FESTIVAL CITY THEATRES TRUST LAUNCHES YOUNG PEOPLE’S THEATRE COMPANY

FESTIVAL CITY THEATRES TRUST LAUNCHES YOUNG PEOPLE’S THEATRE COMPANY

The Festival City Theatres Trust, which runs the Festival and King’s Theatres in Edinburgh, is delighted to announce the launch of The Attic Collective, a new theatre company for young people working with director Susan Worsfold (pictured left).

The Attic Collective will run as a repertory theatre company. It will be a unique free talent development initiative offering professional training, industry access and performance opportunities. The Collective will be offering a year’s free training to 20 talented members, aged 16-25, following two rounds of auditions, the first to take place at the King’s Theatre 15-17 September. During the course of the summer, the theatres will provide free audition technique workshops to help prepare those interested in getting involved.  

The Attic Collective will produce a contemporary, a classical and a musical performance each year on the main stages of the Festival and King’s Theatres.

The first production from The Attic Collective will be the World Premiere of Jo Clifford’s War in America, with performances at the King’s Theatre, 27 & 28 January 2017. War in America is a hard-hitting portrait of a degenerate European democracy, rife with corruption, hypocrisy, division and distrust, set against the backdrop of a religious war in America.

Susan Worsfold trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has since worked across the UK as a director, voice teacher and actress, specialising in the Nadine George Voice Work of Voice Studio International, where she is one of only fourteen accredited teachers worldwide. Susan works closely with Jo Clifford, and has directed The Gospel According To Jesus and Queen of Heaven.

Jo Cliffordis one of Scotland's leading playwrights. She has been working in the theatre for over thirty years; she is the author of over 80 plays in every dramatic medium; and her work has been translated into several languages and produced throughout the world.

On the launch of The Attic Collective, Duncan Hendry, Chief Executive of the Festival City Theatres Trust said: ‘‘The Attic Collective will be an important new platform for emerging talent in Scotland and our first season will celebrate the diversity, vibrancy and talent of Scotland’s youth, with fearless new voices. Much has been said about the current challenges young people from disadvantaged and ‘diverse’ backgrounds face trying to access the theatre industry. We hope the opportunities and training offered by the Attic Collective will begin to make an impact on this challenge within Scotland.’

Susan Worsfold commented on her appointment as Director: ‘I am so happy and honoured to lead The Attic Collective ensemble as a landmark venture for the Festival City Theatres Trust. 

To support young artists in the initial stages of their careers and to do so on such prestigious stages is hugely exciting. I cannot wait to collaborate with Scotland's emerging theatre talent to create locally sourced, internationally relevant work and I look forward to welcoming artists and audiences alike to our new community.’

On the choice of War in America as the first play to be performed by the new theatre company for young people in Scotland, playwright Jo Clifford said: ‘I am so pleased that The Attic Collective are staging my War in America; and very proud they should have chosen it as their inaugural production.

I was deeply involved in training actors at Queen Margaret University, and it is something I still feel passionately about. So I am especially pleased that my play will be an important milestone in these young artists’ career.

War in America was commissioned by a Scottish theatre company in the early nineties and then rejected by them as being “too offensive”. This had hurt me deeply, and in fact I hadn’t read it since that time. So it’s a source of great pleasure and satisfaction for me now to re-read it and discover it still has so much to say in 2017.’

Recent drama graduate, Festival and King’s Theatres employee and student ambassador, Connor Davies says: 'The Attic Collective will be a fantastic opportunity for any acting graduate. I've just graduated and I'm finding it very difficult to get a job because there isn't a lot of professional work on my CV but with The Attic Collective I would be taking part in professional work and be working with some of the industry’s best. I think it is a brilliant concept and essential for any young actor serious about getting into the theatre industry.'

For more information about getting involved in The Attic Collective, please contact Producer and Learning & Participation Officer, Catrin Sheridan, catrin.sheridan@edtheatres.com
 


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