Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru today announces a new programme of work in response to the Coronavirus crisis. By celebrating past successes, responding to the current situation and preparing for the future, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru will support Wales’ theatre artists during this time and offer new and alternative Welsh-language cultural experiences for its audiences in Wales and beyond.
The programme includes three aspects:
- Theatr Gen Eto [Theatr Gen Again]: an opportunity for audiences to enjoy past productions on screen
- Creu Ar-lein [Create On-line]: commissioning and creating original digital dramatic works during social distancing, and developing new stage work for the future via digital platforms
- Pawb Ar-lein [Everyone On-line]: offering educational resources and participatory activities on digital platforms
Theatr Gen Eto [Theatr Gen Again]
As theatres across Wales are closed at the moment, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru is launching Theatr Gen Eto today to offer opportunities for audiences to enjoy some of the company’s productions on screen. By releasing content from its extensive archive, the company will share a number of its previous productions on its YouTube channel and also on the new digital platform AM online at amam.cymru or by downloading the ap on amam.cymru/ambobdim) in order to reach a wide and varied audience, ensuring that Welsh-language content is available online, alongside the ever-growing repertoire and opportunities to see English-language theatre in this way. English subtitles will be available on some of this archive material.
Llygoden yr Eira will be the first production released from the archive on 15 April 2020. This enchanting show for small children is a co-production between Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Theatr Iolo and is based on the original production, Snow Mouse by the egg and Travelling Light. This production proved hugely popular with audiences across Wales last December, and now, it will be available to view on the AM platform and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and Theatr Iolo’s YouTube channels for an entire fortnight from 11am on 15 April 2020.
Creu Ar-lein [Create On-line]
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru responds to the challenge of creating original dramatic work within a period of social distancing with Creu Ar-lein, a series of original plays or dramatic presentations to be shared on digital platforms, as well as continuing their artistic development work online. In order to offer employment for artists during these challenging and uncertain times, and to continue with our activities while theatres are closed, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru is working with a number of partners in the cultural and creative sectors to present this comprehensive and diverse programme of work.
As part of Creu Ar-lein, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru has already announced a call-out for New Digital Commissions, alongside National Theatre Wales and in partnership with BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Arts. This partnership, which forms part of National Theatre Wales’ Network programme, will offer opportunities for Wales’ theatre artists to respond creatively to the current situation and create new and exciting performance pieces for digital platforms. The intention is to produce up to 3 new commissions a month for the next 3 months; the two companies are already welcoming applications. The first submission deadline is 17 April. There will be further opportunities to submit applications in May and June.
Also, as a touring theatre company, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru will continue to develop and plan new theatre works for stages across Wales with its programme of creative development work which will make use of digital technology during these next few weeks and months in order to look beyond this current period of social restrictions.
Pawb Ar-lein [Everyone On-line]
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s education and participatory activities are key to its mission of placing Welsh-language theatre at the heart of the nation. So the company is launching Pawb Ar-lein to continue these activities on digital platforms.
Pawb Ar-lein will include the launch of an Education Archive on the company’s website to support Drama and Welsh studies at secondary schools, universities and further education colleges. The Education Archive – which is in development – will include comprehensive education packs, interviews with key members of production and artistic teams and exclusive access to the company’s archive material.
The company will announce further projects and activities as part of Theatr Gen Eto, Creu Ar-lein and Pawb Ar-lein over the coming weeks.
Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru is also keen to support those who are just starting out in the industry. The company is working alongside National Theatre Wales and a number of other companies and organisations to welcome 2020 theatre and performance graduates to the Welsh theatre scene. The company’s Associate Director, Sarah Bickerton, will offer her time and advice to Welsh-speaking graduates over the coming weeks through a series of one-on-one digital meetings. You can book a slot with Sarah here.
Although Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru has had to cancel the national tours of Tylwyth and Pryd Mae’r Haf? due to the Coronavirus crisis, their ambition is to present these productions again in the near future. All contracted payments for the artists and freelance theatre workers associated with these productions were paid in full. The company has also had to cancel its many participation projects and their plans for the 2020 Ceredigion National Eisteddfod have also been revised or postponed until next year.
Arwel Gruffydd, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Artistic Director, said:
“Without a doubt, none of us have seen here in Wales anything like the situation in which we now find ourselves. Our theatres have had to close, and so many wonderful cultural projects have had to be cancelled or postponed. We too as a company have had to take very painful decisions in bringing so many productions and activities to an abrupt end. Many companies, artists and free-lance workers in the theatre sector are facing a very worrying time. But in the midst of all of this there is a spirit of community and a real desire to collaborate, and the current restrictions on our movement and our ability to gather together requires of us to be creative and super imaginative. Every great work of art was created under some restriction or other, in every age. I’m therefore delighted that we too as a company have been able to rise to this challenge with enthusiasm and creativity. Theatr Gen Eto will be a widely accessible resource that will offer people in all four corners of the world the opportunity to enjoy some of Theatr Gen’s recent and most popular productions. Some people, I’m sure, will be glad to experience once again some productions that they recently enjoyed, and others will have another opportunity to catch up with a few productions that they missed when they were first staged. And I’m confident that the projects that are underway with regard to Creu Ar-lein and Pawb Ar-lein will not only offer employment opportunities to a great many in the theatre sector, but will also fire the imagination of our audiences, our participants and our artists while our theatres remain closed. I’m sure that we all can’t wait to get together again to enjoy live theatre, be that in our wonderful theatres or in unexpected locations. Meanwhile these projects, I hope, will go some of the way to keep us busy and amused.”
8 April 2020