The very best ideas in life need a spark of inspiration. What may seem like a “half-baked” thought at the time, can snowball into something spectacular further down the line.
That’s certainly true for Sarah Hahn, the Art Events Coordinator for Marjon Arts Centre.
Sarah has been in the role for about eight months. This follows a successful stage and production career and background for theatres in the West End and across the UK.
She explains: “I love the theatre. It’s amazing how artistic and production choices can transport an audience to anywhere in the globe. And they can tell so many different stories.
“Growing up in a working-class family, I often saw art exhibitions, theatres and universities as something for ‘other people’.
“It wasn’t until my later teenage years that I began feeling truly comfortable in artistic spaces.
“My inspiration changes every week when I get a new half-baked idea about what we could do at Marjon Arts Centre!
“It’s important to me that it can become a place with something for everyone – and that will take time.
“If I can programme and co-ordinate art events that engage the community and reach different audiences, then that is a massive win for me.
“If children and young people can come away from the Arts Centre with a positive experience of the arts, then that’s great!”
Sarah is currently working on her vision of making Marjon Arts Centre a hub for Plymouth and the local area.
She hopes the events will start to reach different communities in Plymouth and more people will begin to engage with the Centre.
The dedicated team hosts a lot of children’s theatre and dance performances. They also open the theatre to families who can celebrate their little one’s achievements on stage.
Sarah admits: “The Quad Theatre is a perfect midscale venue. So, there’s a lot of scope for using it for completely different things.
“We’ve programmed some really exciting names in comedy recently such as Sindhu Vee and Chris McCausland. So, it’s fun to think about who we could get next.
“Seeing audiences who come for the comedy belly laughing is always rewarding!
“I’ve also been working alongside artist William Luz for the Pollenize beehive that we have in our allotment. It has created a real buzz on campus. Pun fully intended. Every day is different.”
Sarah says the genuine warmth in the people of Plymouth is what she has enjoyed the most since moving back from London.
“That and enjoying a bagel from the Hutong Café at the Royal William Yard on the weekend,” she laughs. “It’s a beautiful place for my daughter to grow up, with the moors and seaside right on our doorstep.
“Another thing I love about Plymouth is how creative new places and businesses keep popping up all the time.
“The people of Plymouth have the power to make it become whatever it wants to be. And there’s an entrepreneurial spirit in making things happen here.
“Old places are being repurposed, too, and that’s really exciting for building our history into the future of the city.
“If you’re looking for something to do, I would of course recommend catching some of our upcoming performances in The Quad Theatre.
“There are a lot of ‘evening with’-style events coming up. I always find it fascinating hearing other people’s life stories. Or for me, catching a piece of new writing in The Drum is a perfect evening out.”
It’s been a long and exciting journey to get to this point in her career. Sarah is quick to acknowledge those who have helped her along the way.
She explains: “I’ve worked in my fair share of theatres around the UK. But the Theatre Royal Plymouth stands out as the one that developed my career the most. From volunteering in the Young Company to working in the production team on full-scale musicals.
“The work their Engagement and Learning department do truly is life-changing and it changed me from an English student to a theatre professional.
“I tried to say ‘yes’ to every job offered to me. This led me to meet some really great people – including my husband – and work on an array of different productions.
“Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre was also a dream job for me. Working outside in the sun with Andrew Lloyd Webber numbers being belting out – what could be better than that?
Looking to the future, Sarah is keen to make Marjon Arts Centre a place with something for everyone to enjoy.
“It would be really rewarding to see more people who have never been to Marjon before enjoying the art experiences that we can offer,” she says. “It would be great to begin to produce our own work as things progress.”