Theatre by the Lake Welcomes New Associate Artists

TBTL are excited to welcome three Associate Artists to the artistic team of the theatre: playwright Lee Mattinson, designer Louie Whitemore, and Director and Artistic Facilitator Melina Barnett.

Each Associate Artist brings a unique skillset, experience, and vision to the role. During their time as Associate Artists TBTL will support them to explore areas of interest, develop their craft and inspire new creative projects. They will be a key part of TBTL’s artistic team, consulting with the Artistic Director on the vision, challenges and opportunities facing the theatre, as well as embedding themselves in the local and artistic community surrounding Theatre by the Lake.

Lee Mattinson is an award-winning playwright originally from Workington. His most recent play Hares was shortlisted for The Bruntwood Prize, and he is currently under commission by Theatre by the Lake, Southpaw Dance, The Letter Room, Kielder Observatory and Elevator Productions.

“It’s a joy to be invited to be Associate Artist at Theatre by the Lake. I grew up just twenty miles away in a town that felt a solar system away from the Lake District. I’m interested in developing ideas which bridge this divide, engage makers from all corners of the county and turn the volume up on all those unheard voices.”

Louie Whitemore is an Olivier award-nominated theatre designer from Ullswater, Cumbria. She has designed numerous productions for TBTL in the past including Tom’s Midnight Garden (2022), Single Spies, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Dear Uncle (2018) and Handbagged (2017)

“I am thrilled to take on the role of Associate Artist to Theatre By The Lake, a magical place that having grown up down the road is close to my heart. It has been a tough few years for the arts but I know we are back to being more creative, more diverse and even more exciting than we were before. I can't wait to be a small part in helping Theatre by the Lake realise their forthcoming plans, providing entertainment and enjoyment for the community and visitors alike.”

Melina Barnett is a creative facilitator, producer and director who first engaged with TBTL whilst working with local communities on the production of Jacaranda in 2021.

"When I spent time in Cumbria for the first time in autumn last year; I fell in love with the place. Getting to know the local community was a real honour, so I couldn't have been more chuffed to be asked to be an Associate Artist at Theatre by the Lake. I'm looking forward to building relationships, bringing new work and finding, developing and nurturing talent in and across Cumbria and I'm thrilled to be able to do that at the beautiful Theatre by the Lake."

Liz Stevenson, Artistic Director said: “Lee, Louie and Melina have already shared their ideas, support, and creativity over the last few years, during a period of closure, reflection, and innovation for the theatre. This announcement acknowledges their value to the organisation and commits to a longer period of involvement that will undoubtedly enrich the theatre. We are grateful to them and to the community of artists who are passionate about supporting creativity in Cumbria, and we are excited about our future.”