Urdd’s youth theatre seeks young actors for its first production

Urdd Gobaith Cymru

(I ddarllen yr erthygl yma yn y Gymraeg, cliciwch yma)

Urdd Gobaith Cymru is inviting young performers to audition for the first production by it’s youth theatre company, Y Cwmni.

The first production to be staged by the Urdd’s Youth Theatre Company since it was relaunched last autumn, will be ‘Deffro’r Gwanwyn’, a Welsh language adaptation by Dafydd James of Frank Wedekind’s ‘Spring Awakening’.

‘Deffro’r Gwanwyn’ will provide an opportunity for young actors and performers to develop their craft by working with experienced and influential director Angharad Lee and Rhys Taylor as music director. As well as the opportunity to develop their craft at residential workshops, actors will gain valuable stage experiences by performing at Theatr y Werin at Aberystwyth’s Arts Centre in September.

Branwen Davies, Urdd Gobaith Cymru Youth Theatre Company Coordinator said: “Deffro’r Gwanwyn is a colourful and energetic celebration of youth and rebellion. The production includes themes that are still considered uncomfortable at times and are discussed in an honest and sharp manner.

“The Urdd’s production of ‘Deffro’r Gwanwyn’ will be a great opportunity for new members of Y Cwmni to be part of a well-known professional show translated by Dafydd James, Wales’ most exciting and unique playwright and composer. The Urdd prides itself in providing exceptional and life—shaping opportunities for young people across Wales.

“This is why it’s important that our first re-launch stage performance gives young actors an opportunity to be a part of a well-known professional production, showing that the Urdd are serious about offering quality and professional experiences to the young people of Wales.”

Dafydd James’ Welsh adaptation of the musical ‘Spring Awakening’ was first performed by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru in 2010. Based on Frank Wedekind’s powerful and controversial the show was written by Steven Sater and the music by Duncan Sheik for the Broadway stage in 2006.

‘Deffro’r Gwanwyn’ explores sexual awakening, youth rebelling and self-discovery. The production is set in 1891 but features current music that creates tension and entertaining conflict. The production sends a strong message that if ways of interpreting sexuality and individuality are restricted, or judged and suppressed, then disastrous consequences can happen. ‘Deffro’r Gwanwyn’ is an invitation to be open and honest.

Branwen explains the importance of choosing Deffro’r Gwanwyn as Y Cwmni’r first productions since re-launching the Urdd’s Youth Theatre Company: “Personally, I think it’s a bold choice and an opportunity for a group of young people who are living the themes to express themselves in a theatrical, unforgettable way.

“It’s an opportunity for a young generation who have suffered during Covid to express their frustrations and invite discussion about their views and their vision of the world. It’s a chance to air frustration which disrupted and restricted the last few years, as well as a chance to consider hope for the future.”

Sian Eirian, Urdd Eisteddfod and arts director said: “Since re-launching the Urdd Youth Theatre Company in the autumn, it’s great to see that young people have taken advantage of workshops organised by Y Cwmni, and that there’s still
eagerness for experiences within the arts today. I’d like to thank the Welsh Government for their financial support of £1million over five years which has allowed us to re-establish the Urdd Youth Theatre Company, providing stage opportunities and experiences to young people across Wales.”

The Urdd is now looking to cast young actors to play the lead roles and supporting chorus. Face to face auditions will be held by Y Cwmni in March at Bangor and Swansea. Online auditions will also be offered as well as self-tape auditions to ensure that young actors across Wales have the opportunity to star in the production.

Those interested in auditioning to be a part of the Urdd’s ‘Deffro’r Gwanwyn’ need to be aged between 16 and 25. Actors will be asked to perform a song as well as a three-minute monologue for their audition.

As well as main characters and cast, Y Cwmni will be searching for a live band and a team of young people to assist backstage from April, including stage planning and management opportunities.

For more information or to register an interest to join Y Cwmni.

Submitted by Urdd Gobaith Cymru