We are delighted to publicly announce that our founders and directors, Liz Milne and Clare Haggart, have been awarded British Empire Medals (BEM) for services to theatre and the arts, in the Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List.
The awards recognise the impact the pair have had on the cultural make-up of the North-east, as well as on the lives of the hundreds of adults and thousands of children who have walked through the doors of Phoenix Theatre and Phoenix Youth Theatre over the past 30 years.
Liz and Clare established Phoenix Theatre in the autumn of 1990, having trained under Annie Inglis MBE as part of Attic Theatre, and gaining experience as Assistant Directors in four Aberdeen Student Shows. Their love of theatre and their passion for pushing people to be their best then led to the creation of Phoenix Youth Theatre in 1998.
Throughout their career, Liz and Clare have never aimed to create superstars, but instead to give a generation of young people an appreciation for theatre and to develop life skills, such as teamwork, confidence, respect and discipline.
Thousands of young people have been a part of Phoenix Youth Theatre over the past two decades and many, with fond memories of the “Phoenix Family”, still keep in touch with Liz and Clare.
In addition to their theatrical achievements, Liz and Clare have gladly and proudly given their services to dozens of charities over the years and ensured this is a central part of the Phoenix ethos.
They have put on cabarets and performances for organisations such as CLAN, RNLI, Northsound Cash for Kids, Junior Diabetes, the Bling Fling, and most notably their chosen partner charity – the heavily underfunded Grampian Women’s Aid.
In the case of the latter, they have donated many thousands of pounds to the charity since the millennium and staged two productions aimed solely at raising money and awareness for them in 2015 and 2016. A third will follow in February 2020.
Clare said: “We were both surprised and delighted to have received these Honours.”
Liz added: “To have had the hard work we have done, over so many years, acknowledged this way is truly humbling.”