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Business / National recognition for innovative ALICE theatre project

Founder Stephenie Pagulayan describes reaching finals as “the icing on the cake”.

The ALICE theatre project is a social enterprise that promotes classes for all ages.
ALICE founder Stephenie Pagulayan.

A LOCAL theatrical social enterprise project has received national recognition by reaching the finals of the “converge creative challenge” business competition this week.

ALICE Theatre Project, founded and led by Stephenie Pagulayan, promotes creative theatre classes and workshops for people of all ages. Recently classes have been delivered by Zoom due to Covid-19 restrictions, and socially-distanced drama classes will begin in October.

It is one of five businesses to reach the final and Professor Andrea Nolan of Napier University in Edinburgh said that “whatever the outcome, being here tonight is a huge success”.

The judges assessed the ALICE project’s proposal, which included an exciting new pilot project developed in collaboration with Ability Shetland. The Imaginarium project aims to support community organisations to develop and create their own socially-engaged art event tailored to their own outcomes and community needs.

The judges were also impressed by the innovative ALICE “handbook to the imagination”, developed with the Shetland community during lockdown, which will provide a “one stop shop” for families seeking to develop their creative imagination at home.

Stephenie said she was delighted to have reached the converge finals this year: “The training and support we won as semi-finalists was already first class. To then go on to reach the finals was the icing on the cake!”

She is passionate about promoting creativity and unlocking potential in others. The judges shared her enthusiasm for her business goals and how she plans to achieve them.

Stephenie told the panel: “As a child you look up at the sky and you don’t see clouds. You see castles, pirate ships and dragons. I want to help people tap into that imagination, creativity and self-belief while developing skills to help overcome obstacles.”