If your New Year’s resolution is to find a new interest and explore the world of theatre, a new season of courses can help.
Whether you have ambitions of performing on stage or want to learn backstage skills to bring a performance to life, there are a host of courses happening in the heart of Norwich inside the walls of a professional theatre.
And while some of the courses are aimed at young people, there are opportunities for adults too at the Theatre’s Royal’s Stage Two building.
From January, a Young Technicians course will get underway. Aimed at 18 to 25 year-olds, it will offer backstage training in the likes of stage management, lighting, sound design and operation, and set construction.
Working with industry professionals and the technical team at Norwich Theatre Royal, there will be the chance to find out about different backstage careers while also learning theatre techniques and how to use different types of equipment.
Once the course is completed, students may be offered the chance to work on future productions at Stage Two, the theatre has also joined forces with Trinity College London to offer courses leading to nationally-recognised performance qualifications.
Students who are aged 13 to 17 will work on various plays and do detailed work on characterisation and acting before being formally assessed at the end of the course.
And there are courses for adults too. Stage Two has assembled a team of professional writers, performers and organisations to offer a Writing For Performance course which also launches in January. It will explore a range of different styles and also encourage those taking part to plan, write and edit original works in a range of different genres for stage, screen, comedy and radio.
It will mix classroom sessions with discussions, group work and some individual work plus the opportunity to see finished work brought to life by performers.
For those over 18 who prefer to get experience of performing on stage, an adult course offering an Introduction To Acting is also happening. The weekly two-hour sessions will use improvisation and role play to learn techniques around performance while also building communication skills and confidence.
Andy Adam, the theatre’s training and skills officer, said: “This course is aimed at beginners and run by a team of dedicated drama practitioners including experienced actors and directors.”
And for those who can’t commit to a regular weekly class, there are also a series of adult one evening taster sessions happening in 2020 focusing on different areas. The first one on January 27 will look at building a character, with a second one on March 30 giving an insight into backstage roles. As well as providing learning in a bite-size chunk, they are also aimed at people who want to discover or improve a theatre skill.
These sessions will run alongside the many existing courses and learning opportunities already running in Stage Two which also include some introductory acting courses for seven-year-olds and Airborne which is aimed at 16 to 21 year-olds who are interested in physical theatre and dance which also explores the use of music, digital art and spoken word in performance.
Andy said: “We are really excited about our 2020 programme of courses. We have been able to assemble a number of highly experienced practitioners to offer a wide range of different opportunities and experiences.
“Many of these are also tasters or aimed at beginners so you do not need to have huge amounts of previous experience. Enthusiasm and commitment are all that we are looking for.”
To find out more about the courses, log onto ntr.org.uk/TakePart.