To help provide a warm and uniquely Birmingham welcome to this summer’s Commonwealth Games, a special ceremony will be performed by local students and Birmingham based theatre professionals as the 6,500 athletes and team officials from the 72 nations and territories arrive at the Birmingham 2022 campus villages across the region.
LYNNEBEC and students aged between 16 and 18 from BOA Stage & Screen Production, will present ‘A Thousand Welcomes' which will offer a colourful welcome, to competing athletes and team officials.
Celebrating Birmingham’s innovation, community and diversity, the welcome ceremonies will showcase the city’s heritage of dance and cuisine, as well as share stories that have inspired the people that make Birmingham their home.
The 30-minute performance will include a dance party, featuring Birmingham’s famous rag markets and Bullring, unsung heroes of the city, iconic Birmingham dishes and many forms of traditional dance. The welcome ceremonies will reflect the diversity and youth of the host city and region, delivering a fun and fully accessible experience, ending in an invitation for the athletes to join the party.
The ceremonies will take place at one of the campus villages and will include a welcome speech from the Chef De Mission (the team leader) and raising of the nation or territory’s flag whilst their national anthem is played.
Performing the ceremonies will be 28 students aged between 16 and18 from Birmingham Ormiston Academy Stage and Screen(BOA), who are studying acting. Students will also work on the set design, props, costume, stage management hair and make-up for each performance.
Performing students will be accompanied by a cast of five professional performers including Birmingham born, Vidya Patel, a former finalist of the BBC Young Dancer of the year competition. The professional dancers will help support the students to develop their talent, expertly co-creating the performance with the students.
Co Artistic Directors
Jessica Barber & Catherine Butler
Senior Producer/Critical Friend
Amy Dalton Hardy
Production Stage Manager
Devisors & Performers
Anaya Vasudha Bolar
Acting Students from
BOA Stage and Screen Production
That’s a wrap on the Athletes Welcomes Ceremonies! We’re not sure we have the words to summarise the past 9 months but here goes…
This has been the biggest project we’ve ever worked on, it’s the first time we’ve created a show for an international stage, and an audience that consisted of athletes from 72 nations and territories no less! During the pandemic we dreamed of creating outdoor work of this scale and we couldn’t believe it when we were first commissioned. It has pushed us to grow and expand our company at lightning speed with a few wobbly moments along the way, but we are unbelievably proud of ourselves and our teams determination, creativity and support throughout this process.
Together, we created something really special and we could not have done it without these incredibly talented and supportive humans, a hundred thousand thanks to:
Amy Dalton Hardy: Senior Producer and Critical Friend
Elliot Mitchell: Company/Stage Manager
Rodrigo Carter: Junior Producer and Performer
Vidya Patel: Creative Collaborator and Performer
Sioda Adams: Devisor and Performer
Sam Newton: Devisor and Performer
Risha Silvera: Devisor and Performer
Anaya Vasudha Bolar: Devisor and Performer
Oliver Barker: Devisor and Performer
Beth Kapila: Dramaturg and Outside Eye
DEMARAE: Sound Designer
Leanne Fitchett: Costume Designer
Eleni Edipidi: Set Designer
Rachel Liggett: Access Consultant
Zoie Golding: Outdoor Arts Consultant
BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy (with a special shout out to the amazing students and acting teacher Keely Wright)!
Louisa and Claire at #B2022 - thank you for trusting us with this very special task
Finally, a huge shout out to all the cheerleaders, funders, volunteers and organisations who have supported LYNNEBEC along the way, we are so grateful and so excited for whatever the future holds.