I am genuinely so, so impressed and thrilled about this community group.
The Visionari group recruited participants through a public appeal for people to become part of the theatre planning team, to bring new audiences to the theatre and encourage a new range of theatre goers to give new work a try. Participants have been examining all aspects of the theatre since its formation a year ago, with the aim of programming a season of work. And here it is – Studio Discoveries – a week of shows purposefully curated to encourage new and regular theatre-goers to try new stuff. Amazing.
The Visionari has incredibly responsibility, showing York Theatre Royal’s real dedication to its community and, furthermore, the creative industries in general. The group will influence the selection of artists and companies for the theatre’s IGNITE Artist Development Programme.
Over the next nine months the theatre will invest £10,000 to help spark a new wave of artists making and showcasing theatre and performance in the city. It’s so important up-and-coming artists get an opportunity to showcase their talents, and I’m so proud such a prestigious theatre is taking the lead in helping them to do this.
York Theatre Royal associate producer John Tomlinson said: “The Visionari has curated a brilliant week of work in November. The group has been working with us since January with a series of workshops from our team across many departments. We watch shows together and we talk through the big question – how can we diversify our programme, audiences and participants?
“The group has surpassed all expectations. They’ve already started to make an impact on the decisions we make and have influenced our choices. Their passion and commitment to sharing our big ambitions is fantastic. The way they selected the week in the Studio was brilliantly democratic and I’m really proud to work with the group, who want the same things as we do. There’s lots more to come, I’m sure!”
Matthew Ingram, from the Visionari group, said: “A year ago, we answered a callout from York Theatre Royal. Nobody knew anyone, but we all lived in York, all wanted to make our voice count and all wanted to welcome new people into the theatre. We’ve spent time learning and thinking, and now we’re showcasing pieces that we think best reflect our community, its biggest issues and its idea of a good night out. We’ve tried to choose something for everyone, but don’t take our word for it – we hope we’re better than Netflix.”
The season of theatre looks set to be a corker. From pieces celebrating community to addressing the refugee crisis – it’s gritty, community theatre at its best. Don’t fret if issue-led theatre isn’t your thing, though, because there are also comedies and light-hearted pieces in the mix.
Tickets cost £10 for each show, and book three or more and save 20 per cent. Offering great theatre for a reasonable price is a great incentive to get more people involved. Heck, it costs less than am-dram – what are you waiting for?
Here’s the diary of info below, but I urge you to check out the York Theatre Royal website for more information.
- Tue 20 Nov, 6pm, The Welcome Revolution
- Tue 20 Nov, 8pm, The Castaways
- Wed 21 Nov, 7.45pm, Me, You and Godzilla Too
- Thu 22 Nov, 2.30pm, This Evil Thing
- Thu 22 Nov, 8.15pm, Canary
- Fri 23 Nov, 7.45pm, Sid
- Fri 23 Nov, 6pm, Pour and Serve
- Sat 24 Nov, 6pm, Pour and Serve
- Sat 24 Nov, 7.45pm We Can Time Travel
Well done, York Theatre Royal, for creating exciting, eclectic theatre.