Monday, 3 February 2014

PRONOUN – Rehearsal Diary

Written by Laura, West Yorkshire Playhouse Youth Theatre company member

Thursday 12 December was our very first read through of Evan Placey’s new play Pronoun, which will be performed by the West Yorkshire Playhouse Youth Theatre as part of the National Theatre Connections Festival. We will be performing the play, first in Rehearsal Room 1 in the West Yorkshire Playhouse using an “In the Round Stage.” The second performance will be performed in The Courtyard Theatre as part of the National Theatre Connections Festival.

Pronoun focuses on the struggles and dramas of life as a Transgender teenager. The play follows Josh and Isabella who are childhood sweethearts. They were meant to spend their gap year together, they were meant to be together forever. But when Josh comes back from his family holiday, he is surprised to find his 16 year old best friend, Kyle, engaged and the love of his life has decided she wants to be a boy.

The Youth Theatre was joined by some guests for the very first read through of the play. Youth workers and Young people involved in a Transgender Youth Support Group based in Leeds were invited to the reading as well as Jude Woods who is organizing a Queer Culture Project at the Leeds Art Gallery. Both groups of people will be working closely with the Youth Theatre to help gain an understanding of the issues in the play and to ensure they are addressed sensitively within the performance.

With a few inspirational and spurring words from Artistic Director, James Brining and Associate Director, Mark Rosenblatt - who will be directing Of Mice and Men to be performed in the Quarry Theatre in March next year - we were ready to start the read through. It was great to finally hear the play being read out as a company. Reading the play alone has been interesting but you can’t help but wonder how the actors will interpret the character and text. The read through has always been one of my favourite aspects of the rehearsal process of any play I’ve been in, as it always makes me excited for what’s to come in the future sessions.

Hearing the characters being read out by their respective actors has been enjoyable and exciting and has brought the piece to life and I cannot wait for the next rehearsals to come. I feel very privileged to be a part of a group where important issues are being addressed through the medium of acting. The proof that live performance will continue to challenge audiences, spark conversation and target key issues is something I love to be a part of and I can’t wait to do so!

My next diary entry will be on the topic of our Photo shoot for our promotional poster.

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