After a month of madness with the National Youth Theatre, NAYD are gearing up for the second Young Critics Weekend (including The Young Critics Panel as part of Dublin Theatre Festival). Coinciding with the Young Critics on Saturday the 3rd of October, we are holding a day of readings of this year’s New Stage commissions.
New Stage seeks to address the shortage of Irish plays written specifically for performance by young people. Last year’s programme included Regional Festivals where youth theatres performed the three commissioned plays: Understanding Marcus by Veronica Coburn; The Terrace by David Parnell; and Two for Joy by Raymond Scannell.
This year, the professional playwrights, who have just delivered their final drafts are Veronica Coburn, Ciarán Gray and Tom Swift. And the plays…
Elizabeth & Mr Darcy? Discuss. by Veronica Coburn
Elizabeth & Mr Darcy? Discuss. …is a choral play about love. It’s also about the Junior Cert and the Leaving Cert and that first exciting/terrifying step beyond second level education. Set against one cycle of the seasons it is choral in form to reflect that which we have in common. We may have much in common but there is also lots to set us apart, so there are individual stories of flirtation, expectation and examination melt down; the individual threads within the collective chorus. Elizabeth & Mr Darcy? Discuss. is particularly suitable for choreographic production.
Pranked by Ciarán Gray
A new town, new school and new friends, hopefully. That’s what faces Fran when she arrives in Kildeglin, not knowing anybody and hoping to fit in. Her wish seems to have come true when she immediately finds herself ‘in’ with the likeable and popular Phil, who eases her into the social scene. But doubts about her new friend begin to creep in when Debra, an annoying but harmless eejit, comes into the picture. In figuring out the difference between practical jokes and mental cruelty, Fran is forced to decide where her loyalties lie and maybe risk sacrificing her new found friendships.
X-FACTORY by Tom Swift
Kylie dreams of becoming a TV talent show star and escaping her manic mother, crazy father, mean sisters and the hell of scrubbing dishes in the family restaurant where chips are the only thing on the menu.
Then along comes mysterious reality TV host Kidd Young Jr, offering fame and fortune. With Kidd’s help Kylie assumes the alter-ego “Cindy” and before you know it she’s the winner of X-Factory. But things get strange when Kidd forces Kylie to take part in “Get this Celebrity out of here”. It’s a reality show where stars live with ordinary families - only this time it’s her own! Now Kylie’s faced with a choice between fame and family.
The three commissioned plays will be available for production following the readings on the 3rd of October. These readings will give youth theatre directors and members an opportunity to get a taste of each of the three plays, through hearing 45-minute extracts from each play. There will also be time for discussion and questions after each reading, facilitated by NAYD’s Training Officer, Dave Kelly.
The event will be in Project Cube, Project Arts Centre, East Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 1. on Saturday the 3rd of October, from 11am-3pm. For more information, contact me at NAYD – 01-8781301 or by email.
Hope to see you there!