Saturday 8 September marked the launch of Skylines; a national professional development programme for playwrights wanting to write for young audiences. Over 40 participants, facilitators and Theatre Centre staff attended the Skylines Gathering at Platform, Islington in London to meet, discuss and debate around the theme of writing for young audiences.
This Theatre Centre initiative, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, will be delivered with five regional partners: the Everyman Theatre (Cheltenham), Hampstead Theatre (London), New Writing South (Brighton), The Royal Exchange (Manchester) and The University of East Anglia (Norwich). The training is free of charge to the writers.
Small groups of participants will attend three practical workshops on writing for 4+, 8+ and 13+ audiences facilitated respectively by Rachel Barnett (founder of Peut-Etre Theatre), award-winning playwrights Oladipo Agboluaje and Laurence Wilson. The workshops will culminate in a scratch sharing of new work, with a professional cast and director, for local young people.
Writers will be connected via an online platform on the Theatre Centre website to share experiences and access exclusive content: interviews with renowned playwrights including Mike Kenny and David Greig, filmed extracts of plays for young audiences, writing opportunities and articles from industry experts. This will lead up to a public writer’s conference in June 2013 organised by Theatre Centre as part of the company’s 60th Birthday programme.
Natalie Wilson, Theatre Centre Artistic Director says: ‘It is invigorating to see everyone engaged in debate and conversation and sharing practice. I am incredibly excited to see how Skylines develops and stimulates the sector of writing for young people.’