Gala Theatre and Durham University combine efforts for online theatre festival

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An online theatre festival aiming to celebrate local theatre companies and performing arts groups has been announced by Durham University and the Gala Theatre.

The festival, called ‘Onstage: Online’, will take place between 11th and 14th June. It will include live sessions streamed live each day on the Gala Theatre’s YouTube Channel, as well as scheduled pre-recorded content. 

“It is well known that watching theatre and engaging in the arts can be incredibly beneficial to our mental health and wellbeing”

Cllr Joy Allen

In addition to showcasing local talent, the festival aims to promote mental wellbeing by celebrating creativity during lockdown. 

Kate Barton, Heads of Student Theatre at the University, said that “We are thrilled to be running a joint festival bringing creativity from Durham to the world. 

“We want to programme the best of the North East and appeal to a wide range of audiences and ages and are particularly interested in work that will appeal to a family audience, though all applications will be considered.”

Councillor Joy Allen, who is the local cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, added that: “Onstage: Online is a wonderful opportunity to use our time in lockdown to be creative, while also celebrating what a great place County Durham is with people around the world. 

“It is well known that watching theatre and engaging in the arts can be incredibly beneficial to our mental health and wellbeing, and finding things that lift our spirits is especially important right now.

“I know the team at the Gala Theatre is really enjoying working with our partners at Durham University, and I can’t wait to see what theatrical gems the project produces.”

Theatre companies who wish to participate in the project can receive up to £250 to help create their production. 

In order to help slow the spread of Coronavirus and in line with Government guidance, both the Gala Theatre and Assembly Rooms Theatre have temporarily closed.

Image: Durham University

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