Students Staff

17 January 2012

Discover the theatre writers, directors and performers of tomorrow at Debut Festival 2012

Poster for the debut festival

Outstanding new writing, directing and acting talent will be showcased at Debut Festival 2012 at East 15 Acting School.

Debut Festival 2012 is the place to uncover the leading theatre writers, directors and performers of the future.

Since 2008 the Festival has been the launch pad for numerous award-winning shows, Edinburgh Fringe hits and new acting companies which are now at the cutting-edge of UK theatre.

From Wednesday 15 February to Saturday 18 February, the Festival will give audiences the chance to see original new plays written, directed and performed by graduating BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre students at East 15 – one of the UK’s leading acting schools.

This year’s productions are inspired by themes such as ‘utopia’, ‘primal’ and ‘fragility’ with the writers supported by Royal Court Theatre regular April de Angelis and the directors coached by course leader and festival founder Uri Roodner and Jesse Briton, writer and director of multi-award winning play Bound.

Each play is performed for an evening culminating in a day long festival featuring all the plays including live music and feasting on Saturday 18 February. After the Festival, the students will go straight into developing three different plays at the Studio at the National Theatre.

Award winning shows premiered at previous Festivals include Bound from Bear Trap Theatre Company which was nominated for an Evening Standard Best Emerging Playwright Award in 2011 and Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011 highlights The Observatory, Kitty Litter, Perffection and Ink. Meanwhile Late Night Gimp Fight has gone on to become an associate company at the Soho Theatre in London.

In 2011 graduates from the BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre course secured a record number of external awards including the Laurence Olivier Bursary, the Sir John Gielgud Bursary, the Lillian Baylis Award, a Sunday Times NSDF 2011 Award, the Scottish Daily Mail Edinburgh Festival Fringe Award, The Scotsman Fringe First Award (twice), the Bank of Scotland Herald Angel Award, the Holden Street Theatre Award, the Clonmel Junction Festival Best Theatre Show Award, the Adelaide Critics Circle Award plus a nomination for the Evening Standard Best Emerging Playwright Award.

Debut Festival 2012 is at the Chigwell Drama Centre, Chigwell School, High Road, Chigwell, IG7 6QF from February 15 to 18.

For more information and to book tickets see the Debut Festival 2012 website.

Photos and CVs of the performers can be viewed on the East 15 Acting School website.


Notes to editors

For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874377.

Information about East 15 Acting School

East 15 Acting School is one of the country’s leading acting schools. Over 5,000 actors, directors and technicians now working in theatre, film, television and music have trained at the school including Alison Steadman (Abigail’s Party, Gavin and Stacey), Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours), Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners), Ann Mitchell (EastEnders) and Reece Ritchie (Prince of Persia, White Heat).

The School has consistently reinvented its training over the decades and this year has students from more than 30 different countries on 13 different courses.

In 2000 the School became part of the University of Essex and in 2007 it opened state-of-the-art teaching and theatre space at the University’s Southend Campus to complement its existing facilities at the Loughton Campus. It now ranks as one of the most innovative and diverse drama schools nationally and internationally.

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