The Young Writers’ Festival
The Line Up
This term Stage2 brings you The Young Writers’ Festival – a festival-style evening of short one-act plays written and performed by the Young People of the West Midlands. We started our rehearsal process last Saturday and we’ve already produced some fantastic work so far!
These original piece of writing were written with the stimuli of change – we can all agree that the World is changing dramatically right now, and Stage2 believes that young peoples voices matter in the greater dialogue.
Here’s a little bit about the pieces as well as the young authors who wrote them.
Two Minds, One Brain
By Lauren Brine
Two Minds, One Brain is a weird and wonderful journey into the life of William Harper; a young boy who suffers from an incurable headache. With revolutionary new science, a surgeon manages to complete the first successful brain-transplant, meaning no more headaches for William. Only, it’s not just William who wakes up after the operation…
This play with a cast of 5 delves into the concept of identity and how our lives might change if we were to not be wholly who we were.
Lauren Brine, aged 13, may be in your heads currently for her “simply superb” (Behind the Arras), portrayal of the titular character Alice in Stage2’s most recent production of ALICE (based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland). Even as the youngest of our Writers, Brine has shown a maturity in her writing that belies her years.
By Reuben Jones-Rigby
Set in America during the roaring 1920’s, Reuben Jones-Rigby’s The Pyramid follows the life and trials of gangster boss Don Marlo as he navigates his way up the chain of command. It’s all dancing and music, cigars and good times until Marlo forgets who he is and who he’s loyal to…
This play with a cast of 6 focusses on the change of circumstance for one power-hungry Don.
Reuben Jones-Rigby, aged 17, is currently studying at BOA and has been connected with Stage2 for several years. Reuben has a real zest for life and can often be seen at Stage2 practicing his dancing or playing the guitar for the wonderful group of 7 – 10 year olds he assists with in the afternoon. The Pyramid is a stark contrast to the picture we’ve painted above, it’s gritty, solid writing with a strong structure and excellent characters.
By Ellie Waide
This yet to be titled piece by writer and poet Ellie Waide, is a performance poem reminiscent of the work of Kate Tempest. Each verse is cleverly crafted and characterises the struggles faced by a generation expected to save the world. With a cast of 5, this piece is stylised with elements of choral speaking meaning Waide’s words are brought to vivid, impactful life.
Ellie Waide, aged 16, is currently in her GCSE year – a talented young writer with a history of excellent grades in her LAMDA Devising Exams, Waide has stepped up her game for the Festival and this piece is sure to have hearts resonating and consciences questioned.
The Ones Left Behind
By Elijah Dix
1914, The Great War – little did they know at the time that it was the first part in a two-part series. War changes everything and in The Ones Left Behind, writer Elijah Dix, conjures these brave characters to life – presented by a cast of 4, we see their highs and their lows and how they change as people under such extreme circumstances.
Elijah Dix, aged 15, has recently stepped into the role of Peer-Mentor here at Stage2 – a year long commitment where dedicated young people help those around them – mentoring younger, newer members to fully achieve everything they want to! The Ones Left Behind is written with a blend of natural and stylised text – aided by a chorus of 6 voices who carry us through the trials and tribulations of the men and women on the front-line.
By Liv Grant-Bryson
“(…) time flies. Time is ever changing, it flies, gallops, it ambles, it crawls
but still it is constantly moving”
Time changes everything, even though we can’t see it or touch it, Time changes everything. In this piece of choral speaking, written in the style of authors Claire Dowie and Steven Berkoff, Liv Grant-Bryson attempts to give voice to this conceptual entity. With a cast of 5, aided by a chorus of 5, young people, this piece is as moving as it is thought-provoking.
Liv Grant-Bryson, aged 16, is one of Stage2’s most recent Trainee Tutors – the highest position a member can reach at Stage2. From the time that Liv joined Stage2 she has consistently surprised and impressed both tutors and audiences alike. A remarkably talented young woman, Liv has turned her attention to writing and this piece is an excellent demonstration of a young person with something to say.
By Toma Hoffman and Maddi Stewart
The World as we know it has come to an end. Unlike our current fears of Climate Change bringing our civilisation to its knees, the apocalypse in New Beginnings is a lot more bitey. This piece, written in collaboration by Maddi Stewart and Toma Hoffman, follows the struggles of a band of young people desperately trying to survive the zombie-wasteland. These young people, bereft of an adult presence, cling wildly to any sense of the civilisation they left behind, leaders of the pack come and go but do they really need a leader?
Stewart (aged 16) and Hoffman (aged 14) both have a long history in Stage2, having both achieved accolades in performance and peer leadership. Stewart is the current leader of our drama workshops for under 10’s (Stage1) having a natural ability to lead and teach young creatives. Hoffman joined Stage1 when he was only 7 years old and since then has blossomed into a talented young actor. Writing is a new game for both authors and the text carries a lighter humour even amongst the zombie-hordes.
The Young Writers’ Festival
Friday 20th & Saturday 21st December 2019
@ The Hexagon Theatre, MAC Birmingham, B12 9QH | 7.30pm | £12