Sherman Theatre is proud of its commitment to developing theatre in the Welsh language and of its contribution to the canon of work in Welsh. Since Rachel O’Riordan became Artistic Director in 2014, Sherman Theatre has produced/ co-produced 15 fully staged productions of plays by Welsh and Wales based writers and presented readings of 16 plays. In total we have produced productions or readings of 12 plays in Welsh or bilingual plays.
Sherman Theatre’s current plans for Welsh language work ensure that we take a key strategic role in the shared national effort to develop excellent work in the national language. This includes a Sherman Theatre production of a piece of new writing in the Welsh language programmed for Spring 2019, the co-commission of a Welsh language play from a leading Welsh writer, and the commitment to present the next piece of work from our bilingual Company in Residence, Cwmni Pluen. Full details of these, and other projects will be confirmed in due course. All of this is in addition to our annual bilingual work for our youngest audiences at Christmas and our ongoing commitment to curating the best of Welsh language work from our colleagues in the sector, including Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, Theatr Bara Caws and Cwmni'r Fran Wen.
We are proud to have the talented, bilingual Cwmni Pluen as our Company in Residence and Dafydd James and Gary Owen, both of whom are Welsh speakers, as Associate Artists. Our work to create theatre in the Welsh language is comprehensively resourced and supported by engaging specialists, freelance directors and practitioners for example, to run and facilitate a wide range of our projects and initiatives and we will continue to do this. Our future plans, as stated above, will be delivered across the organisation and with external support. The arts sector relies on cross-organisational collaboration to ensure that it continues to grow. We believe that organisations across Wales have a responsibility to develop a sector-wide approach to the creation of work in Welsh.
Through our sector-leading programmes, the New Welsh Playwrights Programme and the Wales hub of the JMK Directors Group (both supported by The Carne Trust) we provide unique opportunities supporting the career progression of emerging artists in Wales. Both schemes offer participants the opportunity to work through the medium of Welsh. These vibrant programmes help to draw attention from across the UK to the extraordinary strength of talent in Wales. We are proud to champion the work of Welsh and Wales based talent on the national and international stages. Our recent UK-wide collaborations and co-productions of the work of Alan Harris and Katherine Chandler, as well as Gary Owen, are evidence of the work we have done to shine the spotlight on Welsh talent and we will continue to do this.