Set up only a few months ago in July 2013 by University of Birmingham graduates Lucinda Lee and Christa Harris (both 23); The Chrysalis Collective has been chosen to participate in the prestigious RSC Open Stages 2013-16 scheme. The company was chosen for their version of Twelfth Night, which will be set in the 1950s and will give the comedy’s central love story a twist, The Chrysalis Collective hopes to give fresh insight into the consequences of falling in love with the wrong person. Their Illyria is an English seaside port town in 1957; the debutantes are still presented at court but the rebellion of Rock’n’Roll is sweeping the world.

Chrysalis Collective at RSC Stratford upon AvonChrysalis Collective at RSC Stratford upon Avon

The Chrysalis Collective is a new female lead theatre company focused on the art and craft of storytelling; reformulating age-old tales of the past for the audience of today. Having received nearly 200 applications from across the UK, the RSC along with 6 partner theatres will work with 86 selected amateur groups to support them with mentoring and workshops to create their own RSC Open Stages production in their own venue. The project began on the weekend of 28 September 2013 when all 90 directors came together from all over the UK for the first and only time in Stratford-upon-Avon to participate in two days of skills workshops led by the RSC’s own team of theatre practitioners. The RSC Open Stages producer Ian Wainwright commented; ‘The RSC is once again excited to continue to collaborate with just some of the million amateur theatre-makers in the UK… Open Stages looks to share some of the processes, techniques and ideas of professional theatre-making, while allowing the RSC to learn about, and be inspired by the work of work of people with a real passion for the craft of theatre.’

RSC Open Stages is supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. We do this by funding the charitable work of organisations with the ideas and ability to achieve positive change.

The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. We make grants of £30 – £35 million annually towards a wide range of work within the arts, education and learning, the environment and social change. We also operate a £21 million Finance Fund which invests in organisations that aim to deliver both a financial return and a social benefit.

The RSC is partnered in the project by some of the country’s leading theatres including:
The Lyric Theatre, Belfast, covering Northern Ireland
Sherman Cymru, Cardiff, covering Wales and the adjacent area
Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon, covering the Midlands
Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, covering the South of England
Questors theatre, London, covering London and the surrounding area
Contact Theatre, Manchester, covering the North of England
Dundee Rep Theatre, covering Scotland

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Source: The Chrysalis Collective