APA youth theatre hold auditions for drama piece

An Aberdeen youth theatre company has a dramatic role to play in the national cultural celebrations surrounding this summer’s Commonwealth Games.

Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) youth theatre are looking for eight young people to help create and stage a piece of drama in The Tin Forest International Youth Theatre Festival, as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, presented by the National Theatre of Scotland in association with Scottish Youth Theatre.

They are also looking for young actors to take part in a life-changing American exchange project this summer.

In the latest stage of what is now a three-year partnership with the American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco, a group of Californian students will visit Aberdeen for two weeks to work with an APA Youth Theatre group on a new play to be commissioned from a Scottish writer.

They will perform the work, on the theme of independence, in their home theatres, with a rehearsed reading as part of Aberdeen International Youth Festival.

Open auditions for both projects will be held at Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree on Monday, February 23, from 4pm, to find eight actors aged between 16 and 19 to take part in The Tin Forest Festival, and eight actors aged between 15 and 18 to take part in the American exchange project.

Applications for a place on the auditions list must be submitted no later than Monday, February 17, to drama development co-ordinator Claire Davidson, Lemon Tree, West North Street, Aberdeen or email creativelearning@aberdeenperformingarts.com or call 01224 337684.

Claire, who will be directing the new piece for The Tin Forest Festival, said: “No previous experience is necessary, but we are looking for young people who are extremely talented, very creative and who are willing to take risks in creating exciting theatre.

“They must be ready at the auditions to present a short piece, either a monologue or something they have created themselves.

“APA Youth Theatre is one of 10 youth theatres, selected from across the Commonwealth to take part, to take part in the Tin Forest International Youth Festival and each of us has been asked to create a 30-minute/hour-long piece of contemporary theatre to perform ourselves – it’s a very exciting project.”

The young actors must be available to rehearse on Monday evenings and be prepared to start intensive rehearsals from July 14 at Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree, as well perform at the South Rotunda on Glasgow’s Clydeside from July 20 to 29.

APA Youth Theatre is one of only four Scottish companies and six international youth companies from around the Commonwealth to be selected.

In addition to the Aberdeen group, there will be Manifesto Jamaica from Kingston, Jamaica; FanFiction Comedy from Auckland, New Zealand; Made In Bristol from Bristol Old Vic; X Theatre from Dhaka, Bangladesh; Teatru Manoel Youth Theatre from Malta; YUVA EKTA-Youth Unite from New Delhi in India; Urban Fairytale Theatre Company from Glasgow; Collision from Buckhaven, Fife and Physical Theatre Scotland from Edinburgh.

Each will devise and perform a piece - inspired by the concept of “near nowhere…close to forgotten” - before presenting it to audiences in Glasgow in July.

For the American exchange project, the young actors must be available for Thursday evening rehearsals from May to June and prepared to host their San Francisco counterparts from July 19 to August 3. There will be Monday evening rehearsals from August 18 to November 3, plus Sunday rehearsals from September 7 to November 2.

The new work will be staged in The Lemon Tree from Monday to Saturday, November 3 to 8.

Calire said: “It is really incredible to be starting a new two-year partnership with the inspirational American Conservatory Theater.

“Both companies are committed to commissioning new, relevant and engaging plays which challenge our young actors. “The project will be incredibly rewarding for all involved and we are honoured to be the British partner for this project and to give young people from the North-east the experience of learning from an internationally renowned theatre and to share the many cultural successes from this part of the world with them.”

APA’s link with the American Conservatory Theater dates back to 2012, when they hosted a visit by a group of American youngsters to work on a specially-commissioned piece by Scottish writer D C Jackson, which both groups performed in their own theatres later than year.

And then in 2013, a group from APA Youth Theatre went to San Francisco to work on a new play by USA writer Wendy MacLeod, which was staged in The Lemon Tree last November.