As Hackney Empire celebrates 120 years at the heart of the local community, and in the wake of the recent release of the, 20 Years of Creative Futures Impact Report Artistic Director Yamin Choudury and the whole team announce details of this summer’s Artist Development Programme (ADP) project.
The Hackney Empire Young Producers Programme part of the Creative Development strand of Creative Futures, providing participants from under-represented backgrounds across the borough with the opportunity to curate and produce an arts and cultural events programme, using Hackney Empire’s infrastructure, performance spaces and technical support.
From 29 – 31 July, the Hackney Empire Young Producers – all aged between 14 – 21 – will take over the programming of The River Stage outside the National Theatre on the Southbank, showcasing the last 120 years of unforgettable experiences at Hackney Empire and beyond. As a group of young creatives, the Hackney Empire Young Producers will bring a weekend of pure talent, pure energy and pure vibez. The weekend line-up will platform some of the best emerging artists and performances that celebrate youth culture, with highlights including dance crews Lit Youth, Boy Blue and BAC Beatbox Academy, music performances from The Girls of Grime collective, Tracks on Tap and Choirs Collide, poetry and spoken word from The Poets, and showcases from Alter Ego and the best of ADP from the last twenty years. More details, listings and timings here, here and here.
On 20 August, the 2022 ADP show A DIRECT MESSAGE will take place on the Hackney Empire main stage. In just twelve days a company of 45 young artists and creatives aged 14 – 19 years old and mentored by industry professionals, will create and present a sensational new piece of musical theatre.
Tomorrow is for new beginnings, but tonight might just be the biggest night of their lives…
Some will take a chance to say all the things they never said. And some will just walk away. But whatever happens, everyone is going to be there. One last time?
But when an unknown number, sends a shocking DM, everything will change.
A Direct Message explores the experiences of young people; their joy, their sadness, their loss, their triumph and everything in between…
A DIRECT MESSAGE will be directed by Yamin Choudury, with associate directors Stella Odunlami and Kane Husbands, alongside writer/practitioner Sumāh Ebelé and drama practitioner Andre Fyffe, with Elizabeth Ayodele as drama assistant. Ty Lowe will be head of music and co-musical director with Diarra Walcott-Ivanhoe, alongside Rianna Kellman as vocal director and Hannah McCarron-Gamez and Elijah Aduu as musical assistants. The show will be choreographed by Olivia Shouler, with Poppy Tremlett as assistant choreographer, alongside Khalif Shakeil Edwards as dance assistant. The show will be designed by Becca White, with Sherna Simpson-Thomas as assistant designer and Hannah Schlenker as design assistant. Rachel Horowitz is creative producer, with Fatima Sheekhuna as assistant producer and company manager, with Vanessa Sutherland as stage manager.
Since the first ADP – an intensive two-week summer programme where a company of up to 40 young people create a new piece of musical theatre performed on stage at Hackney Empire – was launched in 2002, Hackney Empire Creative Futures has used arts and creativity to break down barriers, build confidence and provide creative, professional and personal development for young people regardless of their background, education, income or experience.
Today, Creative Futures annually engages over 2,000 young people aged 12 to 25-years-old. From its inception, Creative Futures set out to reframe ‘culture’ by using art-forms that young people were already engaged in, including film, popular including acting for stage and screen, popular music such as British Rap and R&B, spoken word and dance. The theatre’s unique model of youth engagement has impacted on over 20,000 young lives in its 20-year history.
In total Creative Futures provides an average of 20 hours of free youth programming each week across 45 weeks of the year. These include workshops and masterclasses alongside professionally produced training and performance programmes, all of which are provided free of charge to all participants.
Rachel Horowitz, Head of Learning and Participation, said, “This Summer young creatives are leading the way at every step. From showcasing emerging talent on the National Theatre’s River Stage programmed by our Young Producers to A Direct Message on our main stage, devised and performed by the ADP 2022 company made up of 45 young artists. The next generation of change makers are coming from HE Creative Futures.”