Oct 24, 2020

#LeiaSiteSpotlight: Connor Strange on Theatre, Mental Health and Charity

Connor Strange is a 25-year-old freelance theatre technician & event crew member from Wales, United Kingdom. When he’s not managing the stage and operating lights, he enjoys walking, listening to music, and volunteering.

Strange hasn’t always had a great interest in theatre, though. In 2014, he volunteered at Eden FM Radio, a local community radio station. At the station, Strange was able to develop his skills in presenting and producing high-caliber shows, which went on to serve him during his theatre career. Towards the end of his time there, Strange got the chance to create and present his own show. His show was a success and at the end of its run, he received the opportunity to volunteer with Eden FM again. Strange accepted and went on the produce several more shows.

Strange continued to follow his passion for volunteering and ended up working with a local amateur theatre company called the Penrith Players. This was his first time working in technical theater and solidified what he wanted to spend the rest of his life doing. This experience led him to work on two more productions in 2017, and in November 2019 was offered the job of working on the lighting team for a regional pantomime. “I was primarily involved as a Follow Spot Operator, which is operating a light to shine light onto the actors/actresses so they are visible on stage. So many theatrical productions use follow spot operators, musicians and bands use them as well.”

One year later, Strange volunteered with Time to Change Wales, a national campaign aimed at ending discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. He went on to become a Time to Change Wales Champion and delivered anti-stigma talks to organizations and groups across South Wales.

“As someone who has mental health problems, and has faced stigma and discrimination, I felt that it was the right thing to speak out about my experiences.”

Currently, Strange is at university studying Theatre Design and Production and live streams video games in his spare time. He recently held a 12-hour charity live stream where he raised money for the UK charity Acting for Others. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 has decimated the live events, entertainment and theatre industries,” stated Strange, but Acting for Others “supports theatre workers going through a difficult time, whether that is through illness, injury, or circumstance.” Strange was able to raise £250 for the charity and is proud he was able to highlight such an amazing cause. He has another live stream planned for next year and will have more details posted on his website soon.

Strange mainly uses his Leia website as a portfolio, but also uses it to provide project updates and write blog posts. “Having a website has really helped me and given me a sense of identity and credibility in this digital age of working,” said Strange. “I have found Leia to be extremely useful with so many good features — the UI has been amazing! It’s so easy to use with everything you need at your fingertips. It’s also so cheap to use. I would highly recommend Leia to anyone wanting to set up a website — whether that is for a hobby, business, or portfolio.”

You can check out his website here, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Photographs by Jermin Productions