Budding actors from the University of Sunderland will tread the boards this week to showcase their skills as part of a regional theatre competition. Year 1 and 2 Performing Arts students will participate in the All England Theatre Festival (AETF) at Art’s Centre Washington, performing extracts from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and D.C.Jackson’s My Romantic History.

Each year amateur groups from across the country enter the AETF through a series of local festivals.

The first Durham and Sunderland One Act Festival, a qualifying round in the AETF event, was held for the first time at Arts Centre Washington last year and hailed as a great success.

The 2019 Festival has again attracted seven groups to perform this week, with nine varied productions all this week – comedy, drama and tragedy. The winner of this will go forward to the Northern Region Semi-Final, to be held at the Arts Centre Washington on May 4 and 5.

This will bring together the winners of AETF festivals across the North. The winner from this will go forward to the All England Final in Maidenhead on June 8.

Adelle Hulsmeier, Senior Lecturer in Drama and Performing Arts at the University of Sunderland, said: “We thought this was an excellent opportunity for our students to get involved in something that was extra curricula and promoted their skills in an employability environment. The experience which they have all volunteered for also allows them to represent the university and what we do.”

She added: “Both plays have mature and challenging themes which the students have embraced and we are very proud of the dedication and effort they have showed during their rehearsals.”

The festival will be adjudicated by Sue Doherty, of the internationally recognised Guild of Drama Adjudicators (GoDA). Each night after the final play she will give her thoughts on the plays and on Saturday (March 9) she will present the awards ceremony where the winners of eight trophies will be announced: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Role, Best Cameo, Most Promising Actor or Actress, Adjudicator’s Award, New Writing Award and the Champion Trophy.

Alan Godfrey, MBE, organiser of the Durham and Sunderland One Act Festival, said: “We invite audiences to come along to support their local group, and be entertained by a variety of tragedy, drama and comedy.”

The Sunderland students will be performing on Saturday 9th March, at 7.30pm, with extracts from “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, followed by extracts from “My Romantic History” by D J Jackson (this play contains strong language and adult themes).

This is followed by the Durham and Sunderland One Act Festival Awards Ceremony. For more information or to book, click here

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