Stars of stage and screen including Jodie Prenger, Mark Gatiss and Jo Joyner are just a few of the professional actors contributing to a digital workshop programme being launched by Swindon’s Prime Theatre.
The company is normally busy touring shows to theatres and schools around the UK and abroad but is prioritising young creatives during lockdown. Since the company’s latest production was brought back early from a US tour due to Coronavirus, staff have working remotely and a new programme of youth activity launches on Monday 15 June and will be accessible from anywhere in the country.
Children and young people between 9 and 25 years of age can choose from a wide range of online workshops covering digital performance, improvisation, scripts, audition technique, playwriting, Shakespeare and social drama games. Prime’s Associate Director, Laura Jasper explained, “We’ve designed these different strands with the young actors and writers who normally work with us. Social distancing means we can’t be in the same room, but we can welcome more people than ever with all kinds of interest and experience. Our programme is perfect for those missing Drama at school, those with an eye on professional training and those who just want to relax and have fun being creative!”
Every member will also have the chance to take part in question and answer sessions with the famous actors who are also supporting the programme. Jo Joyner, known to millions as Tanya Branning in EastEnders and currently starring in Shakespeare and Hathaway, said “Youth theatre is such an important opportunity for young people to express themselves and to feel part of a community. I really felt like I’d ‘found my tribe’ at mine. It’s more crucial than ever right now that people feel connected and have the resources to be creative. That’s why I’m glad to be part of Prime Theatre’s exciting new programme.”
Prime’s digital youth theatre workshops will run in five-week blocks from Monday 15 June and run on various days and times to offer maximum flexibility. Strands are £25 for the first creative activity and £10 for each additional group of workshops. Thanks to support from Arts Council England Prime are able to provide full and half grants, as well as free spaces for Looked After Children and Care Leavers.