Northern Education Trust

Outcomes Focused, Child Centred

It?s Curtains Up at New Theatre School

21st Mar 2014

It?s Curtains Up at New Theatre School

Students in the Gateshead area now have the opportunity to really show off their singing, dancing and acting talents at a newly created Theatre School.

Located at the Thomas Hepburn Academy, which is sponsored by the Northern Education Trust, the first Saturday morning programme of activities got underway after half term with 22 students attending.

The creation of the Thomas Hepburn Theatre School is headteacher, Lesley Craig?s idea.? Herself, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Lesley?s aim is to promote the arts as an integral part of the academy curriculum, but equally, to encourage and invite local residents to get involved and enjoy being part of the school?s learning community.?

Excited about the new venture, and its possibilities for making a real difference to the confidence, social skills and experience of students, she said:?

?We are focusing on musical theatre so dancing, acting and singing will play an important part at first, but we will soon be setting up a technical group who will learn about sound and lighting as well as stage management.? In the future we plan to work on props, costume and make-up as well as performance work, so it will be a really exciting way to spend Saturdays from now on.

?I was delighted at the turn out on our first day.? The Theatre School is open to any youngsters who want to attend and we have sent out over 500 flyers to our feeder schools to encourage wider participation.? Although the average age at the moment is around 13 years, all students are welcome regardless of age.?

Some key appointments have already been made.? Katy Ross, who works as an administrator for the Northern Education Trust during the week, is a drama specialist and skills coach along with Lindsey Power, who is head of history at Thomas Hepburn and responsible for teaching dance.?

The Theatre School will also benefit from the involvement of local actor, Jordan Todd, a graduate of the prestigious Italia Conti School in London, who will be hosting the Easter School Special ? the first show case will be shortly after Easter.

Katy, who is a drama graduate and accomplished singer, is absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to put her love of the performing arts into practice each week.? She adds:?

?There is some great raw talent in the group so far and there is potential for them to really develop their singing, dancing and performing skills. ?At the moment, some of them just don?t have sufficient confidence in themselves, but I feel certain they will pick that up quickly whilst boosting their fitness, making new friends and learning how to develop in the relevant disciplines.? It will also be possible for them to obtain information about careers in the performing arts from professional performers in London.

?Our message to anyone who is interested and wants to find out more, is to get themselves along to Thomas Hepburn Theatre School on Saturday mornings - who knows where it may lead!?