The New Vic Theatre is delighted to offer the Arts Award to young people in the Staffordshire area.
The theatre considers Arts Award to be an incredibly valuable qualification, allowing young people to get a wealth of experience from different theatre departments including design, prop making, sound, lighting, producing, and musical and assistant directing. In addition, they can earn valuable UCAS points to help them further their education post-Arts Award.
Youth Theatre Director Kat Hughes has created a model based around theatre production, where participants get the chance to make up the production team of an annual National Theatre Connections show, amongst other challenges. The theatre offers all levels of Arts Award, including the Gold Arts Award every other year. The next intake of Gold Arts Award participants will be in September 2020.
Kat Hughes said: “There aren’t many opportunities available to this younger age group if they want to work in theatre, but don’t want to be an actor. It’s hard work, but we’re very lucky to have a lot of young people who stay with us from the age of four (in drama club) right up until age 19 (in youth theatre) who are really passionate.They do have to submit an application but they don’t have to be academic, we are flexible in what we accept as submissions which show their enthusiasm for theatre.”
Last year the Arts Award group got to work with the Head of Production and Cameron Mackintosh, who invited them to watch Les Miserables in rehearsal in London. He was so impressed that he then came to watch their National Theatre Connections show The Sad Club, by Luke Barnes, at the New Vic.
“We’re trying to get more of the participants into writing and reviewing too, and some of them have really gotten stuck into that,” Kat said. “The Arts Award can be focused around anything they want it to be. Young people are just like adults; they like to do things with a clear purpose or end goal; and they always rise to the challenge.”
This year’s National Theatre Connections show, The Changing Room, produced by Arts Award participants, takes to the stage at the New Vic on Tuesday 25 February 2020. Tickets are on sale now, priced at £9.50, from the New Vic Theatre Box Office and can be booked by calling 01782 717962 or online at newvictheatre.org.uk.
Becky Loton, New Vic Theatre