Our Board Pioneer role is designed to offer someone an opportunity to gain experience as part of a Board, without having to take on the responsibility of governance. Over the course of the year, they can develop their skills and have the chance to contribute to the decision-making and strategic direction of our organisation.
We’re pleased to welcome Lintong Zhang to Stellar Quines as our new Board Pioneer. Find out more about her in this Q&A.
Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
I am an emerging playwright from China, now based in Scotland. I am currently completing a Masters of Playwriting and Dramaturgy at the University of Glasgow. My work explores multilingualism, curiously entertaining audiences with a unique brand of satire. More recently, I have been selected by the Scottish Youth Theatre textLAB project where I am exploring what contemporary dark comedy for a global audience could look like.
What similarities or differences have you found between theatre in China and in Scotland?
This is a very good question. It is so good that I need to do a PhD to answer it.
Are there any theatre productions or practitioners who have inspired you?
Lin Manuel Miranda and his Hamilton particularly inspired me. He has revolutionized the theatre industry and made a positive impact on society. I am also influenced by a wide array of theatre productions including Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland, Ball Boys by David Edgar, several short plays by Linda Mclean and A Dream of Red Mansions by Guangtian Zhang.
Why did you apply to be our new Board Pioneer?
Stellar Quines’ aim of achieving greater equality is something that resonates strongly with my motivation for writing as I also focus on fighting against race and gender discrimination.
What was it like being at your first board meeting?
It was the first in-person board meeting since the pandemic so the introduction part was really face-to-face. All the board members with diverse backgrounds were friendly which made me feel much welcome and valued. It was such a fresh experience to discover the importance of good governance and become familiar with processes and reports.
What kind of stories do you think we need to see more of in theatre?
I would like to see a greater number of marginalized communities tell their own stories. The more women of colour, disabled people and queer artists are in the spotlight, the less privileged theatre will be. The diverse perspectives will finally inspire creativity and drive innovation in Scotland.
What was the last thing you saw, read or listened to that you’d recommend to other Quines?
I would highly recommend a short film The Storm Watcher directed by Gerda Stevenson. It was originally written by George Mackay Brown and was filmed in lockdown with mobile phone cameras. The use of light, the prolonged silences, the extreme closeups of the human faces and hands magically remind me of Ingmar Bergman. I was amazed to find out that Gerda Stevenson was a founder of Stellar Quines.