Arts / Culture / Dance / Performing Arts / Theatre

Northern Stage Summer School

"Summer School represents a commitment by Northern Stage to help teach and nurture the theatre professionals of the future; who will take up the mantle of continuing the North East’s reputation for being a vibrant hub of creativity. We are very grateful that the Gillian Dickinson Trust shares this commitment, understands the need and has enthusiastically supported Northern Stage Summer Schools since 2008.’ Erica Whyman, Chief Executive, Northern Stage"

Northern Stage Summer School 1

With invaluable support from the Gillian Dickinson Trust, the Northern Stage Summer School enables 50 young people each year to take over an entire professional theatre for six days. They begin on Monday morning without a script and on Saturday evening present a public performance on our largest stage which they have devised and written themselves.

The Northern Stage Summer School is by far the largest, most intensive and inclusive project we run during the year. It is also a key element of our commitment to offering life changing opportunities for young people to develop their own creativity in an inspiring and supportive environment.

Summer School aims to provide a participative and fun introduction to the theatre and enables young people to work alongside professional directors and choreographers, developing skills in acting and dance. During their week they also have specialist sessions and can sample a range of theatre activities including scriptwriting, marketing, prop making, filmmaking, costume design and directing.

In keeping with the aims of the Gillian Dickinson Trust, a key goal is that Summer School should be actively promoted and open to young people from some of the poorest parts of our region. Funding from the Trust helps us to offer free or subsidised places to encourage take up from families with no or low incomes, in order to make Summer School more accessible. With support from the Trustees we are developing a strategy through which to deliver long term change and continue to broaden the reach of Summer School.

2012 will be our 6th Summer School and promises another inspiring insight into what can be achieved by a diverse group of young people with hard work, enthusiasm and dedication.

Here are a few comments from last year’s participants:

“I just wanted to say how much of a pleasure it has been to create some great theatre with you this week!” Matthew Tuckey, 15

“Summer School is a great insight into theatre life and how hard people have to work for it. My favourite part has been composing the scenes on stage and learning about how to make my voice louder so I can be heard by the audience.” Ruairdh Chester, 13

“The thing that has really driven me forward this week is the chance of producing a show with our own ideas, and it’s the feeling of the work being ours that’s the real sense of achievement. I loved being part of a big show and seeing everyone enjoying themselves.” Liam Scarth, 17