PACE Youth Theatre to perform at National Theatre’s 2018 Connections Festival

Paisley based PACE Youth Theatre has been selected to stage a new play at the National Theatre as part of its 2018 Connections Festival, which takes place from 26-30 June.

PACE Youth Theatre will perform Dungeness, an exciting new piece of writing by Chris Thompson at the 2018 Connections Festival, having first performed the play at Connections partner theatre, the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh.

Connections is the largest youth theatre festival in the UK which celebrates new writing for young people aged 13-19. Ten new plays by both established and emerging contemporary playwrights were exclusively commissioned for young people to stage and perform for this year’s Festival.

With over 6,500 young people taking part in Connections this year, the plays have been premiered at 28 leading Connections Partner Theatres across the UK.  Of the 250 youth theatre companies and schools taking part, Paisley’s PACE Youth Theatre is one of ten companies selected to perform at the National Theatre between 26-30 June.

Connections forms a key part of National Theatre’s commitment to learning and supporting young theatre-makers by giving them the opportunity to stage a production in a professional theatre. Young people can get involved in all aspects of staging the production in both on and offstage roles, from set design to costume, lighting and stage management.

Jenni Mason, group leader from PACE Youth Theatre said: “Connections is such an important project for our young performers as well as those who wish to explore other aspects of theatre. It offers a unique chance to work with some brilliant new writing that is aimed specifically at young people and allows them to explore characters and issues that are relevant to them and the world that they live in. Having the incredible support and guidance of National Theatre Connections is absolutely invaluable and the whole experience really is second to none.”

Ruth Main, 17 year old member of PACE Youth Theatre said: “Being part of the recent National Theatre Connections programme was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Dungeness became so much more than a show for us with its very current themes, and being given the chance to perform at PACE and the Traverse Theatre truly solidified that. Connections brings together young performers to display their talent and hard work. Meeting the other members of the cast and getting to celebrate our work was so gratifying. I would do it all again in a heartbeat and would encourage all young people to take part in NT Connections if the opportunity arises.”

Rufus Norris, National Theatre Director said, “I look forward to the Connections Festival every year as it is always such a joy to welcome young people from every corner of the UK to perform at the National Theatre. Programmes like Connections are more vital now than ever as they give young people the opportunity to experience and take part in theatre no matter where they are in the UK, and I can’t wait to see each of the ten companies’ productions in the Dorfman Theatre in June and celebrate another fantastic year of theatre-making.”

The production invited to appear at the NT in the final week of this year’s Festival is on Saturday 30 June 2018 at the Dorfman Theatre, South Bank, Bankside, London SE1 9PX at 8.30pm with Dungeness by Chris Thompson performed by PACE Youth Theatre, Paisley, Scotland.

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