Kwame Kwei-Armah announced as Young Vic’s new Artistic Director

The Young Vic is thrilled to announce that Kwame Kwei-Armah will become the new Artistic Director in February 2018.

A photo of Kwame Kwei-Armah taken outside the entrance to Baltimore Centre Stage

Kwame Kwei-Armah will become the new Artistic Director in February 2018

Kwame Kwei-Armah is an award-winning director and playwright and the outgoing Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage where he directed extensively. Directing credits also include New York’s Public Theater, Signature Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. His production of One Night in Miami at the Donmar Warehouse was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play.

His works as playwright include One Love (Birmingham Rep), Marley, Beneatha’s Place (Baltimore Center Stage), Elmina’s Kitchen, Fix Up, Statement of Regret (National Theatre) and Let There Be Love and Seize the Day (Tricycle Theatre). Kwame was the Chancellor of the University of the Arts London from 2010-15, and in 2012 was awarded an OBE for Services to Drama.

Kwame will succeed David Lan further to the announcement that he would be stepping down in 2018 after 18 years in the role. Kwame will announce his first season of work as Artistic Director in the new year.

Kwame Kwei-Armah says: “To walk into the Young Vic is to come face to face with everything I love about theatre, so I am beyond humbled, if not a little scared. But to lead this magnificent theatre at this time in our nation’s history, after such a visionary as David, excites me beyond words. I can’t wait to get started.”

Patrick McKenna, Chair of the Board, says: “After meeting Kwame the panel was unanimous in its decision to appoint him as the next leader for this remarkable institution. Kwame’s wealth of experience directing, writing and working with the local community in Baltimore and beyond will translate beautifully to his new role leading the work on the Young Vic’s three stages as well as its pioneering outreach and education work in London.”

David Lan, outgoing Artistic Director, says: “The choice the panel has made is inspired. I welcome it wholeheartedly and will do whatever I can to support Kwame in the early days as he finds his own distinctive way to keep the Young Vic one of the great producing theatres of this country and the world.

 

 

Directors Program talks Dramaturgy

The Young Vic Directors Program has recently been deep diving into the world of dramaturgy in British theatre. David Lougmair, who’s facilitating the project, has been joined by David Lan and Bryony Kimmings so far and has upcoming talks with Stewart Pringle and Lyndsey Turner.

David Lan in a workshop at the Young Vic

David Lan in a workshop at the Young Vic. © Leon Puplett

Whilst examining the many ways dramaturgy is practiced and used by established artists working in our theatrical ecology, each workshop has explored different elements of the craft including dramaturgy on productions, dramaturgy in venues, dramaturgy in international work, alongside wider conversations surrounding how the craft is evolving and why the visibility of the role is increasing.

We chatted to theatre maker and dramaturg Zoë Svendsen earlier this year for our Off Book podcast to discuss the important role dramaturgy plays in theatre and how she discovered dramaturgy was part of what she wanted to do. Have a listen below and subscribe on iTunes and Soundcloud.

The Young Vic has been running it’s Directors Program for over a decade, offering young directors a unique opportunity to exchange experiences with peers and be part of a network of talented younger directors, producers and designers.

Find out more about the Directors Program and the opportunities offered across the country.

Wings: Join us ‘In Conversation’ for a series of post-show talks

juliet-bannerWings runs at the Young Vic until 4 Nov. This production tells the story of Emily Stilson who once walked on the wings of aeroplanes until a severe stroke drastically alters the way she encounters the world.

We’re very pleased to announce that we’ll be hosting three post show talks exploring stroke, brain injury, neurological research and the staging of our production. These will give you the chance to listen in on an engaging discussion between our varied selection of panelists.

If you would like to attend these talks, come and see the show on the evening that the talk takes place.

Thursday 21 September
In Conversation with Arthur Kopit and David Lan

David Lan is a playwright, theatre director and social anthropologist. Artistic director of the Young Vic since 2000, he has produced more than 150 shows and directed, amongst others, A Raisin in the Sun, Doctor Faustus, The Daughter-in-Law, The Skin of Our Teeth, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Blackta, as well as As You Like It in the West End.

Playwright Arthur Kopit is the author of Wings (Tony Nominee, Finalist for Pulitzer Prize). Current projects include Discovery of America, a play based on the journals of the Spanish conquistador, Cabeza de Vaca; and two new plays Secrets of the Rich and The Incurables. Mr. Kopit is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Lark Play Development Center where he heads the Lark Playwrights’ Workshop.

BOOK NOW

Thursday 5 October
In Conversation with Juliet Stevenson and Lucy Maran and Sally McVicker

Juliet Stevenson returns to the Young Vic in Wings following her acclaimed performance in Happy Days.
Other theatre includes: Mary Stuart, Hamlet (Almeida/West End); The Heretic, Alice Trilogy, The Country, Other Worlds (Royal Court); Duet for One, for which she was nominated an Olivier Award for Best Actress (Almeida/West End); The Seagull, Private Lives, Hedda Gabler, Yerma (National Theatre), Death and the Maiden, for which she won an Oliver Award for Best Actress (Royal Court/West End); Les Liasons Dangereuses, As You Like It, Troilus and Cressida and Measure for Measure, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actress and was awarded the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress (all RSC).

Lucy Maran is a speech and language specialist who works in the Acute and Community Stroke Team at the Royal Hospital London.

Dr Sally McVicker is a speech and language specialist who runs Aphasia Reconnect – a charity helping people with aphasia re-connect with life in the community.

BOOK NOW

Thursday 19 October
In Conversation with Natalie Abrahami, Dr Paul Jarman and Peter Rothwell 

Natalie Abrahami is a former Genesis Fellow and Associate Director at the Young Vic.
Young Vic credits includes: Happy Days, After Miss Julie and Ah, Wilderness! and the short films MAYDAY, The Roof and Life’s a Pitch.
Her credits as former co-Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre include: Vanya and The Kreutzer Sonata which later transferred to La MaMa, New York.
Other credits include: Queen Anne (Royal Shakespeare Company / Theatre Royal Haymarket), How the Whale Became and Other Tales (Royal Opera House), The Eleventh Capital (Royal Court), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Headlong) and Pericles (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre). Natalie was also an Associate Artist at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton between 2013 and 2015 and Associate Director at Hull Truck in 2012 where she directed Yerma and Hitchcock Blonde. Natalie won the James Menzies-Kitchin Award for Directors in 2005 for her double-bill of Play and Not I (Battersea Arts Centre).

Dr Paul Jarman is a Consultant Neurologist based at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He trained at Oxford and London Universities before completing research and a PhD in molecular genetic aspects of movement disorders.  His subspecialist interests include Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, acute neurology and use of botulinum toxin to treat post stroke spasticity. He  is interested in medical education and as Training Programme Director for neurology in London is passionate about training the next generation of neurologists.

Peter Rothwell is the Professor of Neurology at Oxford University and Director of the Centre for Prevention of Stroke and Dementia (CPSD), which he founded with funding from the Wolfson Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. His research group, which includes about 40 staff, studies the causes of stroke and strategies for improving prevention. Rothwell has published over 500 research papers and has been the recipient of many awards, including the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

Wings is generously supported by the Richenthal Foundation, Wellcome Trust and Cockayne Grants for the Arts, a donor advised fund of the London Community Foundation.

An evening with Peter Brook at the Young Vic

The legendary Peter Brook, ‘our greatest living theatre director’ (The Independent), will join the Young Vic’s Artistic Director David Lan to discuss his new book Tip of the Tongue: Reflections on Language and Meaning and his remarkable career on Wednesday 13 September.

Peter Brook 1.jpg

Peter Brook by Régis d’Audeville.

In Tip of the Tongue, Peter Brook takes a charming, playful and wise look at topics such as the subtle, telling differences between French and English and the many levels on which we can appreciate the works of Shakespeare. Brook also revisits his seminal concept of the ’empty space’, considering how theatre – and the world – have changed over the course of his life.

After the talk and audience Q&A session, Peter will sign copies of his new book.

Following the book signing, there will be a special screening of The Tightrope (2012). In this revealing behind-the-scenes documentary, director Simon Brook – Peter’s son – takes us into the rehearsal room to witness Brook’s inspiring, powerful and intimate rehearsal process.

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An evening with Peter Brook will take place at 6pm in the Maria studio at the Young Vic Theatre on Wednesday 13 September. Tickets are available to book here. Tip of the Tongue: Reflections on Language and Meaning by Peter Brook is available to buy from nickhernbooks.co.uk

David Lan to step down after leading the YV for 17 years

Today we announce that our artistic director David Lan will step down after leading the company for almost two decades.

David Lan stands arm crossed, face deep in concentration in rehearsals for Why It's All Kicking Off

David Lan in rehearsals for Why It’s All Kicking Off. Photo by Leon Puplett.

David was appointed in 2000.  Over the 17 years of his tenure, the Young Vic’s ambitious and adventurous work has reached millions of people on The Cut and around the world.

David spearheaded the 2006 redevelopment of the building you know today featuring our three spaces, the Main House, the Maria and the Clare. Designed by architects Haworth Tompkins, we were named RIBA London Building of the Year, were short-listed for the Sterling Prize and won many design and industry awards.

The last decade has been the most successful in our company’s history.  David has consistently produced pioneering shows, nurtured the careers of younger theatremakers and won acclaim from critics and audiences across the globe. Through David’s vision the scope of Young Vic productions has widened to include opera, music theatre, dance and short films.

Many Young Vic productions have gone on to great success in the West End, on Broadway and in other theatres round the world. Since winning an Olivier Award for the entire 2003 season, the Young Vic has won every major London and New York theatre award, several many times over.

David will continue as artistic director and CEO until a new artistic director is appointed towards the end of this year and will continue to take responsibility for the 2017/18 season, his last at the Young Vic, which will be announced next month.

Lucy Woollatt will continue to lead the company as executive director as she has done for the last 7 years.

David Lan said: “There is never an easy time to slip away but I wanted to leave at a time of our greatest strength and success. The Young Vic is now admired and emulated internationally as well as loved by our audience in our local communities of Lambeth and Southwark, in London and across the UK.  It’s the right moment for it to set off on a new journey and a new adventure.”

Lucy Woollatt said: “We will greatly miss David’s passion, vision and leadership. He has transformed this company into a world-class destination for artists and audiences from around the world. His tireless dedication has set us up for success in the coming years, and we look forward to the next exciting chapter of the Young Vic’s story.”

Chair of the YV Board, Patrick McKenna, said:

“David has made such a big contribution to the Young Vic success story that it’s hard to do justice to his transformative leadership.  The fact that the Young Vic is currently one of the most successful independent producing theatres in the world is significantly down to David’s ability to attract the very best talent in world theatre to work here.”

Springboard – a week in the YV Directors Program

This past week the Young Vic’s Directors Program held Springboard, a week long series of workshops led by Genesis Fellow Gbolahan Obisesan for emerging directors from across the country.  

During the week participants took part in a series of practical workshops led by experienced directors. These asked participants to consider the balance between their creative ambition on the one hand and the skills and responsibilities of a director on the other.

” The week was curated to allow access to established theatre makers with the broadest approach toward making theatre, allowing the directors to cultivate an eclectic practical knowledge of how different artists utilise their unique artistic and technical talents to make great theatre.”
        – Gbolahan Obisesan

Workshops were led by Ramin Gray, Nadia Fall, Kirsty Housley, Sacha Wares and Richard Twyman, with topics ranging from the director/designer relationship, devising, verbatim theatre and more. The directors visited Bijan Sheiban’s rehearsal room at the National Theatre and observed rehearsals for Barber Shop Chronicles. They also attended Life of Galileo at the Young Vic and Salomé at the National Theatre.

“As the years roll by, connecting with young directors coming innocently at the problem of how to make theatre fresh and powerful is a healthy corrective. It’s a springboard not only for them but also, I found, for myself as I walked back up The Cut, invigorated.”
        – Ramin Gray on the Directors Program

David-Lane-Springboard-May-2017-by-Leon-Puplett-1

David Lan in session at Springboard. Photo by Leon Puplett

The week finished with a workshop led by our artistic director David Lan who led a conversation about what it means to be an artistic director, what he looks for in his programming and whether the term ‘director’s theatre’ actually means anything.

“I want the voices heard here to need us. If they can be heard at other theatres, let them be heard at other theatres. I want to do the things that if we don’t do them here, they won’t be done.”
         – David Lan on programming for the Young Vic.

The Young Vic has been running it’s Directors Program for over a decade, offering young directors a unique opportunity to exchange experiences with peers and be part of a network of talented younger directors, producers and designers.

Find out more about the Directors Program and the opportunities offered across the country.

Gbolahan Obisesan is generously supported by the Genesis Foundation.
About the Genesis Foundation
The Genesis Foundation has supported the Young Vic for nearly 15 years, including the Young Vic’s director’s program since its inception. The Genesis Foundation is pleased to fund the Genesis Fellow and Genesis Fellow Production Fund, the Genesis Future Directors Awards and the Genesis Directors Network at the Young Vic.
Established by John Studzinski in 2001, the Genesis Foundation works in partnership with the leaders of prestigious UK arts organisations such as LAMDA, the National Theatre, Royal Court, The Sixteen and the Young Vic.  Its largest funding commitment is to programmes that support directors, playwrights, actors and musicians in the early stages of their professional lives.
The theme of art and faith increasingly characterises aspects of the Foundation’s work with choral commissions including James MacMillan’s Stabat mater.
genesisfoundation.org.uk

YV takes home Best Actress and Best Revival for Yerma at the 2017 Olivier Awards

We are overjoyed and honoured to have won two Olivier Awards at this year’s ceremony. Last night the talented Billie Piper won Best Actress for her role as ‘Her’ in Yerma, with the production itself taking out Best Revival. Our congratulations go out to all the winners across the categories.

Yerma-Olivier-Winner

Following a sold out run in 2016, Yerma returns to the Young Vic this July.  The two Olivier Awards adds to Billie Piper’s previous wins for this role of; Best Actress Evening Standard Theatre Awards, Best Actress Critic’s Circle Theatre Awards and Best Actress WhatsOnStage Awards.

If you missed out on Yerma tickets for its run at the Young Vic, the production will be broadcast from 31 August by NT Live. For tickets and info, click here.

Check out some behind the scene snaps below:

Billie Piper after her Best Actress win.

Artistic Director David Lan with the Best Revival Olivier.

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Best Actress winner Billie Piper on the red carpet beforehand.

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