Local students from Hornsea School and Language College are to perform for the first time in the National Theatre’s Connections Festival at Cast. The three-day Youth Theatre Festival will see the students perform at Doncaster’s flagship theatre alongside eight other Youth Theatre Groups from across Yorkshire. Connections Festival is the National Theatre’s annual festival of new plays for youth theatres and schools. It gives young people experience of professional theatre making, by performing a set of new plays by critically acclaimed writers on a professional stage. The students from Hornsea School will be performing FOMO by National Theatre Writer-in-Residence Suhayla El-Bushra. Daniel Sellers, Head of Drama at Hornsea School commented, “We felt that FOMO is not only unusual in the style that it is written, often as a series of Instagram and Facebook statuses, but that it addresses a prevalent issue which affects many of our students. It looks at how our students today are digital natives and have been surrounded by the Internet since birth – what would they do if the Internet didn’t exist? Finally the play also looks at acceptance and being proud to be yourself, regardless of what others think.” Hornsea School has participated in the Shakespeare Schools Festival on numerous occasions and wanted a new challenge in performing a contemporary play, which spoke about the world we live in today and which would challenge the students in the style of the performance. Connections at Cast in Doncaster provided the perfect opportunity. The students have enjoyed exploring a play which speaks about the world in which they live. In rehearsals students have worked as an ensemble to develop the plot and characters as well as improving their performance skills. Student Megan Wilson said, “Being part of the Connections Festival has allowed for an opportunity to engage in new and upcoming theatre. FOMO is a fabulous play all about the Internet and the effect that social media has on youngsters with idea of there being no privacy. I feel like this is such a current theme running through society today and being able to show that through the medium of a play is such an amazing experience. As the play is mainly ensemble work, it’s great for developing skills and working as a team to create a modern yet educational piece of drama.” Sarah Clough, Head of Participation at Cast commented, “We’re delighted to welcome students from Hornsea School to Connections at Cast. The festival is a great opportunity for young people to come together, make new friends and perform great new plays in a professional theatre. With nine groups from Scarborough to Lincoln taking part, the three-day festival promises to be an incredible celebration of talented young people. I invite everyone to join us to see theatre-makers of the future in action.” The other groups performing at Cast this year include young people from South Hunsley School, Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy, Scarborough Sixth Form College, Ilkley Grammar School, Lincoln Young Company, TAG, Jaspa Lincs Ltd and Hall Cross Academy. National Theatre Connections 2017 runs from Tuesday 2nd – Thursday 4th May at Cast, Doncaster. Tickets are £6.50 / £3.50 Under-26s, available from Box Office on 01302 303 959 and online at castindoncaster.com.