Marta Drabek

Graduate Engineer

As an Aerospace Engineering graduate I spent a few years in high-value manufacturing, researching sheet metal forming methods where the academia and industry meet. Pursuing more socially-minded engineering, I went to live in the Indian rainforest, investigating roadmaking with the use of waste plastics (and reinvigorating my tree climbing skills). I also revelled in the beauty of craftsmanship by local builders, which stayed with me as I entered the cosy environment of Scottish theatre afterwards. Somewhere along the way I developed an inexplicable thing for trucks, trusses, venue design and ultimately the built environment.

My love affair with live events is far from over, but as the sector came to a merciless halt in 2020, I shifted to dreaming up big plans of becoming a structural engineer. And what better place to do that than Civic, where the kinder, more courageous and joyous version of the world is tangible.

When I don’t do maths, I dance. I watch squirrels destroy my baby plants. I build and tinker. I encourage people to ride bikes and to question where their food comes from. Given the opportunity I will sleep outside and walk barefoot. I never say no to a cup of tea.

The sight of the stage door sign feels like a hug and I always smile and tip my hat to all of the magnificent people who put the magic of performance together. I know that hustle – the rattle of flight cases, the buzz of the impact drivers, the calls of coordinated lifts. And that unique dusty smell, regardless of how old the venue is. The stage door is the portal to that enchanted space backstage. This photograph is of the Edinburgh’s Kings Theatre, taken by Bill Ward in support of the Theatres Trust helping theatres get back on their feet.

Marta Drabek

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