Freedom Studios was born from the successful and pioneering Asian Theatre School which started life in 1997 as a partnership between Red Ladder Theatre Company and Theatre in the Mill.
These organisations recognised the lack of artistic and creative provision for Asian young people in Yorkshire and that movement and opportunities into the arts industry was sorely lacking.
In 2002, Red Ladder Theatre Company employed Madani Younis (now artistic director of the Bush Theatre) as the full time Director of Asian Theatre School. During his tenure the company created original work that was critically acclaimed for breaking new artistic ground and reflecting the diversity of its artists. Younis wrote and devised in collaboration with the company a number of productions including including:
- Streets of Rage (2002), a response to the Bradford riots.
- Silent Cry (2003/04), a story about a death in police custody that toured nationally.
- Freeworld (2004) developed through an international collaboration with Studio Theatre, Damascus, Syria.
- Torn (2004) a half hour television drama developed in collaboration with the BBC, and scripted by Ray Grewal.
- Caravan (2005), a collaboration with West Yorkshire Playhouse, inspired by the painter Caravaggio that explored the everyday lives of those living within our cities and communities.
In 2007 Freedom Studios was established as a new contemporary theatre company to develop and widen the scope of its creative theatre work. Its debut piece was a national tour of a new work Happy and Married? written and directed by Madani Younis. In 2011 Freedom Studios produced the critically acclaimed The Mill – City of Dreams a site specific promenade piece of theatre based on the lives of former mill workers in the city of Bradford. In December 2011 Madani Younis moved onto the Bush Theatre and Deborah Dickinson became Creative Producer. Projects and productions included:
- Bollywood for Dummies (2013)
- Home Sweet Home (2014), toured to the Albany in London and ARC in Stockton
- Osmosis (2014)
- Brief Encounters at Bradford Interchange (2015), a promenade piece at the train station.
In 2015 Aisha Khan and Alex Chisholm became the new co-Artistic Directors of Freedom Studios.
Projects which have taken place:
- ChipShopTheMusical by Emma Hill, co production with Bolton Octagon, 2016
- North Country by Tajinder Singh Hayer, Autumn 2016/Spring 2017
- Street Voices 6 – Autumn 2017-Spring 2017