it’s vital. I’m excited for what’s to come!
Being a junior associate artist of ‘Did I Break?’ theatre company means a lot to me. Truthfully, I felt like I didn’t fit in the Welsh creative scene due to my race, it honestly held me back for years; representation matters, as it says in the ‘Did I Break?’ theatre companies mission statement…‘how can you know you matter if you never see yourself?’. It means a lot to me because I don’t want anyone to feel held back because of their race. ‘Did I Break?’ will ‘enable black creatives to explore the black cultural experience through theatre and share it with audiences’, this is vital and needed in Wales. You will hear us and listen!
Bilingual theatre is important because language is powerful, it’s how we communicate to make change, to listen. The more voices the better! I believe we should lessen the gap between strictly Welsh speaking theatre and Welsh English speaking theatre, let’s listen to each other and create with each other.
Honestly, the creative Welsh women I’ve met/seen on Twitter empower me the most about being a creative woman in Wales. The ambition and heart put into their work to help communities and others inspire me daily; I want to be a part of that. Shout out to Common Wealth Theatre Company because they truly inspire me so much. I left university after a month due to personal reasons, two days after coming back I went to Common Wealth ‘Hold Your Own’ workshop where I was in a room with amazing, strong women; I still feel empowered being a part of that. After leaving that space I gained self belief, when before I felt like an absolute failure for leaving university; because of that workshop I know this working class girl with a Cardiff accent can do it. I actually listened to ‘Hold Your Own’ by Kae Tempest before my Royal Welsh College audition, and it gave me strength to just be me. Women are incredible and so inspiring.
I’ll be starting my BA in Acting in Royal Welsh College this September- I’m proper nervous but also proper excited!”