Telephone: 07854 423991
Contact: Anna Smith, Producer
Rachael Young is a writer, director and performer. Her current work includes solo contemporary theatre, interactive installations and socially engaged participatory events. Having worked primarily as a solo artist since 2012, she was previously Co-Artistic Director of First Floor Theatre, a company who produced participatory projects and interactive performances exploring contemporary, multi-cultural British experience.
Rachael’s work is playful, experimental and often autobiographical. It seeks to represent voices that are often unheard in the arts and engage with audiences to explore new collective voices and participatory forms of expression. Concerned with the way we navigate the work as women and specifically black women, the work subtly questions societal norms, aiming to empower audiences to embrace and celebrate who they are.
In 2014, Rachael received an annual BBC Performing Arts Fellowship, hosted by mac Birmingham. She also became a ‘Breakthrough Artist’ at The Curve, Leicester. These opportunities enabled her to develop a new solo performance; I, Myself and Me, on which she is collaborating with an exciting team of artists and practitioners including; Stacy Makishi as project mentor, Greg Wohead as outside eye, Eva G Alonso as lighting designer and Cécile Trémolières as set/costume designer. Working with autobiographical content, the show explores the stigma surrounding being a single woman in your 30’s, as Rachael battles through a jungle of internet dating, bad advice and social expectations, in an attempt to find love. So far, work in progress has been presented at mac Birmingham and Ovalhouse Theatre, London and the final show will premier at mac in September 2015.
In 2012 Rachael was selected for National Theatre of Wales’ ‘Wales Lab Pollinate Residency’. There she created a one-to-one performance, Bedtime Stories, exploring the experience of growing up with an absent parent. Later that year, she was commissioned by Serendipity (Leicester) to create a work as part of ‘Black History Season LIVE’ at Curve. During this process she developed her first full length solo show; The Way I Wear My Hair. With support from ACE, the show toured to The Yard Theatre’s N.O.W 14 festival (London), Nottingham Playhouse, Curve, Shift Festival and Derby Playhouse. Around the same time, two visual arts spaces in Nottingham; Primary and New Art Exchange, commissioned Rachael to create an installation, audio walk and durational performance, looking at hair and identity. The resulting installation; Crowns of Confidence, will be presented again this year at Tate Modern’s Turbine Festival in July and at The Birmingham Weekender in September.
Rachael is very interested in using theatre and performance to instigate and inspire important and exciting discussion among audiences and participants. This year she took part in a panel discussion at Women of the World Festival (Southbank Centre) titled; ‘Black Women’s Bodies; Behind the Booty’. She also spoke on a panel about the politics of black hair at the New Art Exchange (Nottingham) and over the coming months is working with artist, Selina Thompson, to deliver a series of talks exploring what it means to be black through the way we wear our hair.