Today we announce further details for Creu Ar-lein [Create On-line], a new programme of original dramatic work during the coronavirus crisis.
We are delighted to launch a new partnership with BBC Cymru to develop theatrical experiences for our audiences to enjoy on digital platforms during this time.
In this first partnership between our organisations, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Cymru Fyw are working together to create Dramâu Micro [Micro Plays], a series of short plays to be shared on digital platforms. The plays – lasting up to 5 minutes each – will be written by members of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Grŵp Dramodwyr Newydd [New Playwrights’ Group] and will be an opportunity for them to develop their writing skills by experimenting on digital platforms. The plays will be created under social distancing conditions and shared on various digital platforms. The challenge for the playwrights will be to create plays that respond to the current crisis in an imaginative and exciting way. It will also be an opportunity to offer employment to freelance theatre and creative industries workers during a difficult period for the sector, and for our audiences to enjoy plays on-line whilst our theatres are closed. The plays will be available to view online in May and June. Further details will follow and more information about Grŵp Dramodwyr Newydd is available here.
Arwel Gruffydd, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Artistic Director, said:
“This latest initiative by BBC Cymru and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru to create short, digital plays is a brand new partnership that we warmly welcome. We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with key sector partners in order to present dramatic works during a period that is so challenging for us all. But despite the obvious challenges, this period also brings new possibilities in its wake, especially some exciting creative ideas, new ways of working, and new ways of connecting with our audiences. I’m looking forward to working with the BBC, and to seeing fresh ideas for drama being put forward, created, developed and presented on digital platforms by this talented group of new playwrights, who will surely inspire and entertain us.”
Speaking about the new partnership between Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and BBC Cymru, Ynyr Williams from BBC Radio Cymru, said:
“Challenging times, like the present, always offer an opportunity to experiment, to explore new ways of working and to be creative. We’re delighted that BBC Cymru is working alongside Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru on this multi-media project. Radio Cymru and Cymru Fyw are always keen to work with new talents and bringing authors and organisations together is fundamental to our vision. It will be a pleasure and an experience to promote the playwrights’ voices on our digital platforms.”
Alongside National Theatre Wales, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru is also pleased to announce commissions for three theatre artists from Wales as part of New Digital Commissions.
In April, the two companies – in partnership with BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Arts – made a call-out for Wales’ theatre artists to respond creatively to the current situation and create new and innovative dramatic work for digital platforms. The successful artists are Eddie Ladd, Emily Laurens and Justin Teddy Cliffe. Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and National Theatre Wales will now work with the three artists to develop and present their work over the coming weeks. Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru will mainly focus on presenting Eddie Ladd’s project, with National Theatre Wales primarily responsible for the other two projects. More information about the three projects will be announced soon.
Our two companies have already announced a call-out for the second round of submissions for live theatre projects that can be presented on-line as part of New Digital Commissions. The closing date for the next round is 6 May (4pm), and in June there will be a further opportunity to present ideas.
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Artistic Director Arwel Gruffydd said:
“The three commissioned pieces represent the wide range of possibilities with regard to creating theatre online, and the artists themselves all represent very different creative perspectives. Theatr Gen is delighted to have the opportunity to work with Eddie Ladd to create an innovative and intriguing piece of work as part of New Digital Commissions. Eddie is one of our most well-known, audacious and exciting theatre artists, who always challenges us and takes us to new territory. The number and quality of applications received for this programme was extraordinary, but the idea presented by Eddie excited and enthralled all of us on the selection panel.”
Regarding the selection process for the first round of New Digital Commissions, Lorne Campbell, National Theatre Wales’ Artistic Director, added:
“It is a credit to the diversity and depth of the Welsh theatre community that this was such a difficult decision. In this first round we have gone with three applications that have approached the idea of liveness in a digital space and explored the possibility of form with real innovation.”
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru are also offering two further elements as part of their artistic programme during this period:
- Theatr Gen Eto: This is an opportunity for audiences to enjoy past productions on screen whilst our theatres are closed. By releasing content from our extensive archive, the company will share a number of its past productions on its own YouTube channel and also on the new digital platform, AM (on-line at amam.cymru or by downloading the ap at amam.cymru/ambobdim). Llygoden yr Eira – a show for young children in a co-production with Theatr Iolo – was the first production to be released and we have just announced that Nos Sadwrn o Hyd by Roger Williams will be the second production presented as part of the Theatr Gen Eto’s programme. Welsh and English closed captions (or subtitles) will be available on almost all these screenings. More information about Theatr Gen Eto is available here.
- Pawb Ar-lein: We will continue with our educational and participatory activities on digital platforms during this perios. This strand of work includes the launch of our Archif Addysg / Education Archive on our website over the forthcoming weeks in order to support those studying Drama and Welsh in secondary schools, universities and further education colleges.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will announce further plans and activities as part of Theatr Gen Eto, Creu Ar-lein and Pawb Ar-lein.
1 May 2020