Meet Arcola: Production Intern Anya Winful

This month we are thrilled to introduce you to our new Production Intern Anya Winful.

Hi Anya! Maybe you could start by telling us a bit about yourself. What have you been up to recently?

I’m currently in my final year studying Management of Music, Theatre, Entertainment and Events at LIPA in Liverpool. I bounce back and forth between Liverpool and London, which is where I’m originally from. My main passion is theatre and I’m an emerging producer focusing on telling the human stories behind big issues. I love reading, watching documentaries and listening to podcasts on walks with my bulldog Tinkerbell. I originally got in touch with Arcola to do a placement back in September, but due to COVID had to cancel so I’m really excited to join the team as a production intern now as everything starts winding back up again!

What does theatre mean to you?

Theatre is all about escapism for me. As an audience member you get to immerse yourself in a totally different world for a couple of hours and see the world of the play through the character’s eyes, which I think is just incredible. Theatre is a great way to gain a new perspective and I think that it’s a really powerful tool for bridging gaps in understanding and empathy. As a creative, theatre is just an amazing industry full of hardworking, creative, generous people that you don’t find anywhere else.

Who inspires you?

I’m really inspired by female led organisations. I was lucky enough to do a placement with Oily Cart who make work with and for disabled young people and the care that they approach everything with both externally and internally is something I really hope to embed in my working practises. The work of Good Chance Theatre connecting immigrant and local communities is really inspirational. Their show The Jungle is one of my favourite pieces of theatre and I’m really excited to see how their new show The Walk unfolds.

Are there any changes you would like to see when performance venues reopen?

I think that there is definitely a lot of work to be done to diversify the industry specifically with regard to race and disability. So much of the work that was able to be made throughout the pandemic was so much more accessible for audiences and creatives, when it often is not offline. It would be a real shame to see that level of accessibility slide backwards. I think organisations need to be more honest about what they do and don’t know about race and disability and ask for help to diversify their work forces, freelancers, performers and audiences because there is no longer an excuse not to reflect our incredibly diverse society.

What are you hoping to get out of your time with Arcola?
I’m just generally really happy to be working with Arcola at such a busy and exciting time, it feels really special for me to have a small part in the reopening of the industry. I’m looking forward to working on the programming of the Today I’m Wiser festival and learning more about that whole process as well, as working with the marketing team to learn more about the PR and industry facing side of their roles. 

If you enjoyed our catch-up with Production Intern Anya, check out more blogs from our #MeetArcola series including spotlights on our Queer Collective and Youth Theatre facilitator Lerato Islam.