Love Theatre was founded in 2014 by teacher and director Michelle Smith, and began solely as an academy for young performers in Jersey. With her experience also as theatre maker, Love Theatre quickly evolved and began to also create theatrical work for the public. Love Theatre Productions was then born and focusses on making shows that are educational, political and/or aim to be interventionist in some way. The shows may travel into schools, or take place at a public venue or theatre, but they all aim to be relevant, engaging, supportive and enrich its’ audiences through its content and style.
The grants and support Love Theatre received from Arthouse Jersey allowed them to produce “Home”, which was performed at The Jersey Arts Centre in January 2017. Home is a show in two parts dealing with Jersey’s response to the refugee crisis. For the research and development phase of the show, funding allowed the company to enlist the support of Jemma McDonnell, an award winning political theatre director from the UK, to help write and mould part 1 of the show. Then, through further applications, funding and support were given to enable an invitation to three former refugee performers (based in Holland) and a Dutch theatre practitioner to Jersey to form part 2 of the show. Our visitors rehearsed and devised their part of the show in Jersey supported directly by Arthouse Jersey.
'The process, the show, the public response - it was overwhelming. In numerical terms, the show sold out, over 500 people attended. However, through social media, and the consistent coverage in the Jersey Evening Post, it is fair to say that at the time of the production a large proportion of the Island were responding in some way to the refugee crisis, and the production “Home”. States members attended the show, its content was discussed in the states chamber, and as a community of theatre makers and audience members (no matter the origin) the show was momentous.' - Michelle, Love Theatre.