YORK Theatre Royal will reopen on May 17 with a celebration of York’s creativity, pending any Government update on the roadmap rollout.
A call-out has gone out to York artists – poets, writers, performers, singers, dancers and digital artists – to mark the return of live performance to the St Leonard’s Place building, 14 months since its Covid-enforced closure.
The Theatre Royal is commissioning a series of “love letters” from York artists – under the umbrella title Love Bites – to be performed on the opening night of The Love Season, a programme of plays based on the theme of love. The commissions will then be presented across the following fortnight as a prelude to the theatre production playing each night.
The theatre aims to commission 20 Love Bites love letters, each lasting up to five minutes. Artists will be offered £1,000 per commission plus £150 every time it is performed.
Creative director Juliet Forster says: “We want artists working in any form or medium and living in York to join forces with us in celebrating the start of live performances when restrictions lift in May.
“We’re looking for artists to create love letters through any medium. The love letter could be to a person, a place, an object, the city of York itself – or anything else.
“We’re very keen to incorporate as wide a mix of art forms and interpretations of what a love letter is as possible. It could be a poem, a song, a piece of digital art, a dance piece, but should be able to be performed or shared both live and in digital form.
“The piece should have a duration of up to five minutes. If the artist doesn’t want to perform the piece themselves, we will work with them on engaging an appropriate performer.”
Those interested in being commissioned are asked to write a short proposal for what their love letter might be and how it could be performed live and translated into digital form. They should submit links to their website or previous work too.
Submissions must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 22 2021. Details of how to apply can be found on the website at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.
York Theatre Royal is set to reopen for socially distanced performances from May 17, once Government restrictions are lifted. Chief executive Tom Bird says: “We’re ecstatic at the prospect of reopening in May with the much-anticipated Love Season.
“After the challenges that the pandemic has brought for freelance artists, we’re particularly delighted to be able to commission 20 York artists to relaunch the theatre programme with Love Bites. We’ll be announcing the remainder of the season in April. We can’t wait to welcome the people of York back to their wonderful theatre.”