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Youth Theatre bury time capsule under auditorium

Youth Theatre bury time capsule under auditorium

Members of York Theatre Royal’s Youth Theatre have buried a time capsule under the theatre’s auditorium containing trinkets and letters addressed to a Youth Theatre of the distant future.

The Youth Theatre Forum – representatives from 12 Youth Theatre groups, aged between 8 and 18 – took the opportunity of the theatre’s ongoing redevelopment work to bury the capsule under the stalls, so future audiences will sit directly above it while watching shows.

Stored in the capsule are costumes and scripts from Youth Theatre productions, including scripts of upcoming shows The Holding Place and The Trojan Women, signed by each production’s cast and creative team. Letters, poems and drawings by members of the Youth Theatre to their future equivalents were also preserved. The letters give an account of the current state of York Theatre Royal and its youth groups, and ask about the world of those who will one day open the capsule.

Questions range from “What is the theatre like today?” to “Can you read our writing?” and “Is Berwick Kaler still the panto dame?” Another requested: “After you open this can you put some stuff back in the capsule for another 50-100 years?”

The Youth Theatre Forum members also included stage props and memorabilia from their shows, ranging from a Barbie doll to a Youth Theatre T-shirt.

Youth Theatre Director Kate Plumb, who helped collect the material, contributed a letter to whoever holds her post when the time capsule resurfaces, in which she described the highlights of working with young actors in 2016 and wondered how her future equivalent’s role would compare.

Kate said:

We’ve had a wonderful time reflecting on the essence of our Youth Theatre and thinking about what we would like to share with a Youth Theatre of the future. We hope that it’s sealed for at least a hundred years, and that once it’s opened, they will get a real sense of the fun we’ve had in 2016, and over the last decade of our Youth Theatre.

York Theatre Royal’s ongoing restoration work is nearing completion: front-of-house and Box Office areas have been rebuilt, a flat stage has been installed and new raked stalls have been built, ready for a brand new set of seats to hold audiences from 22 April 2016 onwards. On that day the theatre will reopen with a world premiere of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, adapted by Bryony Lavery.