WORKSHOPS BRING KIDS INTO THE SPOTLIGHT…

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Education Officer, Rachel Sharpe blogs about our Summer Workshops…

Rachel at the 2013 Summer Workshops...

Rachel at the 2013 Summer Workshops…

Last week was an extremely busy week for us in the Education Department as we welcomed 31 young people for the first week of our two Summer Workshops.

This year for the first time we have decided to host two separate weeks of workshops to accommodate everyone wanting to take part, which is an excellent testament to the hard work that everyone puts in to making the week as enjoyable as possible for the kids taking part.

Students taking part in the Performance Workshops spent the week learning songs and dance routines from musicals at the Hippodrome past and present such as Les Miserables, Starlight Express and The Lion King, working with professional practitioners and rehearsing ahead of a final performance on Friday afternoon in front of friends and family. The final performance on Friday was a real treat and everyone agreed on the quality of the work with just a week’s rehearsal period – well done to all the young people involved!

Performers in last week's workshops...

Performers in last week’s workshops…

Behind the scenes, students taking part in the Technical Workshops had the chance to work with our professional technicians and stage management teams in creating the lighting, sound and video content for the final performance on Friday. Once again, the crew of participants worked extremely hard to learn the new skills involved in creating the technical elements for a performance and the show looked and sounded great.

As the week came to a close we said a fond farewell to all of our talented performers and technicians…ahead of doing it all over again! From 27-30 Aug we will host another Summer Workshop over four days with new set of young people – and the good news is we still have spaces left! So, if you are aged 7-16 or know someone who fancies trying their hand at performing or being a technician with us for the week, get in touch.

If you still want to find out more, have a look at the video trailer below taken at last week’s workshops…

For full information on the workshops and to book a place click here – we hope to see you there!

Theatre fun for Young Carers…

Education Officer, Rachel Sharpe writes…

Next week we will host our seventh Young Carers week, welcoming young people from across Birmingham and the West Midlands who care for a loved one in their family such as an ill parent or young siblings.

Rachel Sharpe outside The Patrick Centre at Birmingham Hippodrome

Rachel Sharpe outside The Patrick Centre at Birmingham Hippodrome

This is always a week we very much look forward to in the education department, it’s a fantastic opportunity to see these young carers get a well deserved break whilst enjoying what we can offer at the theatre.

We are particularly excited this year to be extending our capacity from last year’s 20 to 30 places due to the demand to be part of the scheme – what is wonderful is to see familiar faces returning year after year and watching them grow whilst also greeting new participants and watching them become part of the group.

It’s always rewarding to watch the change in the young people from when they first join us on Monday to the performance on Friday when they stand up in front of their friends and family and give a brilliant final performance in our Patrick Centre.

I will be working alongside a group of practitioners throughout the week from Monday on a range of workshops based around the themes, stories and songs from Disney’s The Lion King. The workshops will see the young people learning dance, song and acting skills. This year, the team will also introduce some additional activities to add to the fun including mask making and puppetry skills. There will also enjoy an exclusive backstage tour and the chance to watch a performance of Disney’s The Lion King!

We can’t wait to get started with another Young Carers week and look forward to welcoming them for a great week of theatre…

For more information on our work in education how you can support our developing creative programme click here.

Kids can’t stop the beat!

Ben Wooldridge (@benwooldridge) writes…

Today we have welcomed fifty young people aged between 7-16 years old for a special day of half-term workshops based around the sunniest and funniest show in town – Hairspray.

Hairspray Dance Captain, Laura Thorogood teaches some moves...

Hairspray Dance Captain, Laura Thorogood teaches some moves…

The day has featured highlights such as a backstage tour taking a look at the set and costumes featured in the show, learning the hit songs from the production and even a dance class with Hairspray cast member and Dance Captain, Laura Thorogood.

Laura put the group through their paces learning the moves to the high-energy finale, ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ with a flurry of jazz-hands and hip-shaking in one of our dance studios usually occupied by dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet.

As the kids dance, sing and explore their way round our theatre there’s no denying that they are sure to be ‘the nicest kids in town’ as they leave to enjoy the rest of the half term break.

Take a look at the picture gallery below for some shots from Laura’s masterclass and keep your eyes on the website for more info on upcoming holiday workshops including our Summer Workshop 2013 here.

For more info & tickets for Hairspray click here.