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.
Feb 5th - Feb 24th 2018
Announcing Masterclass Creatives!
CATHY TYSON - actor/writer
Cathy is an Actor of Stage and Screen in 2015 she co-founded Pitchlake productions and Cathy 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. Improvisation played an important role in my early years as an actor. In the youth theatre I was coached by the amazing Roger Hill. From the Everyman I went to the RSC in Stratford upon Avon. I was the youngest member of the company. I 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 as that doesn't always happen.
Throughout my career I have worked in radio , theatre, tv and film. From an early age I was a feminist and was adamant that I wouldn't be exploited for being a young actress. On my first film, Mona Lisa , I stipulated a no nude clause. It goes to show that you don't have to be well known in order to get what you want.
In 2010 I went to university to study English and Drama at Brunel. People laughed at me for two reasons, one: why did I need to study drama, a thing I had been involved in for two decades and two: I didn't know what I wanted to do with my degree. I just wanted to go to university and study. I knew also that with drama there is always something to learn. Whilst there I discovered theatre practitioners that both inspired and repelled me. I also became more used to writing. I did a night of my written work for a performance. I am not a daily writer but I feel confident at putting pen to paper. University helped to put passion back into my life and work.
First job out of uni was 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.
Formed to create leading roles for BAME actors.
I saw Cherelle Skeete's picture on a massive billboard outside the National Theatre of England. Another black actor was up there too. I was lucky enough to work with Sherelle on our first production. When I mentioned that it was great to see two black actors up there with John Simm , Cherelle mentioned to me that their parts were small. So the billboard gave a different impression. I am pleased to say that Cherelle felt our company had given her a chance to be challenged as an actress. Something she felt she wasn't experiencing even though she was getting work.
I am now an associate of Pitchlake Productions. My most recent work involved my first experience of verbatim theatre, The Listening Room. It's main theme involved restorative justice. At present I am 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 subsequently was 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.
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.
For too long in Wales, we have been faced with a lack of diversity in both the stories we tell and those who get to tell those stories. As a solution-focused arts charity, we want to change that. We know there is no one solution but we hope to be part of and instigators of much-needed change.
Recent events have proved to us that change is needed here in Wales from the Aberaeron Carnival to Cardiff University to the Music Theatre Wales' production of The Golden Dragon, there are clearly conversations we need to be having both creatively and socially as a nation. We understand that race and ethnicity is not the only barrier faced by those trying to create work and we wish to create a new programme that recognises any barrier faced by those wanting to create live work.
We are embarking on a new project, Declaration, which will identify, nurture and develop both unheard voices and championing those existing artists who have yet not had the exposure or recognition they deserve. We will bring together artists at all levels of their career to create new work. Share experiences and promote a more diverse and representative performance culture. A chance for a collection of artists to come together learn, develop and create.
Over the past 2 years of working in Wales, we have worked with a network of diverse artists whom we wish to grow and support whilst identifying new talent and underrepresented voices.
We also wish to take time and space for us to meet new people as well as promote and support the work of other organisations and individuals who share our common aim. We would also like to signpost these artists to other more resourced organisations who can support further development of the ideas and artists.
We will support minority voices and underrepresented people. We want to tell new stories and offer new opportunities for people who feel unheard. We want the next generation to see their faces and their stories on our stages. We wish to create new narratives that represent now and the experiences of all people.
This is our Declaration.
Declaration will begin on February 5th and run no later than February 24th.
5th - 10th February - FREE Masterclasses for Participants and Creation of Ideas (All Participants)
12th - 17th February - Script Creation Week (Writers Only)
19th - 24th February - Creation Week (Actors and Directors)
PARTICIPANTS WILL RECEIVE A WEEK OF FREE MASTERCLASSES AS WELL AS RECEIVING £400 FOR THE CREATION WEEK.
The Declaration participants will receive a week of masterclasses and exploration of their ideas. Following this they will then work together in core companies selected by Fio. These companies will then work to produce a 10 minute showing of live performance, expected to be theatre based, to invited delegates, representatives and leaders of industry. We would hope that this opportunity will lead to future partnerships with organisations or those that can give the project a future life or development path. The purpose of the programme is to give artists the space to be artists. A chance to work on an idea that means something to them and works that are very much rooted in the now. It is a project about visibility and voices coming together to make themselves heard.
The participants are not creating work for Fio. They are only creating for themselves in a safe, structured and supported way and we believe this will allow for the best work to flourish and for the participants to gain the most valuable development.