Blog 28/11/2022

Rhiannon Williams' experience as our first Young Resident Playwright

Image of a woman smiling into the camera holding a trophy from the Eisteddfod yr Urdd. The urdd logo is on the medal.

Rhiannon was Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru's first young resident playwright in 2021, after winning the Drama Medal at Eisteddfod T, 2021. Before becoming a young resident playwright, Rhiannon was part of the Young Playwrights Scheme run by Theatr Gen, alongside Urdd Gobaith Cymru and S4C. Thank you, Rhiannon, for your contribution this year.

Here's what Rhiannon had to say about her experience!

  • How did you feel when you won and saw your play in the form of a short film?

It was a very surreal feeling. Writing can be a lonely and isolated process with the characters and the plot living inside your head and nowhere else. So, getting to see a director, cast, and crew interpret my work was a strange experience but also absolutely amazing at the same time. I felt incredibly lucky that other people could see what I had been creating in my head for so long.


  • How was the experience of working with Theatr Gen as our first Young Playwright in Residence?

The past year as Theatr Gen's first Young Playwright in Residence has been a valuable experience. I've learned many useful things during the year, including the process of commissioning plays, the process of researching a piece of work, and how to prepare to stage a production, to name but a few. Also, I had several opportunities to network and to hear about the writing experiences of other Welsh screenwriters.


  • What kind of experiences did you have? Do you feel that these experiences have helped you to develop and in what ways?

Unfortunately, Covid had slightly disrupted my experience but despite the restrictions I had the opportunity to attend Creative Development meetings over Zoom. This meant that I had the opportunity to read ideas, sketches and first drafts of plays and discuss them with the team. But the main experience was receiving the guidance and support of Melangell Dolma, the company's Creative Development Co-ordinator, as I set about putting together my own pitch to present to Theatr Gen.


  • What did you enjoy the most?

Getting to see Theatr Gen's shows. This included Anfamol by Rhiannon Boyle and Tylwyth by Daf James - two plays full of twists and the perfect balance between the funny and tender moments. Being able to watch these clever performances ignited the inspiration in me to continue writing. More than anything, I really enjoyed the session that Theatr Gen organized between me and Rhiannon Boyle where I had the opportunity to ask her about her process of structuring the monologue, Anfamol. A creative conversation I am extremely appreciative of having with her!


  • What are you doing now and what are your hopes for the future in terms of writing / screenwriting?

I've just been on secondment with Pobol y Cwm as Sub-Editor of Scripts (and enjoyed the experience over there!) and now I'm back with S4C as Campaigns Officer (Promotion). I write in my spare time but finding that time can be difficult at times. I've just finished being on the Sherman Writing Circle scheme with seven other Welsh screenwriters. It is hoped that there will be readings of everyone's works in the new year. I am also currently being mentored by Gareth Evans-Jones to write a play for Theatr Fach Llangefni which is exciting. I'm also part of Project '23, which is a joint project between Theatr Gen and the Urdd. As part of the project, I have written a ten-minute script for local pupils to perform at the Urdd Eisteddfod 2023.


  • What would you say to someone who is considering competing for the Urdd Drama Medal in the future?

Go for it! It's a great stimulus to put pen to paper and more than that it's a great opportunity to receive criticism on a piece of work under a pseudonym. And who knows, you might be the next winner of the Urdd Drama Medal and have the opportunity to receive help and guidance from Theatr Gen to develop as a young screenwriter.