Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre has launched EIGHT, a new digital series of short plays written by youngsters from South Wales. The eight monologues are personal reflections on the experience of 2020 and the situation caused by Covid-19.
Through Sherman Theatre’s Introduction to Playwriting programme – a free professional development course, fully funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation – aspiring young writers connected with professional playwriting tutors, directors, producers, and actors to develop their first writing for theatre. The programme is open to young people aged between 15 and 18 regardless of where they are in their education and no previous writing experience is required.
Following months of workshops, guidance and development, Sherman Theatre planned to stage the plays the participants had written during summer 2020.
When lockdown was announced, Sherman Theatre’s Creative Engagement team was determined to continue providing an outlet for the participants’ creativity and continued skills development. As a result, EIGHT was born: written in response to the pandemic, the monologues were produced digitally and self-filmed by the actors. The monologues written by Sophie Budd, Hywel Edwards-Sim, Grace Eshel, Hannah Mathers, Manasvi Nanavati, Tom Price, Madlen Protheroe, and Gwyn Thomas are being made available to view on Sherman Theatre’s website so that audiences can experience fresh and exciting work from these first-time writers.
Branwen Davies, playwright and tutor on the programme, said: “I’m delighted by the ideas, imagination and images created by the young people involved. It’s exciting to be able to celebrate our young writers and their work, and we’re so proud of how hard they’ve worked to bring their projects to life.”
The playwrights involved in EIGHT have been supported by tutors Branwen Davies and Matt Hartley, and overseen by Sherman Theatre’s Creative Engagement Manager Timothy Howe and freelance director and actor Non Haf.
Introduction to Playwriting is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and will be running again in 2021. The programme encourages young people from any background to take part, and those interested can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- The EIGHT plays will be released from Monday 24 August – Thursday 27 August and are available to watch on www.shermantheatre.co.uk until 25 September.