York Theatre Royal will reopen on Monday, 17 May with a celebration of the city’s creativity.
A call-out has gone out to York artists – poets, writers, performers, singers, dancers, digital artists – to help celebrate the return of live performance.
The theatre is commissioning a series of “love letters” from local artists – under the umbrella title Love Bites – to be performed on the opening night of The Love Season, a season of plays based on the theme of love.
The commissions will then be presented across the following fortnight as a prelude to the theatre production playing each night.
The theatre aims to commission 20 Love Bites love letters, each lasting up to five minutes. Artists will be offered £1,000 a commission plus £150 every time it is performed.
‘Join forces with us’
Creative director Juliet Forster said: “We want local artists working in any form or medium and currently living in York to join forces with us in celebrating the start of live performances when restrictions lift in May.
“We are looking for artists to create love letters through any medium.
“The love letter could be to a person, a place, an object, the city of York itself – or anything else.
“We are very keen to incorporate as wide a mix of art forms and interpretations of what a love letter is as possible.”
She said it could be a poem, a song, a piece of digital art, a dance piece – but should be able to be performed or shared both live and digitally.
The piece should have a duration of up to five minutes. If the artist doesn’t want to perform the piece themselves the theatre will work with them on engaging an appropriate performer.
Those interested in being commissioned are being asked to write a short proposal for what their love letter might be, how, it could be performed live and translated into digital form.
They are also being asked to submit links to their website or previous work. Submissions should be emailed to [email protected] by 22 March 2021.
The theatre is set to reopen on May 17 once government restrictions are lifted.
Chief executive Tom Bird said: “We’re ecstatic at the prospect of re-opening in May with the much-anticipated Love Season.
“After the challenges that the pandemic has brought for freelance artists, we’re particularly delighted to be able to commission 20 York artists to relaunch the theatre programme with Love Bites.
“We’ll be announcing the remainder of the season in April. We can’t wait to welcome the people of York back to their wonderful theatre.”