Your chance to sign up for the Futureproof future for the arts at York Theatre Royal

Shaping the future: the Futureproof logo for York Theatre Royal’s young team on a mission

YORK Theatre Royal is giving the green light to young people from Yorkshire to lead the way to a bright future for the arts despite the heavy Covid cloud.

Welcome to Futureproof, a dozen-strong team determined to have a voice in the changing landscape of arts and culture. Through a combination of activities, events and consultations, their mission is to “ask the big questions and debate, make and inspire others to explore how the arts and young people can have a future together”.

Circle Saturday, August 22, on the calendar: launch day for the first big Futureproof online event to kick-start a long-term dialogue between young people and the cultural sector. This weekend, the Futureproof team is inviting 14 to 26 year olds to join in a day of free participatory workshops, consultations, careers sessions, debates and shared online performances from 9.45am to 9pm.

Edenamiuki Aiguobasinmwin and Abigail Sewell: dance company director and theatre and film director leading the Futureproof Symposium

Futureproof is split into four different themes: Futurepractice; Futurepaths; Futureproof Symposium and Futurevoices.

Futurepractice is a series of online skills-building workshops delivered by specialists, covering choreography, beatboxing, playwriting, acting and film making.

Futurepaths looks at careers in design, directing, performing and writing for stage from the perspective of those who work in those fields.

Futureproof Symposium is a conversation between film and theatre director Abigail Sewell, Namiuki Dance Theatre director Edenamiuki Aiguobasinmwin, the Futureproof programming team and panellists with key roles in the arts sector.

Futurevoices rounds off this weekend’s programme of free events with an online Open Mic session, enabling participants and audience members to contribute and complete the launch. For full details, go to

PIlot Theatre’s cast members Nigar Yeva, left, Zak Douglas, Aimee Powell, Kate Donnachie and Khai Shaw in Crongton Knights. Picture: Robert Day

Along with Sewell and Aiguobasinmwin, among those leading the day’s activities will be playwrights Richard Hurford and Mike Kenny; Pilot Theatre artistic director Esther Richardson; York Theatre Royal associate director Juliet Forster and Freedom Studios’ filmmaker Dermot Daly.

So too are set designer Hannah Sibai; Royal Shakespeare Company actor Laura Elsworthy; company members from Pilot Theatre’s Covid-curtailed Crongton Knights production and choreography session leaders Luella Rebbeck  and Lizzy Whynes, youth theatre officer at Harrogate Theatre.

Juliet Forster asks: “Is anything future-proof? We’ve never been in a time like this, and the question in many of our heads is this: how on earth are the performing arts going to survive this pandemic, and will the theatre industry we know now even be recognisable in a few years’ time?

“The voices, thoughts and ideas of the young generation have never felt more timely or more urgently needed,” says York Theatre Royal associate director Juliet Forster

“The arts have survived many disasters and setbacks over the centuries, and not without pain, but only through a process of renewal and reconnection, discovering the arts’ relevance in a changing society.

“The future has never felt more unknown or more fragile, but with the uncertainty comes this incredible opportunity for change. The voices, thoughts and ideas of the young generation have therefore never felt more timely or more urgently needed, as they could shape, re-invent and dream an exciting new cultural landscape – one that reflects their experiences, speaks to them, inspires them and is inspired by them.”

To sign up to take part in Futureproof Saturday, go to, complete the booking form, then send it to

For any questions about York Theatre Royal Futureproof, contact

Sign up: Saturday’s free Futureproof kick-start programme