The next generation of singers, dancers and actors are set to get a helping hand into the industry with an expansion of the Norwich Theatre Royal courses from the autumn.
It is expanding the size and scale of its training for those interested in modern musical theatre with more opportunities to learn and perform.
In addition, there will be a host of other courses focusing on physical theatre, and opportunities for those in their late teens and early twenties too.
The theatre team is particularly keen to find more male participants of all ages to grow and enhance their performing skills so they can aspire to follow in the footsteps of other theatre alumni like film star Sam Claflin, international stage star Sam Clemmett, and Jack Bannon (above) who stars in blockbuster drama Pennyworth which is screened in America from the summer.
One of the major changes is the Modern Musical Theatre course which is running on Sundays from September this year right through to August 2020, and it will see a much more in-depth course focusing on acting, singing and dancing.
It will focus on building strong foundations, improving skills and providing quality experiences as well as getting the opportunity to get additional training opportunities from touring musical companies. This will equip them with the skills and techniques they need to be a musical theatre performer in the 21st Century.
The year will culminate with a full-scale musical production of West Side Story which will be performed on the Theatre Royal main stage in July 2020.
Places are being snapped up and the next audition workshop to bid for a place will be held on July 21.
The course itself is part of a fresh look at the theatre’s learning and participation work which will increase both the number of teaching hours and available places for courses.
The theatre’s Empirical Company for 16 to 25-year-olds will also increase its scope. Young and emerging artists will be encouraged to discover new techniques and methods of training which will help them shape their own ideas and practices.
The Airborne programme will explore disciplines like physical theatre, contemporary dance and martial arts to help create visually stunning performances.
Meanwhile The Actors Lab will bring together 16 young people to create their own company to develop, produce and perform their own theatre over the year. Supported by the theatre’s in-house team, they will create a production which will be performed in Stage Two and could be entered into national festivals too.
And it will not just be about activities on stage. Industry professionals and the theatre’s own technical team will deliver a Young Technicians course offering training in the likes of stage management, lighting, sound design and operation, and set construction.
With recent Arts Council figures showing the arts sector generates £10.8 billion to the economy, the refresh of the courses will help equip students with the skills they need to help them be a part of it.
Wendy Ellis, the theatre’s learning and participation director, said: “We believe that quality training and experience is crucial for those wanting to enter the industry. This is why both within and alongside our courses, there are always performance opportunities. Collaborating across all art forms and being aware of the different roles involved in producing productions is fundamental to our young people’s knowledge when entering the industry today.”