Leeds' Emerge Festival will be joined this year by Red Ladder Theatre Company to bring innovative theatre to the Yorkshire Region. The Emerge Festival runs from the 19th- 26th June, consisting of workshops, script nights, scratch nights and mentored performances; as well as open discussion with playwrights and theatre makers from around the area. Red Ladder will be kick starting the festival this year, hosting a unique Open Space event at the Carriageworks, Leeds on the 19th June.

Open Space is an event designed specifically for those with an interest in theatre, from playwrights and designers to students and spectators alike. The agenda is set by those who arrive on the day all with the aim of answering the question, “what is to be the future of theatre and performing arts?”

25th June sees playwrights Emma Adams, Ben Tagoe and Boff Whalley debating the same question, followed by script in hand performances of three short plays by new writers Lorna Poustie, Elise Rohde Hanssen, Dave Barlow and Ben Tagoe. The plays are set in various backdrops, from Nazi occupied Germany to Mountjoy Prison in Dublin. Looking at corruption, deception and secrecy across different cultures, the day promises to both challenge and entertain.

Three of the writers have come to Red Ladder via the Freedom Studios Street Voices project in 2010 and playwright Ben Tagoe continues to work with the company following the production of his play Bittersweet Sunshine at last year’s Emerge Festival. The extracts will be directed by young director Shakera Ahad and Red Ladder's Artistic Director, Rod Dixon.

The Emerge Festival was founded in 2009 and is produced by three Leeds venues. The Carriageworks, Stage@leeds and Seven Arts Centre work together in partnership with organisations and agencies from across the city. Other highlights of this year’s festival include workshops from prestigious theatre companies such as Frantic Assembly and Goat Island; as well as the premiere of Pointed Arrow’s HEAVE documentary which charts the company’s journey, pushing a 20ft sailing boat 100 miles around Yorkshire’s cities and dales.

Red Ladder is a radical theatre company with 40 years of history; acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading national touring companies producing high quality theatre contributing to social change and global justice.

For further information about the Emerge Festival please visit www.emergeleeds.co.uk and for further details about Red Ladder's work please visit www.redladder.co.uk