Bristol Old Vic’s Year of Artists starts with the future. The next generation and creative opportunities for everyone.

9 Jan 2020

This month heralds the start of Bristol Old Vic’s 2020 season: Year of Artists, an opportunity to celebrate and shout about the importance of the creativity and imagination found in us all.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Bristol Old Vic’s work with young people from across the city, and this month the Year of Artists starts with the future generations of Bristolians who are discovering their own creativity, some for the very first time.

Bristol Old Vic’s mighty Young Company opens its new production Antigone this evening in The Weston Studio, bringing together the 14 - 25 year old Young Company and its sister company Young Six Six to create a brand new retelling of the Greek myth, exploring the issues of morality and justice that are important to the company themselves.

Alongside this, rehearsals are well underway for Our Street, the first production from brand-new young company Stomping Ground, who we are proud to be supporting across their inaugural production. Set up by Pravanya Pillay, the company aims to give opportunities to young people from BAME backgrounds who want to explore theatre-making for the first time. They will be performing at Bristol Old Vic’s Weston Studio on 13 January.

There are also a host of opportunities this month to introduce Theatre-making to young people who may never have considered it as something for them.

In an ongoing partnership with South Bristol Youth, Bristol Old Vic are hosting workshops at the theatre for students from Year 4 to Year 9 to build confidence and communication skills through creative sessions.

New for 2020, Bristol Old Vic is also hosting a “Tech Day” for 15+ year olds from City Academy and Bristol Brunel Academy to explore technical theatre opportunities, specifically to start to redress the imbalance of BAME technical theatre-makers which is an industry-wide problem in UK theatre.

There is also a new partnership “New Views” starting in January for budding new writers. In partnership with NT Young Writers, Bristol Old Vic will be working with 15 young people who want to discover their own play- writing talents.

The first part of the year also celebrates the 10th anniversary of Made In Bristol – Bristol Old Vic’s training programme for 18 - 25 year-olds who want to become professional theatre-makers. Many of the 120 alumni from this programme will return for the celebration and many are also involved in leading the schools workshops and Young Company sessions taking place this year.

Lucy Hunt, Engagement Director said: “Theatre is an active, creative and constantly evolving chance to tell the stories that look at ourselves, and the world around us. Everything we do, on stage and off, has to be relevant and open to everyone. The Year of Artists will spend the next 12 months channelling this commitment through productions, partnerships and events across Bristol. We’re thrilled to have started with such an enthusiastic group of young people who are inspiring us with their imagination and energy. It is also wonderful to be able to complete the circle, as many of these new young people are being taught by Made In Bristol graduates who have themselves been through workshops or Young Company and are now theatre professionals in their own right.”

If you want to find out about the many different ways you can join in throughout the year and uncover your inner artist, visit Bristol Old Vic's website for more information

Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. The historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.

They use their funding to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to their programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it, or be able to afford it, and to keep their extraordinary heritage alive and animated.

On 24 Sep 2018, Bristol Old Vic completed its 2-year multi-million pound redevelopment project, which transformed its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, created a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time.

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