The Berliner Grundtheater (BGT), founded in 1991 in Berlin and now based in Luxembourg, this year embarked on an exciting new endeavour: producing the first of hopefully several showcase plays for trainee actors in the Grand Duchy.
Whilst the BGT traditionally puts on a couple of productions per year, this project stands out in that the focus is on showcasing the talent of a select few young actors/actresses and helping them to both hone their skills and gain some professional experience for their future acting careers.
The first such production will see three young actresses, Hayley Dawson, Gina Millington and Céline Planata, who grew up in Luxembourg and are currently studying or plan to study drama, tackle Joel Horwood’s 2017 play “Wolves Are Coming For You”. The actresses, under the direction of BGT co-founder Tony Kingston, have been rehearsing throughout summer (roughly three to four hours daily over a period of seven weeks) and receive the equivalent of an equity minimum for their work. The experience thus allows these talented young women to develop their skills and their CVs at the same time.
The play, which offers parallels with current developments such as rising populism and blaming the “outsider”, will put the actresses’ skills to the test in that it requires a small cast to portray several very different characters. However, as Céline Planata, who will pursue acting at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) later this year, noted: "It's a nice challenge because each character has such a nice arc, they go through so many changes and there's so many different life experiences".
Director Tony Kingston has expressed hope that the project will also draw attention to the largely ignored talent that is coming through schools in Luxembourg and offer a "mixture of experience and exposure". Indeed, it is hoped that it will fill a “gap between school theatre and (semi-)professional theatre”. The choice to feature an all-female cast (and designer, Lina Peller) similarly represents an attempt to tackle the issue of gender inequality in an industry where there are often more women than men competing with one another for roles. In fact, one of the reasons behind the choice of play this year was that it was, in the words of Tony Kingston, “designed for women”.
If the show receives enough interest, the BGT will continue the project annually in an attempt to encourage trainee actors in Luxembourg.
"Wolves Are Coming For You" will be shown on 5, 6 and 7 September 2019 at the International School Luxembourg (36 Boulevard Pierre Dupong, 1430 Luxembourg). Since seating is very limited (max. 50 seats per night), those interested in seeing the play should reserve tickets as soon as possible via e-mail: email@example.com. Tickets cost €15 (students €8).
To read Chronicle.lu’s interview with the director and cast, see https://chronicle.lu/category/amateur-dramatics-choral/30104-actresses-hayley-dawson-gina-millington-celine-planata-discuss-bgt-play-wolves-are-coming-for-you.