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Shetland Youth Theatre has been selected from 150 youth theatre groups across the UK to be profiled in the National Theatre’s digital Connections Festival 2021.

Shetland Youth Theatre will perform Tuesday, a new piece of writing by Alison Carr, which will be recorded and shared with participating students, schools and youth groups across the UK as part of the digital celebration of youth theatre. Shetland Youth Theatre also premiered their play as a screening in Mareel during May and then at Traverse as part of their digital Connections festival.

Despite the challenges and disruption young people and theatres have faced due to the pandemic, this year 3,200 young people have taken part in Connections, performing ten specially commissioned plays from some of the UK's most exciting contemporary playwrights and exploring issues including climate change, mental health, racism and identity. Youth theatre companies and school groups have brought these playscripts to life on stage, performing the new plays in live and digital festivals at 29 leading regional theatres across the UK. Ten companies have been chosen to have their performances recorded and shared with young people in September to showcase the brilliant work being produced across the UK.

Shetland Youth Theatre has been running for 25 years and continues to grow and develop every year, focusing on being led by the young people. They found their Connections play became more and more relevant as the pandemic developed and the actors explored their feelings at experiencing this strange new world. For many of the cast, this was one of their first productions and they are proud of how resilient and adaptable they have all been working under such unusual conditions.

Esther Renwick, Interim Creative Project Manager, Shetland Arts said, "I cannot express how proud we all are of the hard work, energy, and talent that has been poured into this production; the company has worked online and in-person off and on throughout 2020 and 2021 to pull together a fantastic production in such difficult times. Being selected to perform Tuesday as part of the National Theatre Connections Festival is an incredible end to an incredible project, thank you to the National Theatre for making this possible"

Alice King-Farlow, Director of Learning at the National Theatre said, “We have been so inspired this year by the resilience and creativity of students and youth theatres participating in Connections and the brilliant performances – whether digital or on a stage - by thousands of young people taking place right across the UK are a testament to this. We are excited to showcase these ten productions to demonstrate the collective innovation and imagination of this year’s participants, and hope to inspire more young people in the art of theatre-making".

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