English graduate's work on the stage at the REP

School of English graduate Ashley Elizabeth Lolo recently had her play ‘Blueprints’ performed at Birmingham Repertory Theatre as part of the Foundry Festival.

Ashlee’s play, ‘Blueprints’ is an explorative piece delving into the impact of generational cycles and learned behaviour. It follows the story of Adam and Faith who are considering having marriage and children. However, they begin to think twice once they realise what they’ve inherited from their families and culture.

“From a personal perspective, I’ve begun to evaluate what I have inherited from my family/society including behavioural patterns, mind-set and outlook on life” Ashlee explained, when asked about her inspiration for the project. “The process has shown me an array of traits that are positive, but it has also highlighted patterns that aren’t productive and will impact the next generation if I don’t take a stance on it now. I think everyone has a duty to actively think about what they’re passing on to the next generation before they arrive.”

The Foundry Festival is Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s artist development scheme, which highlights emerging theatre practitioners from across the Midlands. The year-long development programme supports artists through workshops, making, sharing work, and professional mentoring. It helps emerging directors, writers, theatre makers and companies make a name for themselves in the theatre industry.

“In 2018, I applied for the foundry programme which is a year-long development programme with the REP theatre” Ashlee said. “As part of the process, the cohort have developed eight new pieces of theatre which will be debuted at the Foundry festival. This would have not have been possible without the support of the directors and writers who are based at the REP theatre. I’m eternally grateful for their belief in my art.”

“The Foundry festival is a great chance for new writers to develop new scripts and test out their ideas. It’s a safe space to strengthen your theatre making skills and to begin a successful career within playwriting.”