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York Theatre Royal offers £3,500 commission for new youth play

York Theatre Royal. Photo: De Matos Ryan York Theatre Royal. Photo: De Matos Ryan
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York Theatre Royal has announced an open-call commission for a playwright to pen a new work for its youth theatre.

The venue is searching for a playwright to write a 45-minute play, in a £3,500 commission from York Theatre Royal and York Museums Trust.

It will be performed in and around the Debtors’ Prison cells at York Castle Museum, inspired by research into the building’s history.

The play will be performed by around 25 young actors, aged between 14 and 16.

The theatre said the successful playwright should have written for young people before, and be interested in using museum and archive collections as the basis for their research. The theatre also said it is hoping to explore the female voice in the prison’s history.

Julian Ollive, education associate at the Theatre Royal, said: “We aim to commission the very best plays for young people that provide the best possible performing experience for each young person involved in the project.”

York Theatre Royal Youth Theatre has previously worked with York Castle Museum on a play about the First World War.

The new commission will be performed in March 2018.

Lucy Knock, the museum’s interim learning manager, added: “The museum’s past as a prison to notorious villains, thieves and murderers will provide a rich history for a talented writer to draw on to create an intriguing, thrilling or moving account of what life was like here.

“To see this performed in the original cells will breathe new life into these spaces and allow us to share some of the building’s fascinating stories with new audiences in new ways.”

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