So pleased to be able to announce that we have been given our first choice of play for National Theatre Connections 2015
REMOTE by fantastic up and coming Scottish playwright STEF SMITH
Not only is our playwright a fellow Scot, but also her beautifully written play gives us the chance to do something very “artistically” different with this year’s NT Connection entry
PACE were lucky to have the very first ‘test’ read through of the script back in MAY with Stef herself and Anthony Banks, the Head of National Theatre Learning.
Those that took part in the initial read through, got to experience what it was like to have the playwright in the space with them when the words were heard read for the first time – this is a rare opportunity in NTC and we were very lucky to be chosen for this.
(The only chance you usually have to meet the playwright at Connections is at the Directors Weekend and that is a privilege for the director only)
The play this year is unlike both the previous Connections projects and although HERITAGE will live long in both my memory and PACE memories, as a powerful ground breaking piece of theatre , it is now time to close the book on this NTC 14 theatre chapter and move forward to the next.
NTC 2015 awaits…
With REMOTE :
I hope to have a slightly larger cast for this production – something that hasn’t been done yet.
There are a few parts but much of the play is told through the role of the CHORUS – a bit like the idea of Bertolt Brecht’s Control Chorus. A story teller removed from the play but integral to it.
The performance of CHORUS will be a challenging dramatic device and I hope to use physical theatre more through the production as a means of expressing the epic and poetic nature of the text.
That and the strong central cast of 8 or so young actors who can carry the passion of the meaning of the words that contain the global message of this unusual and engaging short play
REMOTE is an important message for the younger generation – but also more importantly for us all – at any age or time in our lives: To always keep the channels of communication open , to remember the world about you and not to live in a microcosm of your own small existence . To step back from the world at times and question what is going on for better reasons.
I really look forward to debating the meaning of life with the cast I choose for this – we can teach one another a lot through the process – sharing and caring about our future through the power of more ‘affective’ Youth Theatre.
Youth Theatre is meant to change the world we live in , it is meant to shake us from our apathy and to think about life on so many more levels than just ” stage performance”
REMOTE will let us climb our creative tree and look down at our human environment with fresh open eyes – and that , in my fave words, is “not a bad thing ”
Excited to be a part of this NTC project ?(I know I am already imagining the setting and style of the action).
I always look for a sign when it comes to my play choices:
With the GUFFIN it was the name of the playwright Howard Brenton ( a hero of mine from drama school days )
With HERITAGE it was the fact that Scotland was preparing for the year of its potential independence and we were all of us thinking of what it was to be Scottish .
With REMOTE ..who knows …on the Eve of the Independence Referendum and this young Scottish playwright with a ‘braver heart’ , maybe national Connections, from this to last year , has finally come full Caledonia circle !
If not…then maybe just the idea of doing a play with A Scottish based Youth Theatre and a Scottish playwright is personally very appealing.
I imagine how the Welsh Youth Theatre Company who were doing Heritage by Welsh playwright Daffyd James felt this year and how proud they must have been to represent Wales in London at the final NTC Summer Festival.
There is something very satisfying about knowing you are delivering the work of a home grown creative talent to home grown creatively talented youth !
National Theatre Connections is open to all PACE members age 13-19.
A certain level of experience is needed but this doesn’t prevent anyone auditioning in the early stages, even if they don’t have much experience of show/ theatre work in PACE.
The project begins rehearsing in January 2015 and runs till March 2015 when the first Home Theatre Performances will take place in the Wynd Theatre.
Thereafter we will perform in Edinburgh and hopefully for the first time this year, in the new Partner Theatre venue of the celebrated Traverse Theatre”.
The final stage , the “London experience” is not really a part of the project , but a fantastic bonus if and only if our production is selected to represent the play at the closing festival in July at the National Theatre, in the South Bank in London.
250 Youth Theatre Companies take part in Connections each year and only 10 are taken on to London. But being a part of the whole Home and Partner experience is something that will change you forever.
Those now interested in taking part in NT Connections 2015 should ask their drama worker/ director for more details.
Further information will be posted on this blog page in November about the audition process – so watch this space.
But in the meantime – let’s be happy that we get the chance to be part of Connections 2015 again and for PACE, to be able to encourage new talent through this exciting creative process and on to a more National YOUTH Theatre Stage
Go REMOTE…Go STEF!…Go National Theatre CONNECTIONS!!