Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre Apprentice Needed
This scheme is an ideal opportunity for anyone planning to pursue a career in the theatre to gain an insight into how a theatre works.
The Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre is one of the busiest and most dynamic in the south of England, producing high quality productions in a wide range of genres including devised work, contemporary theatre, musicals and the classics. We also run a host of weekly classes, school workshops and holiday weeks.
Our Apprentice is a vital part of a small but dedicated team based in a busy producing and receiving theatre. The Apprentice will end their time at the Yvonne Arnaud having worked extensively in practical theatrical disciplines including lighting, sound and prop and costume making. He or she will also spend time during the year with our marketing, funding and theatre operations departments.
Within the Youth Theatre itself, the apprentice will work on up to eight productions during the year (including stage managing our two-week run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe), assist and possibly lead holiday workshops, and play a prominent role in our schools workshops throughout the year
Our Apprentice will have:
- excellent communication skills
- the ability to engage with a variety of people both within and outside the theatre
- enthusiasm to work with young people from age 6 to 21+
- good personal and organisational skills
- good computer and numeracy skills
- strong self-motivation and the ability to work on own initiative
- the ability to work well within a strong team environment
- a clean driving license (preferred)
Salary: circa £9,000 - £11,500 depending on age and experience
The successful applicant will undergo an enhanced CRB check
Interview workshops will be held on July 11th and 12th.
Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre wins awards for Off The Level
It’s been a whirlwind year full of performances and awards for the Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre’s project Off the Level. This Theatre in Education play was developed with Network Rail to raise awareness about the dangers at level crossings.
The play follows the fortunes of three students who use the local level crossing several times a day. Their story is mixed with testimonies from a train driver, British Transport Policeman, teacher and a mother who all have experience of tragedy.
Since being launched to railway professionals, police officers, local authority officials and teachers at the end of 2011, the play has been seen by around 3,000 school children in Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Kent. Many of those have also taken part in workshops or discussion sessions after the performance.
Last summer the project was nominated in the safety category in the prestigious Network Rail Annual Partnership Awards. Off the Level also won a £2,000 award from the High Sheriff of Surrey to enable us to take it to more schools in the county.
Last week an excerpt of the play was performed at the High Sheriff Youth Awards celebrations and we were also presented with a Commendation from the National Crimebeat Awards run by the High Sheriffs’ Association of England and Wales.
The following morning the play was performed in full in London to a national conference of railway safety professionals and won praise from those working on the railways day in day out.
Off the Level is also coming to the radio. The play has been recorded by Eagle Radio and will be played on Eagle Extra in the next few weeks.
Act One presents His Dark Materials
The epic story of Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry leapt to the Mill stage in the hands of Act One last week. His Dark Materials (22 – 31 Mar) is a two-play marathon adapted by Nicholas Wright from Philip Pullman’s trilogy of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.
A cast of 28 played the 150-odd characters over two weeks alternating the two plays each night and performing both on Saturdays. Almost all the dates were sold out and the packed houses were treated to two fantastically ambitious and brilliantly realised performances.
Directed by Adam Forde and with set designed by Sharon Davey and lighting by Sarah Sage, the audiences were transported to many different worlds, including our own, as Lyra and Will sought to fulfil their destinies and find what they were seeking. Sam Beattie, a final year student at ACM composed the music for the shows and produced almost 100 separate pieces in a superb score that has won praise from all quarters.
It’s probably the most ambitious show, or rather shows, the Youth Theatre has ever tackled in the Mill but that vision has paid off in a show that will stay in the memory of all who see it and those who were a part of it for a long time to come.
A cast of 58 people from all parts of the Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre has been selected for Charlotte’s Web, the Youth Theatre’s summer production on the Main Stage of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in July. Auditions were held last Sunday (25 March) and the youth team of Jules Black, Adam Forde, Lucy Betts, David Perkins and Gabbie Bird had some tough choices to make as the standards were so high.
Rehearsals start after Easter and tickets are on sale now for the show which will follow from recent hits The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Wind in the Willows and The Wizard of Oz.
Watch out for updates on the progress of the show.
Nearly 500 friends and family packed the Yvonne Arnaud’s main theatre on Saturday (March 24) for the annual Open Stage showcase. The showcase highlights the talents of the 150-odd Open Stagers who attend Saturday classes throughout the year.
This year’s event was based on E. Nesbit’s classic children’s novel, The Phoenix and the Carpet with each of the seven classes playing out one of the many adventures of five children who manage to awaken the phoenix who then takes them around the world and gets them into all sort of scrapes.
The performance opened with a moving dance from the students of Discover Drama, the Youth Theatre’s class for young adults with learning disabilities, led by Nick White. Open Stage leaders Abbi Pickard Price and Rob Can along with a host of assistants marshalled the forces of Open Stage with almost military precision and brought the story to life.
Head of Youth Theatre Adam Forde said: “We are so proud of the work that Open Stage does. The classes foster a lifelong love of performance and theatre. This year’s showcase is the biggest yet and the hard work, energy and enthusiasm of everyone involved truly paid off.”
Act Three presents Fantastic Mr Fox
Act Three continued the trend of bringing slightly off the wall shows to sold-out audiences last week with the triumphant story of Fantastic Mr Fox (15 – 17 Mar).
Roald Dahl’s evergreen children’s favourite was adapted by David Wood and tells the story of Mr Fox and his family and all their woodland friends and their battle against the dastardly farmers who are desperate to dig them out and rid their farms of wildlife.
Of course Mr Fox wins out thanks to his superior guile and digging capabilities. And with Lucy Betts directing alongside musical director David Perkins, the show raced on at a galloping pace. The young actors zipped through the one-act show with huge pots of energy and enthusiasm leaving the audience breathless and happy at the end. And no one will regard cider in quite the same way again.
Scene Change presents Out of Nowhere
Scene Change served up a half term treat with Out of Nowhere, a brand new play devised by the group and written by former Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre member Lizzie Bourne. Lizzie, director Adam Forde and Scene Change worked together for a term to develop the story and then for half a term to rehearse the play.
Out of Nowhere followed the story of two children who emerge from who knows where into an ordinary community, unable to speak and with no apparent experience of any everyday items or activities. Efforts to educate and study the children led to a host of mishaps as well as ethical questions. Eventually the children reached a stage where the most difficult of choices had to be made.
With a cast of 34, Out of Nowhere was a genuine ensemble play and all the young actors involved worked together to create a believable, albeit slightly odd, community trying to cope with these strange innocent yet disturbing children.
Off the Level
Since May 2010 the Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre has been working closely with Network Rail to produce piece of theatre aiming to highlight to school children the dangers of misusing level crossings. The script, for three actors, uses real life experiences, compiled from interviews with train drivers, the British Transport Police and Community Police, as well as exploring varying perspectives such as those of parents and teachers.
Head of YAYT Adam Forde explains: “We are confident that Off the Level will have an impact on the young people that see it and raise their awareness of the effects that misuse of crossings can cause. I hope that the show and the workshops will make some people think about their own behaviour and perhaps change it.
“All three actors who generated so much praise for their performances are former members of the Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre and are now making their way in the business. So for us it is also a real pleasure to be able to bring them back on a professional basis.”
The project has already secured a number of school bookings in the South East and if successful will expand nationwide.
Act Two presents The Selfish Giant
“Fifty minutes of sheer delight from Act Two” SURREY ADVERTISER
Act Two melted the coldest hearts with David Perkins’s adaptation of The Selfish Giant from Thursday 1 until Saturday 3 December. The show, which was last performed on the Main Stage in 2002, was directed by Jules Black and had a guest appearance from Act One’s Cameron Manson.
It’s a moving sung-through adaptation full of life and the cast gave it everything with energy and focus from the moments of raucous play in the giant’s garden to the section of sad memories when they’ve been banished and the comic wintry weather scene as the giant is punished for his selfishness.
The Selfish Giant was a perfect start to the holiday season and the sell-out audiences left the theatre into the cold weather but thoroughly warmed up by another Act Two triumph.
Interval presents The Lord of the Flies
A vivid portrayal of group violence and a spiralling loss of control stunned packed houses in the Mill Studio from Wednesday 8 until Sunday 11 December in Interval’s production of Lord of the Flies directed by Lucy Betts.
Blood and death and the internal battle between good and evil, brain and brawn were brought to the Mill by a cast that didn’t let up for a second in the 2-hour thriller. The children find themselves on a remote desert island after a plane crash at a time of war. Plans and strategies for survival are disrupted and threatened by a struggle for leadership which, in the end, leads to near madness and a total loss of control and ultimate tragedy.
Not an easy play to control with a large cast, big fight scenes and lots of locations, the staging was brilliant with a damaged plane, claustrophobic foliage, a sandy beach and yet still retaining plenty of space for a fully committed, energetic and scarily believable company of actors to give vent to the fights, fears and struggles of the abandoned children.
This show was a brilliant end to the Youth Theatre’s winter term and was enjoyed by several large school parties studying the book as well as full-houses across the weekend.
For the fourth year running the Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre took the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by storm for two weeks in August. A company of 24 actors from Act One, Interval and Open Stage performed shows to record audience figures and also had a complete ball. Adam Forde and David Perkins produced an Yvonne Arnaud classic, Arabian Nights, while Lucy Betts wrote and directed From my Sleep with Horror. Both shows won rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. Congratulations to all. We are already starting to plan for the Fringe in 2012 when we will hope to take a similar number of people up.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Youth Theatre’s annual summer show, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a roaring success. 60 children (aged between 9 and 20 years old) took to the Main Stage and entertained 3,000 enraptured audience members and attracted huge critical acclaim. The partnership between design, lighting and performance produced an epic and truly moving show.