Rebecca Duke joined us as a Resident Artist in 2020. Here she reflects on her time with the company.
When I applied for Canberra Youth Theatre’s Resident Artists program I was looking for an artistic community. I’d spent the last year attending short writing residencies across Australia and I wanted to find a similar community in Canberra. It had also been a year since I graduated high school and I wanted to take playwriting seriously as a possible career.
I was excited at the prospect of long-term collaboration that the year-long program offered and I liked the idea of immersing myself in the life of a theatre company. So when I was accepted as a participant in the program I was ready to commit myself to all the opportunities it offered. Now half way through the program, I’m even more excited to see what I can learn from and contribute to the company.
As an emerging artist, always having to create your own momentum can get tiring. Being able to centre my artistic practise in our weekly resident artist meetings gives my writing life structure. I’m accountable to more than my own ambition when my confidence wavers. This became even more important as COVID19 postponed and then cancelled the other playwriting opportunities I had lined up this year. Thankfully, the Resident Artists program became the centre of my creative life.
The Young Playwrights Program was an unexpected blessing of being a Resident Artist this year. Connecting with incredible mentors and learning alongside talented young playwrights from around Australian made my craft feel worthwhile and important. Learning new skills in my craft made the return of live theatre feel inevitable and I was able to commit myself to being a better playwright when the theatre world picked up pace again.
By far the best thing about being a Resident Artist has been working with and getting to know Luke and the other residents (even only on Zoom). They’re exactly the artistic community that I entered the year wanting. It’s been such a great start to the year and I’m super excited to see what comes of the next half.