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Root Theatre Win York Theatre Royal's £20,000 TakeOver Residency Award

Root Theatre, a company who discovers and nurtures playwrights at the earliest stage of their careers, has won York Theatre Royal’s TakeOver Residency Award. Generously supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, this award sees Root Theatre receive £20,000 to commission and produce a brand new piece of work as part of the third week of this year’s TakeOver Festival in October 2013.

From over 50 applications – and a demanding written and practical selection process - the TakeOver Board and Senior Management Team, consisting of over 25 young people, chose to commission Root Theatre, an innovative theatre company run by director Jane Fallowfield and Livvy Morris, for its Residency.

The company will now begin to develop a new play written by Frazer Flintham exploring the effect of reality TV shows on young people today, working with schools and youth groups in York to see whether they think these programmes affect how they respond to dramatic moments in their own lives. They will then produce a unique story which will be presented at York Theatre Royal later in October this year.

Artistic Director of TakeOver Festival 2013, Ruby Clarke, explains: "I found the idea for the show really exciting because it is something so many people can relate to. Whether you love or hate the new breed of “reality” TV you probably have an opinion on it, it will be so interesting to see how the concept of “constructed reality” translates to the stage".

Playwright Frazer Flintham said of the show: "I'm fascinated with the increasing desire young people have to document their lives using social media - a trend which is now commonplace - and reality TV drama seems to be the benchmark some young people use to judge the success or failure of their own adolescence. I'm really excited to find out what the young people of York think about reality drama, and their perception of how, if at all, it's shaping their identities and aspirations - and how these views can be realised on stage".

Now in its fourth year, TakeOver Festival has built up a reputation for hosting an eclectic mix of stellar performance companies including Headlong Theatre Company, Frantic Assembly, Champloo Dance Company, Little Angel Theatre, Carol Ann Duffy and Andrew Motion (both as part of York Literature Festival), as well as producing its own professional and community productions, of which the TakeOver Residency forms a major part.

Last year’s Residency Award winner, Scarberia by Evan Placey which was created by working with young people in Scarborough and York in the UK and Scarborough and North York in Toronto, has since been picked up for the Canadian Banff Playwriting Colony 2013.

Tickets for Root Theatre’s award-winning production are on sale from July 2013 – please see for further details.

For more information on the Root Theatre Residency or general press enquiries on TakeOver Festival, please contact TakeOver Festival's Press Officer, Katharine Wootton on


TakeOver Festival 2013

A daring project first established in 2009 as part of the Art’s Council’s A Night Less Ordinary initiative, York Theatre Royal’s TakeOver Festival each year offers a group of aspiring young professionals the rare opportunity to take the helm of an entire theatre for three weeks. Closely mentored by their respective staff equivalent, the TakeOver team, all aged 11-25 years old, envision, create and then run every aspect of their very own theatre festival. This year’s festival, headed by Artistic Director Ruby Clarke and Producer Tom Atkins, is spread across three separate festival weeks in March, June and October. Details of the full TakeOver programme can be found at