Welcome to February, awards season! It’s the time of year when the arts community is applauding the wisdom and sensitivity of critics, academies, audiences and their peers – or sitting with the forced self-control of a beagle with a biscuit on its nose trying not to shout “Why is the world so unkind!”.
ATYP was all about the wisdom and sensitivity last week at the Sydney Theatre Awards. We were overjoyed to receive ‘Best production for young people’ for Mitchell Butel and Lucy Bermingham’s magnificent production of Spring Awakening. This is the third consecutive year ATYP has won that category in the Sydney Theatre Awards. Lucy also walked away with the gong for ‘Best Musical Direction’. ATYP is also honoured to have both Spring Awakening and The Big Dry nominated for the 2016 Glugs Theatre Awards this year. Our goal at ATYP has always been to have our productions recognised alongside those companies that we love and admire locally and nationally. It’s a great honour for us and a credit to the talent of the young people we work with to be included in these industry events.
As always the year has kicked off with a bang. Over 400 young people came through the doors for the Summer Workshop program. I got to spend a week with an amazing group of young people from all over NSW as part of our Sydney Festival Residency. It’s been a few years since I’ve spent a week facilitating workshops and it was an inspiring reminder of the talent, maturity, intelligence and creativity of young Australians.
At the same time the cast of Intersection hit the rehearsal room. You can meet them in a short video here. This beautiful new production showcases the work of ten of Australia’s leading young playwrights in the safe hands of director Katrina Douglas. The show previews tonight and runs for the next two weeks only, so get in quickly for tickets.
The beginning of every year brings some changes to the faces in the office. We were sad to farewell our Scholarship winners Yve Blake and Belinda Locke this week as they partied in LA with G’day USA and the Australian Theatre Company. Have to say they don’t look that sad in the facebook posts. I suspect they’re grieving on the inside! Our thoughts are with them for their showcase presentations this Saturday which marks the official end of their residency. Stay tuned for the announcement of this year’s Scholarship winners very soon.
We are also thrilled to welcome our new Resident Playwright for 2017, Tasnim Hossain. Tasnim has participated in ATYP’s National Studio and the Fresh Ink mentoring program and has an impressive body of politically charged work behind her. We’re looking forward to having her as part of our creative team this year.
ATYP is also excited to be hosting a very special Cameo season later this month. Presented in partnership with the Sydney Mardi Gras, Political Children by Inner West Youth Theatre is a very smart, honest, detailed interrogation of the decision to axe Australia’s Safe Schools program. I saw this production late last year in Ashfield and was enthralled. We are so pleased to be able to bring it back for a return season. Please don’t miss this outstanding piece of theatre.
So that’s it from me, a long introduction this month. If you’ve read through this far, thanks. Hopefully I’ll see you at one of our shows or events sometime this month.