We are excited to launch a Writer’s Fellowship to enable four pioneering writers to create radical, challenging and provocative work for young audiences. For 66 years, Theatre Centre has worked with exceptional writers at all stages of their career, supporting them through a raft of opportunities with the objective of making great plays for children and young people. Now, our Writer’s Fellowship seeks to draw attention to that work, attract new blood into the sector and shout loud and proud that this is the most relevant, important and impactful work a theatre artist can do.
The four inaugural Fellows are:
Charlotte Josephine is an award-winning playwright and actor. Represented by Hatton McEwan Penford and The Agency. Bitch Boxer won the Soho Theatre Young Writers Award 2012, the Old Vic New Voices Edinburgh Season 2012, the Clonmel Junction Best Theatre Award 2013, the Holden Street Theatre’s Award 2013 and the Adelaide Fringe Award 2014. “Sweat-slicked and tough, yet sweet and gifted with terrific timing” – The Times. “A pumped up underdog with a big heart” – The Independent. Charlotte’s play ‘Blush’ won The Stage Edinburgh Award 2017. “It’s riveting” The Times. “Vital theatre” The Stage. “Powerful and important theatre” The Telegraph. In 2017 Charlotte won the inaugural BBC Screenplay First Award, and was named on the BBC New Talent Hotlist.
Leo J Skilbeck is a writer and director. They are the Artistic Director of Milk Presents, an associate company of Derby Theatre and formerly the Bush Theatre. Leo’s recent work includes Bullish – a transmasculine odyssey (Milk Presents UK tour 2018), Joan – a drag king play (Milk Presents/Derby Theatre, winner of Fringe First, Off-West End Award) and Big Ben (a monologue for the Young Vic’s My England film series). As director Leo’s work includes: Chekhov’s The Bear / The Proposal (Young Vic), and as Associate Director: Fun Home (Young Vic) and Herons (Lyric Hammersmith).
Nessah Muthy is a multi-awarding Writer’s Guild Award nominated writer, winner of the Character 7 Prize and the Adrian Pagan Award 2018. She has worked with a number of established theatres and arts organisations including: the Royal Court Theatre, Punchdrunk, the National Youth Theatre, Cardboard Citizens, HighTide, Kali Theatre, Theatre Centre, Iris Theatre, Cloakroom Theatre and the Kings Head Theatre. For theatre, Nessah is presently under commission to the National Youth Theatre and the Young Vic Theatre. After a critically acclaimed, sell out London run, Small Wonders, (A collaboration with Punchdrunk) played at the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, Imaginate, throughout May and June 2019 receiving a raft of 5 Star Reviews. For screen, Nessah has written for Holby City and EastEnders: E20. She is the inaugural recipient of the Character 7 Prize and is currently developing a number of new ideas for television.
Ryan is the winner of the 2018 Off West End Adopt A Playwright Award for his play Rhapsody, which was produced at the Arcola in March 2018. He is an alumnus of the Royal Court writer’s programme 2017 and the Soho Young Company 2016/17. Ryan’s play Queens of Sheba won the 2018 Edinburgh Untapped Award having played to sell-out audiences at the Camden Peoples Theatre in October 2017. Its 4 week run at Edinburgh Fringe Fest 2018 sold out, garnering 4 and 5 star reviews across the board and winning the Edinburgh Stage Award 2018. Ryan’s latest play Typical will run for 4 weeks at this year’s Edinburgh fringe before returning to Soho Theatre London for another 4 week run. Ryan is currently on attachment with the Royal Court Theatre and has also been commissioned by the Royal Court Theatre. Ryan co-created The Tide, Talawa’s first ever show created exclusively for outdoor performance
The Fellowship helps to minimise risks for the writers, supporting them to create a piece that will work brilliantly in schools as a dynamic and energising encounter with real depth. Through these collaborations, Theatre Centre plans to work with writers to push the boundaries of Theatre in Schools. This field of work is particular in its requirements: addressing the needs of schools where theatre encounters take place; being mindful of diversity in its broadest sense; ensuring that the play can stand up and stand tall within the performance environment of the school; as well as being a vital piece of work for venue programming. This work is not the easy option. This work is not the place to be lazy. This work is where an artist’s mettle is tested.
Artistic Director, Natalie Wilson comments, The Theatre Centre Writer Fellowship has been driven by our desire to create more radical and inquisitive work for Theatre in Schools, to offer young audiences in schools the best theatre experience possible. We want to say a deep thank you to all the companies that nominated writers and how fantastic it was to meet so many talented and exciting artists through the selection process. Everyone we met has something to offer. The four writers who will join us as part of the Writer’s Fellowship exemplify the energy and vitality that this artform requires. They are hugely gifted, all different and all hungry to learn.
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