Hull Truck Theatre are working with up-and-coming Yorkshire-based theatre designer Caitlin Mawhinney to bring the theatre building back to life ahead of re-opening to audiences this summer after a 15-month period of closure.
The artistic intervention entitled Setting The Stage will begin to grow over the coming weeks and be visible through the windows of Hull Truck Theatre’s iconic building on Ferensway for audiences and passers-by to enjoy.
As Covid restrictions begin to ease, the theatre is naturally taking steps towards re-opening. To reflect what’s taking place behind-the-scenes in preparation for live performances; Setting The Stage will incorporate several creative phases – all visible from the outside of the building, including: Rehearsals, The Half, Beginners and Lights Up. The completion of the installation will coincide with the re-opening of the theatre for its summer programme on Friday 4 June. Details of the full programme will be announced at the end of April.
The installation will include vibrant window displays using props and costumes from previous shows which will give a glimpse into theatre productions of years gone by… but with a twist. To symbolise key themes of growth, togetherness, hope, community and wellbeing, there will also be a flower-themed community engagement element to the project.
Hull Truck Theatre are asking members of the community: individuals, schools and community groups, to contribute to Setting The Stage by crafting a flower from paper, card, or any other recyclable materials you can easily find, and sending it into the theatre for inclusion within the display. Those contributing are encouraged to write messages, draw pictures or patterns, use bright colours, or upcycle paper you already have, such as an outdated event poster or Hull Truck Theatre programme.
Caitlin Mawhinney, Freelance Theatre Designer, said: “Setting The Stage is an artistic intervention that puts sustainability and the community at the forefront of the theatre’s resurrection. We are creating a narrative that will take the public on a journey of anticipation – from the backstage prep to the opening night, whilst allowing them to become part of the story through their floral contributions.
“It was really important to ensure that the project could be delivered as sustainably as possible and so the incorporation of recyclable flowers seemed like a natural fit. Flowers are a great indicator of growth, new beginnings and hope, and seemed like the perfect metaphor to incorporate into this project.
“It’s been a real pleasure to work with Hull Truck Theatre and their internal project team on this creative project. We’ve harnessed important skills from costume, lighting and communications to ensure that Hull Truck is back with a bang when the theatre re-opens in June!”
Mark Babych, Artistic Director of Hull Truck Theatre, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Caitlin on this project. After a year that has been particularly difficult for freelancers working in the creative industry, it’s fantastic that we’re able to provide her with work. She’s worked seamlessly with our own internal project team who have been pivotal in the success of getting this off the ground.
“There’s a real buzz of excitement across the whole organisation about getting back into the theatre and producing live work, and this project only adds to our excitement. We’re going to be announcing our summer programme of work at the end of April and could not be more thrilled about the prospect of welcoming audiences back into our building in a mere matter of months.”
To find out how to get involved, please visit: https://www.hulltruck.co.uk/hull-truck-at-home/setting-the-stage/. Here you can watch the quick and simple “how to” guide to floral crafting or download step-by-step instructions. Once you’ve finished your creation, simply drop it off at the theatre’s collection box outside the front entrance, or post it to: Hull Truck Theatre, 50 Ferensway, Hull, HU2 8LB.
Final deadline for contributions: Thursday 3 June 2021.
[Paul Johnson-Watt – Hull Truck Theatre]