Blog: Director’s Decisions

First read-through of the scripts with the Young Playwrights, actors and director.

I am delighted to say that we now have three brand new short plays that will be performed in our Out Of The Archive series in the Minerva Theatre in October. The three pieces have been inspired and informed by the work of the Youth Theatre and:

– A 1960s article regarding what you should and should not wear to CFT (see below)

– Press cuttings, reviews and production notes relating to the 1970s production of Chekov’s The Seagull

– Letters written to the young cast of the 1986 production of Jane Eyre

The result is a selection of plays containing very human relationships and feelings that we can all relate to – love, inferiority, and fear – all explored using humour and truth.

Clothes article
The article that inspired one of our plays -click image for larger size

The cast will begin rehearsals in August. It will be made up of our new Young Company for 18-25 year olds (more news on this soon!) and some of our Year 13 CFYT members. We will work intensively towards a scratch performance on Sunday 7 September – which will form part of Chichester Festival Theatre’s Theatre Open Day. We will then continue rehearsals, supported by our professional technical teams as well as members from the Technical Youth Theatre, to produce the final performances in The Minerva on Saturday 25 October.The process so far has been very collaborative, with brilliant feedback from playwrights, producers and the young performers. Now that the final drafts are in, it (rather excitingly) falls to me to start making decisions about how to bring them to life – which I will still make in conversation with everyone who has been involved so far.  Some of these choices will be made before the rehearsal process begins; for example I am very keen to retain historical accuracy with regards to the era each piece is set in. However, part of the joy of the rehearsal process is the discoveries that we will make together as a company – which is why it is the part I look forward to the most.

So, whilst I do not know exactly how each play will develop, I can tell you that each will very much have its own identity and style. You can expect a morning of laughs, heartache, and reminiscence – not forgetting the odd theatre ghost. I look forward to seeing you there.

Megan Purdie is one of our Senior Youth Theatre Leaders, working with several of our Youth Theatre groups, directing productions and producing events. She trained in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and has also worked with Youth Theatres at Forest Forge Theatre Company, The Nuffield and Salisbury Playhouse.

Book your free tickets to the Out of the Archive performances here.