As we enter April, a few events recently have prompted me to reflect on the way theatre with young people has changed. I was re-reading Lachlan Philpott’s new work Michael Swordfish (which is about to be published by Currency Press) and I was struck by the remarkable level of sophistication, subtlety and detail Lachlan delivers in this work for a large teenage cast. It was commissioned and produced by Newington College and is being presented at ATYP next month as part of the 'Homeroom Series'. It is a truly beautiful play that does what good theatre should do, it gives us a glimpse into lives that are a little different to our own, but with all the complexities and contradictions that are so familiar.
Alongside Michael Swordfish, ATYP and The Arts Unit are presenting Girls Like That by English playwright Evan Placey. It is also a work for teenagers, and was first performed at The Young REP in Birmingham in 2013 before being picked up by companies around the UK and the world. Both these plays have been specifically developed for schools and youth theatres, and the integrity and artistic rigor of the writing is exceptional. Increasingly we are seeing works that are written for teenagers finding their way onto stages nationally and internationally.
ATYP was very honoured this week to receive the 2016 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award. The award positions ATYP amongst an iconic collection of Australian companies including DARK MOFO, The Brandenburg Orchestra, Circa, Ilbigerri Theatre Company and Windmill Theatre who have won in past years. It is not that many years ago that the prospect of a youth theatre company winning one of the nation’s major awards for artistic excellence seemed somewhat impossible. Increasingly we are discovering there are no boundaries to what can be achieved.
Of course while I’ve been gazing out the window thinking about Artistic stuff things continue to move on around the office at breakneck speed. The Easter Bunny should be wrapping the eggs and labelling the last express post deliveries all set for the Autumn holidays. We still have a few places left in some of the holiday workshops so get in quickly if you are looking for creative fun this Easter. For those looking for a good cause ATYP’s annual fundraising appeal has been launched. Your support makes a huge difference.
For a full outline on all that’s happening check out the details below.
Until next month