Plays for Today – 1st blog post

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To celebrate Right Here, Right Now, our fifteenth annual Youth Theatre Festival, we have asked three young bloggers to follow the festival and report from the rehearsal rooms. For this year’s festival, Live’s Youth Theatre are creating four evenings of entertainment around the theme of current affairs. The festival runs from Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 August.

Plays for Today – 1st blog post
By Hannah Morpeth

Live’s Youth Theatre gives people from across the city aged from 11 to their early twenties a chance to be involved in theatre in many different ways. The next two weeks sees Live Theatre taken over by young people as part of their annual Youth Theatre Festival in a variety of different projects, one of which being Plays for Today.

In line with this year’s theme: current affairs, Plays for Today is a devising project based around recent news headlines. The headlines are given to the young people without their matching news stories to enable them to rewrite the news in any way they like. In a time where there is a lot of doom and gloom in the world this project opens up the opportunity to add light to some very sorry situations.

The forty young people are split into three groups, each with a pair of professional drama workers for support and guidance. Every group has stimulus material of seven headlines from newspapers and online articles and an envelope of visual stimuli also from recent articles. The sets of stimuli are designed to kick-start ideas and there is no set number they have to use out of what they are given. The project is all  “about looking at the world in this moment and in this time” says Drama Worker Philip Hoffmann, whether that be in a serious or comical way.

With a healthy mix of headlines of feminism, politics and a boy expelled for custard pie-ing his teacher in the face the youngsters of Live Theatre have the potential to create theatre based around almost anything from today’s society. If you, like me, can’t wait to see the work produced by the young people of the North East you can get tickets for the performance on Thursday 7 August at 7.30pm here.

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