West Yorkshire Playhouse has announced their first Young Company, a collective of 12 creatively curious artists aged 18 – 25 who will collaborate together with the Playhouse over the coming months. Supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Young Company is a cohort of 12 early career artists from across Leeds, including actors, writers and theatre producers, DJs and live artists.
Mentored by West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Director of Creative Engagement Alexander Ferris and Associate Director Amy Leach, the group will spend a year exploring, interrogating and producing an eclectic range of work. The Playhouse will support the group to collaborate in making and producing bold and socially resonant work, as well providing opportunities to learn from professional theatre artists, and use Playhouse resources to learn and develop their own skills.
Director of Creative Engagement Alexander Ferris said: “We are thrilled to have recruited this brilliant group of early career artists to our very first Young Company. The diversity of their skills, experience, art forms and opinions are going to provide a rich and fascinating process as they go forward on their creative journey. It’s the logical next step for many of the young people coming through our Playhouse Youth projects and our Furnace artistic development programme. We are looking forward to embedding the Young Company into the life of the Playhouse and to seeing what their creative collaborations bring.”
The Young Company continues West Yorkshire Playhouse’s commitment to developing artists in the region, placing the Playhouse firmly as an artistic beacon in the North. The new Young Company initiative further links the Playhouse’s award-winning Creative Engagement department, which works with over 10,000 people from a range of backgrounds every year, and Furnace, the Playhouse’s comprehensive artistic development engine.
Associate Director Amy Leach said: “Through Furnace, we are committed to the development of locally based artists at all stages of their career and to supporting them in creating and producing theatre. It is a delight to welcome such a brilliant, eclectic group of early career artists to the Playhouse in what will be a unique, bespoke journey of artistic exploration.”