Sunderland pupils’ see professional actors bring their scripts to life

LtoR: Lauren Dickson, Tamzin Usher, Nathan Beckett, Laura Beattie, Michael Cooper and Amy Connor.
LtoR: Lauren Dickson, Tamzin Usher, Nathan Beckett, Laura Beattie, Michael Cooper and Amy Connor.
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TALENTED young writers saw their short plays brought to life on stage.

Six plays, written by 13 and 14-year-old pupils from Red House Academy, were performed as script-in-hand readings by professional actors at Live Theatre in Newcastle.

The plays are part of Write Stuff, a writing residency programme between Live Theatre and schools, which gives young teen voices a platform through theatre.

Drama workers from the theatre visited Red House Academy over a series of weeks to deliver workshops covering everything from imagination, improvisation, character and plot development to the use of conflict within plays and how to structure a play.

Six pupils were then given the opportunity to attend a residency weekend at Live Theatre where they were supported by professional dramaturgs to produce their short plays.

Following on from the first script-in-hand readings, some of the plays will now be further developed and performed in Live Theatre as full productions.

Showcasing the concerns of young people today, the plays include tales of debt, childhood bonds, unusual heart-to-hearts, making new friends and four-year-olds who like to dance and were written by Amy Connor, Memories of the Sea, Michael Cooper, Blood Is Thicker, Tamzin Usher, Elephant, Laura Beattie, Dianne and Lili, Lauren Dickson, Never Neverland and Nathan Beckett, It Could Be A Tuna?

Phil Hoffmann, Drama Worker at Live Theatre, said: “We are delighted to be working with Red House Academy taking Write Stuff to pupils in Sunderland and bringing plays written by these young people to Live Theatre’s stage for the very first time.

“This project demonstrates Live Theatre’s commitment to developing and nurturing new writing across the region. The plays produced as part of this writing project by young writers have always been varied, imaginative and insightful and we look forward to what else will be produced by Red House Academy pupils as part of this new partnership.”

Laura Tindall, curriculum leader of Musical Theatre at the Rutherglen Road school, said: “The standard of the pupils’ work has been overwhelming. I know that they have really enjoyed working with the professionals at the Live Theatre and exploring the issues in their plays.”

She said seeing their plays performed on stage was a real accolade for the pupils and no doubt will create long-lasting memories for them.

Twitter: @sunechoschools