Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation is pleased to announce that 16-year-old Island School student Patrick Munday’s play Weekends will be transformed into a professional physical theatre production at the Hong Kong Arts Centre on 19 and 20 June. Patrick is one of 21 young people who took part in the youth scriptwriting initiative Pull Back the Curtain, and the performance marks the achievements participants made and the scriptwriting skills they developed.
Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation’s Pull Back the Curtain is a three-month youth scriptwriting initiative funded by the British Council. Twenty-one young people aged 14 to 20 from a range of local and international schools and universities participated in the initiative, working weekly with local playwright and director Clare Stearns to explore the power of theatre as a catalyst for serious conversation, and pen their own theatrical plays.
Chosen for its strong, creative depiction of harrowing issues found in young people’s lives today, Patrick Munday’s Weekends will be staged as a theatre and movement piece by director Lindsey McAlister. Patrick, aged 16 from Island School says, “Underage drinking and drugs are something that young people turn to as a means of escapism. Instead of cowering away from discussing it, I decided to write about it.” He adds, “The largest challenge I faced while writing was making the play unbiased in opinion. I didn’t want to steer the audience in a particular direction.” The production is now in rehearsal.
Through a series of workshops, Pull Back the Curtain helped participants develop research skills and articulate ideas on ethical and social issues in a written format. They also experimented with a range of ideas and witnessed their words come to life through rehearsed readings. A post-programme masterclass with award-winning playwright Simon Wang Haoran (Blast; Red Chamber in the Concrete Forest) will also give participants a first-hand insight into the world of theatre.
Artistic Director of Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation Lindsey McAlister says, “Hong Kong provides ample opportunities for young people to be involved on stage, but rarely behind the scenes. Through Pull Back the Curtain, we are exposing young people to some of the finest writers in the business. And being able to see one of their plays come to life – it’s a very empowering and important process for a playwright, regardless of age and experience.”
Inspired by London’s National Theatre’s New Views programme, workshop director Clare Stearns adds, “There are very few local scriptwriting courses, and even fewer focusing on both Hong Kong and international contemporary writers. We want to encourage young people to explore the things that matter to them – the things that make them mad and the things that make them laugh. These may be school or family issues, or international political events, it doesn’t really matter, as long as they understand that a powerful place to raise serious issues is in the theatre.”
Alongside the performance of Patrick Munday’s Weekends on 19 and 20 June, there will be staged readings of Reina, by 15-year-old Shatin College students Kelly Yu and Shimali de Silva, and A Man of History, by 16-year-old German Swiss International School student Eleanor Ng.
Pull Back the Curtain Youth Scriptwriting Initiative – School Performance
Date: Friday 20th June 2014
Time: 4pm to 5:15pm
Venue: McAulay Studio, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Wanchai
Suitable for ages 12+.
Performed in English ONLY.
Running time approx. 75 minutes without intermission
To book tickets,please fill in the attached school booking form and return to us by fax at 2511 6213/ scan & email to kerryL@hkyaf.com on or before 10 June 2014.
Booking is on a first come first served basis.
VERY limited school tickets available, ACT FAST!