Genesis Foundation Summer Roundup
5 August 2016
2016 marks the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Genesis Foundation, an exciting year that has already seen the historic vespers service take place at the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, plays by Genesis international playwrights performed in South Africa and at the Royal Court, and Hadrian Garrard, director of Create London, awarded the biennial Genesis Prize, in recognition of his outstanding mentorship of artistic talent. On 15 October James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater, commissioned by the Genesis Foundation, will receive its world premiere at London’s Barbican Centre by Harry Christophers with The Sixteen and Britten Sinfonia.Find out more about each Genesis partner’s recent activity, below.
Polly Graham, WNO Genesis Assistant Director (2012-14), continues to go from strength to strength. Fresh from her success as Associate Director of In Parenthesis, Polly executively directs Kommilitonen! for WNO Youth Opera this summer, ahead of her WNO main stage debut with Le Vin herbè in the spring of 2017. Her ongoing success has led to her appointment as INDEPENDENT OPERA Fellow at Sadler’s Wells, a position that will see her direct a new production.
In its feature Why are directing awards so important?, What’s On Stage interviews Young Vic Artistic Director David Lan, Founder and Chairman of the Genesis Foundation John Studzinski, and several past and present Genesis Future Directors to gain an insight into the impact and worth of this vital programme.
“What the Genesis Future Directors Award gave me was the opportunity to put my training into practice, to be able to focus on the craft of directing without having to worry about the production side of things and, crucially, the unique sense of being trusted and believed in by an institution.” Tinuke Craig, Genesis Future Director 2014
The calibre of the young talent nurtured through Genesis programmes can be seen in upcoming production Operation Crucible, directed by current Genesis Future Director Bryony Shanahan and featuring past LAMDA Scholar Paul Tinto; the opportunities created by Genesis Partnerships are rich, stimulating and many. To keep up to date with all of the Young Vic’s developments, subscribe to their recently launched Off Book podcast, available on iTunes and SoundCloud.
Following her recent trip to Cuba, Elyse Dodgson, Head of the International Department at the Royal Court Theatre, is currently leading a phase oneworkshop in China, whereby writers develop basic tools that will enable them to develop a new contemporary play. For the most up to date news and photography from Elyse, follow the Genesis Foundation on Twitter.
Having recently completed his three year undergraduate degree as Genesis LAMDA Scholar, Murray Fraser’s professional career is already taking flight. Signed to leading theatrical agency Scott Marshall Partners prior to concluding his studies, Murray has already secured a role in six-part drama Loch Ness, commissioned by ITV. Murray’s impressive talent and skill is apparent in his graduation short film, Distortions.
The 25th and final LAMDA Scholar of the Genesis Foundation’s almost two-decade long partnership with the institution has been auditioned and will be announced in the autumn.
Each summer sees the changeover between Genesis Sixteen cohorts, packed with exciting events such as Sounds Sublime and Cumnock Tryst Festival. As the new group of talented young choral singers begin their course under the direction of Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan, they will no doubt be inspired to hear of the success of previous participant James Newby. First prize winner of The Kathleen Ferrier Awards 2016, Newby was the youngest entrant to reach the finals of the competition. Just 23 years old and newly graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Newby’s impressive achievement stands him in good stead for an exciting and resounding career. To hear James perform live, be sure to book tickets to the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday 10 September 2016; alumni from Genesis Sixteen can be heard at their dedicated Late Night Prom on Tuesday 16 August 2016.
The newest Genesis Foundation partnership has already begun to produce impressive and culturally substantive output, apparent from the impressive critical reception that Martha Clarke’s Angel Reapers was met with earlier this year. With three world premieres by Residency Five playwrights scheduled as part of Signature Theatre’s 2016/17 season, we look forward to seeing how this promising collaboration grows over the coming years.