Theatre students are treading new ground

Students from the University of York's Department of Theatre, Film and Television working with Company of Angels director Sophie Lifschutz. Picture: Suzy Harrison.
Students from the University of York's Department of Theatre, Film and Television working with Company of Angels director Sophie Lifschutz. Picture: Suzy Harrison.
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MORE than 50 university theatre students from Yorkshire are being given the chance to work on a series of newly-translated plays based on the work of European playwrights which have never been performed outside of London.

Students from York University will work alongside professionals on a series of readings, performances and talks at the city’s Theatre Royal.

The performances of “Theatre Café” are a celebration of newly-translated plays by European playwrights produced by London-based Company of Angels.

It will be the first show in the UK outside of the capital.

The second-year undergraduates studying theatre writing, directing and performance in the university’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television will take part in the performances at York Theatre Royal from Wednesday, February 26, to Saturday, March 1.

Company of Angels and York Theatre Royal are collaborating in the project in which the university is also a partner.

Students will work as actors, directors, designers, stage-managers and dramaturgs – who carry out research – for a fortnight as they rehearse and develop these new plays.

Professionals will mentor them in every area of theatre-making and their work will be performed to an audience of both industry professionals and the public.

Dr Tom Cantrell, a lecturer in theatre, who has developed the university’s involvement in the project, said: “This is a great opportunity for our students. They will have the opportunity to collaborate with industry professionals, to learn from them, and to gain the experience of working on professional productions.

“We’re thrilled to be working with York Theatre Royal and Company of Angels, and for our students to be actively involved in staging some of the best new work from Europe.”

Teresa Ariosto, artistic director of Company of Angels, added: “For the first time at Theatre Café, six emerging British playwrights have written short response plays inspired by the European texts.

“These responses will be performed and directed by second year students from the University of York. It is very exciting to be working with the University of York and have 50 students from the Theatre, Film and Television Department involved in every aspect of Theatre Café York as performers, directors, dramaturgs, producers and stage managers.”