St Mary’s Centre has been alive with young people creating and performing new theatre over the past couple of weeks.
Led by city company Theatre in the Quarter, the venue has played host to two separate theatre summer schools, providing 40 young people with the opportunity to devise their own plays and perform to a public audience.
Last week, 17 teenagers worked with Liverpool-based director Steph Green and musical director Erin Elston in the creation of a new adaption of Everyman.
Steph Green said: “Everyman, a medieval morality play, has been adapted in many ways over time, it is echoed in the story of Faustus and throughout literature. Though for the first time in Chester, an adaptation was completed by 17 teenagers in just 5 days.”
Working with director Steph Green the young people were challenged to create an original piece of music theatre using 100 milk crates as their only set. The project included songwriting with Erin Elston and a special percussion workshop led by actor Francis Tucker.
Steph added: “I was totally blown away by the talent, energy and dedication of these young people, and we were thrilled to perform to a full house at St Mary’s on Friday.”
This week, opportunity has been open to the under 13 year olds who have begun creating their own musical adaptation of The Pied Piper. Working with director Millie Stevenson and composer Matt Baker, the young people will premiere their brand new piece at 4pm on Friday at St Mary’s.
Artistic director of Theatre in the Quarter Matt Baker said: “We are delighted that so many people have taken part in these summer schools, some of whom are drawn from our year round youth theatre groups, but many new faces.”
The summer schools is just one series of events which are taking place in St Mary’s as Theatre in the Quarter has been commissioned to breathe new life into the centre as a place where exciting arts activity can take place, including a planned Christmas Festival of concerts, cabaret, film theatre and art activity.
Matt added: “Based on the enthusiasm for these summer schools we hope to be able to add more opportunities next summer, including arts and crafts, dance and music organized by a variety of organisations. St Mary’s could well be alive with exciting cultural activity for young people across the summer holidays next year.”
Pied Piper will be performed at 4pm on Friday, August 7, at St Mary’s.
Anyone interested in joining Theatre in the Quarter’s regular youth theatres should contact Julieelston09@aol.com