Declaration is a project run by Fio to discover and support new voices for the stages of Wales and beyond. It is a development and creation programme that will bring artists together and give them time, support and space to create new ideas and create the work they would like to see. Participants will receive a week of masterclasses, as well as paid creation time and support in creating new work.
-A chance for a collection of artists to come together to learn, develop and create-
Participants received 1 week of master classes, worked in core companies selected by Fio, their own 10 minute live showings of their production, opportunities at BBC Writers’ Room, help and support, safe space to create and express themselves.
Our Masterclass Creatives:
CATHY TYSON - actor/writer
Cathy is an Actor of Stage and Screen. In 2015 she co-founded Pitchlake productions and was nominated for a Golden Globe and Bafta for her performance in ‘Mona Lisa’.
'I started in theatre via the Liverpool Everyman Youth Theatre and progressed to the Everyman company; I was coached by the amazing Roger Hill. From the Everyman, I [joined] the RSC in Stratford upon Avon, [as] the youngest member of the company [and] was exposed to the talent of Cicely Berry and loved the way she taught. At twenty-three, I had my son and continued with my career. I have my mother to thank for all the support she gave me right through my career. I know I am lucky. I have worked in radio, theatre, tv and film.
In 2010 I went to university to study English and Drama at Brunel [and] discovered theatre practitioners that both inspired and repelled me. I also became more used to writing. University helped to put passion back into my life and work. [I then worked] with Chris Goode and company and I have performed in mostly plays since.
In 2015, I co-founded theatre company Pitchlake Productions with BAME writer Michelle Inniss, [which] formed to create leading roles for BAME actors.
I am now an associate of Pitchlake Productions. My most recent work involved my first experience of verbatim theatre, The Listening Room. Its’ main theme involved restorative justice. I am [also] putting together workshops of Michelle Inniss's second play, ‘They Know Not What They Do’, for a group of young people who are attending a pupil referral unit.'
Lisa Zahra - Actor
Lisa Zahra is a wonderful actor who worked with Fio on our recent production Death and The Maiden. Lisa trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is originally from Swansea.
Her theatre credits include:
Paulina , Death and the Maiden , (Theatre Fio / The Other Room) Soraya , The Kite Runner, (Wyndhams Theatre/Playhouse Theatre .) Fatimah, Before I Leave , (National Theatre Wales, directed by Matthew Dunster) Huseini ,Umrao, (The Cockpit Theatre/ Edingburgh festival) Soraya, The Kite Runner, (Nottingham & Liverpool Playhouse & UK tour.) Lavinia, Resurrection, (Theatre Royal Bath) Subira, Behind The Screens, (The Space Festival) Eli, The Iranian Feast, (Farnham Malting’s) Hermia, A Midsummer Nights Dream, (Torch Theatre /Uk tour.) Ayesha, Love at First Light, (Chapter Arts.) Various, Under Milkwood, (Royal Court Theatre, QM2) Titania, A Midsummer Nights Dream, (Wales Millennium Centre) Eli, The Voyage, (Clwyd Theatr Cymru) Riva, Warrior Square, (Theatr Iolo) Feroza, Katy Clay, (New Vic Theatre) Imogen, Cymbeline &Jessica, The Merchant of Venice (Wales Theatre Company, winner of the best newcomer award) Nurse Flynn, One flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (Torch Theatre)
Lisa's TV/Film credits include :
REQUIEM (BBC/Netflix) Twelfth Night (ISC Films) 50 ways to kill your lover (Sky) Skellig (Sky movies) Dr. Who (BBC) Myths of Ancient Greece (Channel 5) Caerdydd (ITV) Belonging (BBC) Nuts n Bolts (ITV)
Radio/VO credits include:
Aegyptus (UBSOFT) Torchwood, Fall to Earth (Big Finish Prod) Bitesize Science (BBC) Matti and the Blue Bottle (BBC)
Ryan Romain - Director
Having worked as a professional actor for many years, I have a wide range of experience in film, television, radio and stage, appearing in Bafta winning “Press Gang” and Children’s Bafta winning, “That Summers Day”. I made the transition from Actor to Director having been invited by Sir Philip Hedley to attend Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Director Course. Having excelled on the course, I assisted the multi-award winning Designer/Director Ultz. Before then being personally invited by the then Artistic Director of The Royal Court, Ian Rickson to assist at The Royal Court on Richard Bean’s play, “Toast”, which was subsequently performed in the West End at The Ambassadors.
I have an extremely comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the workings of a producing house having worked in many and in various departments within them: The Youth Department, Development Department, Artistic Department.
I was Associate Artist of Theatre Royal Stratford East for many years. I then became Associate Director of Theatre Royal East. Working closely with the Artistic Director, we collaborated on all artistic decisions from rebranding the theatre to seasons programming. I have worked closely with the development department nurturing new audiences and helping to find new sources of financial support. I was the first point of contact for any artistic queries and represented the theatre at various meetings and events with stakeholders and partners. In my time as Associate Director, I have been happy to see the theatre win an Olivier Award for ‘Pied Piper’ and nominated for another two. I was in charge of the literary department commissioning writers and offering dramaturgical support when required. I have directed countless play readings.
This is our Declaration.
Declaration is Fio’s artistic development programme which saw 15 theatre makers from a diverse range of backgrounds come together over a 3 week period to create 3 new pieces, performed in the Sherman studio. The programme also offered theatre makers master classes from some of the leading diverse practitioners across the UK.
Fio want to be the instigators of change across Wales and help tackle the diversity problem. We know change is needed from what past events like the Aberaeron Carnival , Cardiff University and the Music Theatre Wales' production of The Golden Dragon tell us.
Enter Declaration: a new programme that recognises any barrier faced by those wanting to create live work. The programme endeavours to identify, nurture and develop unheard voices, as well as championing existing yet unrecognised artists. Fio believes bringing together artists of all levels will promote a more diverse and representative performance culture in Cardiff. The purpose of the programme was to give artists the space to be artists; a chance to work on an idea that means something to them and devise pieces that are very much rooted in the now. It was a project about visibility and voices coming together to make themselves heard.
This is our Declaration.