Goodbye Jack, hello Hannah

Jack Broughton, who has been our comedy and drama teacher since September 2018, is leaving us for pastures new.

We’ll miss him so much and we thank him for all the fun and creativity he brought to lessons, rehearsals and productions. Among many highlights, he wrote a serial drama called Castleford Close about life in lockdown. Our students performed it last year and it was uploaded to our YouTube channel. His final project for us is directing our December 2021 production The Godmother.

All the students and teachers wish him every success in the next exciting stage of his career.

Hannah KirkpatrickBut, as we say adieu to Jack we are excited to welcome Hannah Kirkpatrick back to the team.  Hannah taught our Starlets class when it first launched. She handed over the reins to Meg when she left to have her third child. Now, she’s back and taking over our Saturday morning comedy and drama classes for six to 18-year-olds from January 2022.

Hannah says “I love bringing a sense of fun, inspiration and discovery to class.  There are no wrong answers when it comes to my classes!  Just a chance to learn new skills, explore your creativity and build confidence in a safe and supportive environment.  I can’t wait to get started and explore exciting new projects with the brilliant students at StageScreen.”

Hannah studied Drama at The University of Hull, before training for a Postgraduate Diploma in Acting at The Bridge Theatre Training Company.  She has worked as an actor on stage and screen as well as teaching for performing arts schools across the Midlands.

Tickets for The Godmother now on general sale

Tickets are now on general sale for The Godmother, which will be performed by StageScreen students at The Trinity, Burton on Trent, on December 9 and 10.

Parents of our students have been allowed priority booking, which means that tickets are going very fast.

Tickets are only on sale online via Eventbrite – https://thegodmotherlilythomas.eventbrite.co.uk.

The Trinity, on George Street, is a former church, which retains many original features.  We have created a seating plan that offers seats upstairs and downstairs. Descriptions and diagrams of the seating plans can be seen on the Eventbrite page.

You are invited to choose the area of the building where you would like to sit and you will be emailed specific seat numbers after your payment has gone through.

On the night

Doors will open from 6pm each night enabling you to get a hot, cold or alcoholic drink from the bar before the show starts at 7pm.

Stewards will be on duty to guide you to your seats.

Running time is approximately two hours including an interval. The bar will stay open after the show if you want to linger longer and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.

Parking

There are a few pay and display parking spaces outside the venue on George Street, but parking fees are payable until 8pm.

Parking is free after 3pm in both the Sainsbury’s car park nearby and the central car park run by East Staffordshire Borough Council across the road from Sainsbury’s.

Parking is free for four hours, day and night, in the Middleway retail shopping car park on Guild Street next to Cineworld cinema. This car park is controlled by registration plate recognition cameras. If you overstay, you will get a parking ticket automatically through the post.

Who was The Godmother?

The Godmother is a new play by local writer Elaine Pritchard set in Burton-on-Trent during World War One. It tells the true story of  Lily Thomas and the extraordinary lengths she went to, to help local men survive in German prisoner of war camps.

StageScreen principal Heather Gallagher said: “Our students are excited to be the first people to play these roles on stage. They have been captivated by Lily’s story and we hope our audiences will share that enthusiasm.”

“It’s also special to be performing it at The Trinity. In Lily’s day, and for decades afterwards, it was George Street United Methodist Church and a place where she actually spent time. ”

The play includes music from the period and an original song.

Cast for The Godmother chosen

The cast for our December play, The Godmother, has now been chosen.

We kicked off the new term with two weeks of workshop-style auditions. All our students impressed us with their enthusiasm, commitment and hard work.

This new play has been written by Burton’s Elaine Pritchard. It tells the true story of Lily Thomas. She sent more than 29,000 food, clothing and medicine parcels to Burton men held prisoner in Germany during World War One.

The Godmother play dates and venue

Principal Heather Gallagher explained: “It’s a real ensemble show and there will be lots for the cast to do. They are excited to be the first people to play these roles on stage.”

The play will be performed over two nights at The Trinity, on George Street in Burton town centre. Tickets will go on sale later this autumn for performance on December 9 and 10.

Heather added: “In Lily’s day, The Trinity was George Street methodist church. We know that on December 8, 1918, Lily attended the church for a service of thanksgiving. She was joined by some of the soldiers she had helped who had been released from prison camps. It feels as if Lily is really coming home.”

The cast for the Godmother

M.C. – Grace Arch-Heap

WORKMEN – Imogen Williams, Laila Baines, Jojo Bancroft,
George Weedon, Oliver Osborne, Natasha Adkins

MRS A – Camille Braker

MISS K Bethany Warren

MRS B (MRS BIRCH) – Honor Ashmore

MISS D – Rebecca Pardoe

LILY THOMAS – Gracie Edge

POSTMASTER MR BURT – Matt Hodgkinson

MRS C – Robyn Wells

OLD MAN – Jacob Rose

MISS E – Rebecca Pardoe

MRS G (MRS GARDINER) – Hettie Baker

ARMY OFFICER – George Radley

MRS J – Chloe Clamp

SOLDIER 1 – Owen Mearns

SOLDIER 2 – George Weedon

SOLDIER 3 – Oliver Osborne

MISS F (MISS FISHER) – Molly Hull

MRS H (MRS HOLMES) – Kacy Mearns

MISS M – Laila Baines

MRS L – Imogen Williams

MISS N – Natasha Adkins

CANON HAMILTON – George Radley

VESTA TILLEY  – Hettie Baker

RECRUITING OFFICER – Jacob Rose

POSTMAN – Owen Mearns

LEAD BOY SCOUT – Jojo Bancroft

ALDERMAN LOWE – Matt Hodgkinson

WAR OFFICER INSPECTOR – George Weedon

BURTON MAIL JOURNALIST – Chloe Clamp

JOE STARTIN – George Radley

SMALL CHILD  – Laila Baines

JUNIOR CHOIR – Thea Kirkpatrick, William Moore, Bobby Belson, Seren Davis, Penelope Bancroft, Ella Light

BOY SCOUTS –  Thea Kirkpatrick, William Moore, Bobby Belson, Seren Davis, Penelope Bancroft, Ella Light

CHILD HELPERS – Thea Kirkpatrick, William Moore, Bobby Belson, Seren Davis, Penelope Bancroft, Ella Light

SOLO VOCALISTS IN ENSEMBLE SONGS – Kacy Mearns, Laila Baines, Oliver Osbourne, Rebecca Pardoe, Owen Mearns, Camille Braker, Imogen Williams, Ella Light

REHEARSAL SWING – Eryn Baldwin

Keepmoat homes in Burton

We would like to say a huge thank you to Keepmoat for their kind donation of £250 back in July to enable us to rent our Sister Act Costumes!
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We are moving to a new home!

StageScreen has a brand new home!

Our Saturday morning classes are moving to William Allitt School Performing Arts Centre from the start of the autumn term on Saturday, September 11.

Our new home, in Newhall, South Derbyshire, has purpose-built facilities that create exciting opportunities for our students.
There is a dance studio with a sprung floor, mirrors and a working performance space. The centre also has a black box theatre with a sound and lighting rig and breakout rooms.
To celebrate we are holding a FREE OPEN DAY for any under-18s who want to try a StageScreen morning on September 11 at 10am – 1pm. Please complete the online form at http://stagescreen.co.uk/free-trial/  
We can’t wait for our students to take the next step on the StageScreen journey with us!
StageScreen is mobing to William Allitt Performing Arts Centre

 

 

New play based on a true Burton story is next StageScreen production

Our students will begin work on a new play when term starts on September 11.

The Godmother will allow them to develop skills in drama, comedy and musical theatre. It will also show them a new side of local history.

The play is closely based on the true story of Lily Thomas. She was a widowed mother-of-one from Burton who decided to organise support for local men taken prisoner during World War One. It has been written by local writer Elaine Pritchard. She first heard about Lily from local historian Malcolm Goode and knew it was a story she wanted to bring to life on stage.

Capturing the imaginations of local people

Principal Heather Gallagher said: “This going to be something very special indeed for our students this year!”

Over the summer, Elaine, Heather and StageScreen tutors Jack, Megan and Tilley read through the play in the inspiring surroundings of The Trinity, George Street, Burton. This is also where the students will perform the play on December 9 and 10.

An interior shot of The Trinity, Burton Three people stand in the former pulpit of The Trinity

Elaine said: “I’m already being asked when tickets will go on sale. I’m delighted that Lily’s story is already capturing the imagination of local people.”

Details of how to buy tickets will be available during the autumn on this website as well as on Lily’s own Facebook and Twitter channels.

Lily’s actions saved many lives

The play includes songs that were popular between 1914-1918 as well as a new music hall-style song.  Elaine explained: “Lily and a band of loyal volunteer helpers organised and despatched 25,750 parcels of food, clothes and medicines to Burton prisoners in Germany during the four years of the war. So I’ve written the lyrics for a new song that celebrates the array of essentials and treats that she collected and put into these parcels.

“She faced criticism and a tidal wave of red tape – but she persevered. Raising money was hard and there were many times when funds were almost exhausted. But Lily never gave up. Her faith in what she was doing was justified when many returning soldiers swore that she had saved their lives.”

Following in Lily’s footsteps

Lily Thomas of Burton

Today, the Trinity is a popular entertainment and wedding venue and a small business hub. Originally, it was the George Street United Methodist Church. Trustees from the church were staunch supporters of Lily’s fund for Burton prisoners of war. Lily herself attended a thanksgiving service at the church in December 1918.

Heather said: “We will literally be stepping in Lily’s footsteps when we perform the play at The Trinity.”

StageScreen students will be auditioning for parts in the show during September. There are still opportunities for new students to join us. Parents can use this form to request a free morning’s trial session.

Tickets on sale NOW for streamed production of Sister Act Jr

Sister Act Jr by StageScreen

We’re delighted to announce that tickets are now available for our streamed production of Sister Act Jr.

Go to Eventbrite to buy your tickets for the online event on Sunday, August 1, at 7pm.

It’s been a long wait for our students, who were originally due to perform this show in front of a live audience.

COVID restrictions prompted us to change our plans. The production was delayed by lockdown and then professionally filmed without an audience at The Brewhouse Arts Centre. An online audience will now watch the scheduled stream at 7pm on Sunday.

A new experience of filmmaking

Principal Heather Gallagher said: “It was a disappointment that we couldn’t perform Sister Act Jr in front of a full house, as we’d imagined when we booked the rights to perform the show. But the decision to film the production gave our students a new experience of filmmaking.

“The scheduled stream means that our online audience will be watching it simultaneously and can post live on social media as they enjoy the show.

“I am very grateful to the people who supported our Crowdfunder earlier this year and other fundraising efforts to cover the extra costs we faced.”

Buy your tickets for Sister Act Jr here.

Sister Act Jr – filmed and ready to stream

It’s a wrap!

StageScreen in Burton films Sister Act Jr

Our long-awaited production of Sister Act Jr was filmed at The Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton, yesterday.

Amazingly, every single cast member was available. No-one received a message to isolate or had a positive test result!

Well done to everyone, both on stage and off, for helping us to FINALLY get this show completed, in a theatre and filmed ready to stream. Stay tuned for details of when it will be streamed and how to buy tickets.

Thanks to everyone who supported our Crowdfunder earlier this year.

Tutors Tilley and Megan and Principal Heather Gallagher also completed a half marathon and dance-a-thon to boost our funds.

Altar Boys in Sister Act Jr by StageScreen

Our cast – we are so proud of all of them.

Cast members of Sister Act Jr by StageScreen, Burton-on-Trent

Performing in a theatre – once again

It was wonderful to perform in a theatre again this weekend!

Our sister school, StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates, was at the Brewhouse Arts Centre, in Burton-on-Trent town centre.

Sadly, there was no audience but it was thrilling to stand in the wings, waiting to make an entrance under the spotlights once more. We had all missed it so much.

Our end-of-term showcase, featuring the talents of our StageScreen MTA students, was filmed and will be streamed at a later date.

Hopefully, it won’t be long before we are able to perform in front of an audience.

Next, it’s the turn of our StageScreen school who will film their production of Sister Act Jr without an audience at the Brewhouse in July.

StageScreen MTA performe end of term showcase

Theatre is back in Burton

Rehearsals are in full swing for our production of Sister Act Jr.

Sister Act Jr rehearsal

Our students will have the experience of making a film musical of their production. We took the decision to film our show and stream it online due to covid restriction uncertainty.

We aren’t just filming the performance as if it was live but without an audience. Our students will experience how film musicals are made with shot selection, camera angles and close-ups.

We’ll be filming at The Brewhouse Arts Centre in July and then editing before it is streamed online. We’ll release more information about how you can buy tickets soon.

Thanks to our Crowdfunder donors

This filmed production has been made possible thanks to the Crowdfunder campaign that so many of you supported earlier this year.

Shout-outs, as promised, go to donors Mike Harris, Rachael Joiner and Tetley the dog!

Burton’s Little Theatre Company was also a major sponsor of our Crowdfunder. We have a close relationship with this long-established theatre group and our Principal Heather Gallagher has performed with them many times over the years.

We are delighted to share the news that they are about to become the first amateur company to perform live in Burton following the pandemic. The LTC Youth Group will perform the musical RENT from June 22-26.

LTC performs Rent June 2021

A special seating plan has been devised to reduce the maximum number of people allowed to watch performances.

Bookings can only be made via the Brewhouse by one of the following methods:-
📞 By telephone : 01283 508100
👤 In person at the box office

About RENT

RENT tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive in New York City’s East Village in the  days of Bohemian excess..

Inspired by Puccini’s tragic opera La Bohème, RENT features unforgettable music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson including the much-loved songs Seasons of Love, Take Me or Leave Me and La Vie Bohème. It won four Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Drama and ran on Broadway for 12 years.

We’d like to send a big, brave ‘break-a-leg’ to everyone at Little Theatre Company.