Genesis Foundation at the birth of new theatre talent

Lewis Bruniges
Lewis Bruniges

A major arts group which throws its weight behind aspiring new talent in the creative industries, is now supporting two new theatrical voices for the future.

The Genesis Foundation works in partnership with leading arts organisations to nurture and develop outstanding young artists.

At the Young Vic, Finn Beames, 27, becomes this year’s second recipient of the Genesis Future Directors Award.

Meanwhile 19-year-old Lewis Bruniges is named as a Genesis LAMDA Scholar as he starts his BA (Hons) in Professional Acting.

John Studzinski, founder and chairman of Genesis, said: “In making this commitment to supporting Finn and Lewis, the Genesis Foundation is both continuing to nurture outstanding artistic talent and to deepen its relationship with two of this country’s most dynamic and imaginative arts organisations.

“I look forward to watching Finn and Lewis excel in their careers in the years ahead.”

Finn Beames

Finn was chosen from more than 400 applicants. He is the second young director to receive one of these awards this year, following Tinuke Craig, whose production of Debbie Tucker Green’s Dirty Butterfly opens at the Young Vic next week.

Finn is a graduate of King’s College Cambridge, where he gained experience in directing new opera, notably Terrible Lips, which he co-wrote with composer Kate Whitley.

He is also founder and artistic director of Bodycorps – a company established in 2011 to commission new work in theatre and opera.

In October the company will premiere The Anatomy of Melancholy, made possible with funding from the Wellcome Trust, at Testbed1 in Battersea.

The Future Directors Award was created to nurture emerging young directors by providing them with an opportunity to explore and develop their craft while creating their first fully resourced production at the Young Vic.

The award will provide support and mentorship from the theatre’s creative network, which includes artistic director David Lan and current Genesis Fellow Natalie Abrahami, former Director of the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill.

Said David Lan: “Finn Beames has what seems to me an unusually musical gift as a director.

“He is blessed with a powerfully focused sense of what he wants to create as an artist, and of the artistic world he wants to live in.”

Lewis Brunige already has impressive acting experience, having performed with RADA’s Youth Company and the National Youth Theatre.

Following a rigorous audition process, Lewis was selected unanimously by a scholarship panel chaired by actress, director and LAMDA Vice-President, Dame Janet Suzman, and by LAMDA trustee and Olivier Award-winning actress Patricia Hodge.

His tuition will be entirely funded by Genesis over three years of study and they also receive a substantial contribution towards their living expenses.

A thrilled Lewis said: “It’s a strange feeling to have some form of confirmation from outstanding professionals in the field that I hope to enter into that perhaps I can one day act, and act well.

“They are trusting me to thrive and bear creative fruit from the money they are investing in my potential, and I can only feel humbled by the sense of purpose and promise that comes from something this generous.”

John Bashford, LAMDA’s associate principal, said: “The panel were impressed by the passion and raw vulnerability Lewis revealed in the audition and his ability to communicate confidently a wide range of interests”.

For more information about the Genesis Foundation go to its website www.genesisfoundation.org.uk

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