Theatr Gen Creu is a new initiative that supports talent, develops theatre craft and offers unique opportunities to artists in Wales with the aim of:
- developing and presenting a variety of new theatre works in the Welsh language that are of a high standard
- nurturing Welsh-language theatre artists for the future.
In 2018, Theatr Gen Creu’s programme will include:
- Productions of works by two new playwrights
- Presentations of works-in-progress
- Training and mentoring opportunities
Productions: Works by new playwrights
Estron, an alternative and contemporary play by Hefin Robinson, will be touring Wales during the months of April and May. This mischievous yet heart-rending work won the Drama Medal at the 2016 National Eisteddfod, and the production at the Cwt Drama on the Maes of the 2017 National Eisteddfod was extremely well received by reviewers and audiences alike. Lowri Cooke said that the play was “one that must be experienced” and “… fresh and funny, causing a veritable explosion of memories in the viewer’s head.” The team that brought the play to life in 2017 will remain in place for the tour – with Janet Aethwy directing a cast that includes Gareth Elis, Ceri Elen and the voice of Elin Llwyd. Estron will be touring throughout Wales, and will be available to venues by way of the Night Out scheme. This scheme, run by the Arts Council of Wales, works in partnership with Local Authorities to help groups of volunteers throughout Wales bring professional productions to community venues. Full details of the Night Out scheme are available on the website nightout.org.uk. Estron will be presented in association with the National Eisteddfod of Wales and Carmarthenshire Theatres.
Milwr yn y Meddwl
During the 2018 National Eisteddfod at Cardiff, we will be presenting Milwr yn y Meddwl by Heiddwen Tomos, the play that won the Drama Medal at the Anglesey National Eisteddfod 2017. This is a hard-hitting work that throws light on the experience of a soldier who is returning to his family and his community after serving his country in the Iraq War. Milwr yn y Meddwl will be a co-production between Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru and the Sherman Theatre, in partnership with the National Eisteddfod of Wales. Further details will be available soon.
Presentations of works-in-progress
Nyrsys and Merched yn Bennaf
With 2018 marking the centenary of British women’s victory to secure the right to vote, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru – as part of a series of events celebrating the role of women in creating theatre in Wales – will be presenting in April, at the Wales Millennium Centre, two evenings of readings of works-in-progress, starting with a presentation of Nyrsys by Bethan Marlow on 17 April. This will be an opportunity to enjoy a taster of the full production that will follow in November.
Then, on 18 April, we will be presenting Merched yn Bennaf, a presentation of other new works by women that are currently under development by the company. More details about Merched yn Bennaf will follow soon.
Creu yn y Cwt
We will be continuing our partnership with the National Eisteddfod of Wales and providing a feast of theatre as part of the festival at the Pentref Drama (drama Village), which will incorporate Theatr y Maes and the Cwt Drama, although these venues will be slightly different this year at Cardiff. As part of the programme for the Cwt Drama, which will be located at the Wales Millennium Centre, we will be presenting Creu yn y Cwt, a series of readings and presentations of new works that are currently under development by the company, and written by a variety of writers – some at the start of their careers, and others who are experienced or emerging writers. This programme will offer these writers an opportunity to take risks and to be bold and playful with their craft. In addition, it will provide a stage for the company to give a glimpse of some of the works that are currently under development. Further details regarding the Creu yn y Cwt programme will be available in the near future.
Training and Mentoring
As part of the company’s commitment to nurture new talent, and to provide opportunities for professional development in the field of Welsh-language Theatre, we have created two new schemes for this year, namely Awenau: A Mentoring Scheme for Directors and Theatre-makers, and Grŵp Awduron (Writers’ Group)/ We have also joined forces with The Other Room, Cardiff’s pub theatre, to offer a unique opportunity for Welsh-language female playwrights.
Awenau: A Mentoring Scheme for Directors and Theatre-makers
This scheme will offer a training and mentoring opportunity to directors and theatre-makers who are at the start of their careers, or who are already working in the sector but wish to change direction or extend their experience. The aim is to inspire prospective creative leaders of the theatre in Wales, and develop their skills, in order to help them to grab hold of the creative leadership reins. The scheme will include a varied programme of masterclasses with experienced theatre practitioners. It will also include an opportunity for everyone who is part of the scheme to work as an Assistant Director on one of the company’s productions, a chance to shadow and to be involved in the work of developing the company’s new scripts, together with spending a residential period at Y Llwyfan, the home of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. More details, and information on how to apply, will be available soon.
The aim of this scheme is to create opportunities for new and emerging theatre writers, and to support the development of the craft and skills of those who are eager to write in Welsh for the theatre. The group will be open to writers of all ages, and will offer an opportunity to take part in a number of workshops in various locations throughout Wales in the company of experienced playwrights and directors. The writers will write a new play, and will be given detailed feedback by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s creative team; this will be followed by a period of re-drafting and, eventually, to a reading of their work. More details, and information regarding how to apply, will be available soon.
The Violet Burns Award for Playwrights
Within the next couple of months, in association with with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, The Other Room – Cardiff’s pub theatre – will be announcing the winner of the Violet Burns Award for Playwrights. This is an opportunity for a female playwright, writing in Welsh, to see her work being developed and presented by The Other Room. When the winner has been announced, The Other Room – in association with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru – will work with the successful author to develop a new play, with the aim of staging the work in 2019. More details are available here.
Further details regarding the other partners involved in these initiatives will be available soon.
Several of the Theatr Gen Creu schemes will be led by Sarah Bickerton, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru’s Associate Director. This is what Sarah had to say about this new venture:
“I’m looking forward immensely to welcoming a host of authors, directors and theatre-makers to us over the year, to examine, to experiment and to be brave! My hope is that the venture will be an inspiration and an exciting starting-point for them and their ideas.”
Arwel Gruffydd, Artistic Director of Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, said about Theatr Gen Creu:
“New writing is central to the company’s work, and we are extremely pleased to be able to support writers and theatre-makers who are starting out, or those who need support to take their next steps. We look forward to putting these ambitious plans in place, to working together with our various partners, and to welcoming a group of talented and committed artists who are eager to develop their craft and who are the foundation of Welsh-language Theatre today and to the future.”