Santa visits StageScreen

Our final StageScreen classes of 2020 ended this weekend with a huge surprise for our Starlets.

The four to six-year-olds at StageScreen had a safe, socially-distanced visit from Santa himself.

StageScreen Starlets class reacts to Santa visitSanta visits StageScreen

Thank you SO MUCH Santa! Our students loved being able to chat with you.

They were very impressed that Santa knew all about what was on their lists and they assured him that they had been nice all year. And we were happy to agree!

But, Santa wasn’t finished there and he also pulled in a quick Zoom call to our Debut class where he revealed that too many carrots can make the reindeer a bit windy.

Santa zoom call with Debut class

It’s good to see that Santa has embraced technology at the end of this extraordinary year.

We wish all our students and their families a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year. We look forward to welcoming you all back in January.

 

 

Thank you for supporting our Crowdfunder

Our Crowdfunder campaign to raise £500 to secure our March 2021 production of Sister Act Jr has hit its target!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

We are overwhelmed that we’ve hit our target in just ONE week. We are so grateful for your support. These donations mean that our production can go ahead, but with changes in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally, when we booked the licence to perform this exciting musical show, we expected that our young cast would be on stage, in front of a live audience, at The Brewhouse Arts Centre in Burton town centre.

At the moment, it’s impossible to predict what restrictions will be in place in March 2021. We also can’t know how people may feel about being back in an auditorium – even if it is allowed by then.

We did not want our students to face the disappointment of late changes. So, we came up with a plan to film the show at the Brewhouse without an audience and then stream it online. This meant we needed to cover extra costs connected with the filming,  editing and the streaming platform needed to show the finished production. Thanks to the donations received we can now meet those costs.

A Crowdfunder stretch target

So, we have now created a stretch target – something we never expected to do – before our Crowdfunder ends in January.  If we get any further donations they will allow us to add some extra sparkle to our production and we would spend that money on upgrading costumes and sets and enhancing the filming of the show.  But the most important thing is that you have helped us secure the future of our Spring show. Thanks again, from the bottom of our hearts. There are rewards you can choose from when you make a donation. Pop over to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sister-act-online to take a look, or share it with your connections who might be interested.

To give you a taste of what’s to come, here’s a clip of our student Bethany who will be playing Deloris Van Cartier in our Sister Act Jr. This is from the audition Bethany did for the role back when we were only teaching via Zoom.

Back to class at our Burton venue

stagescreen back at venue dec 5Our venue has re-opened today and our in-person classes are reinstated. We are observing all the guidelines and restrictions that go with our current Tier 3 status.

Please get in touch if you have been waiting for a trial in person and we can now book you in. Please note that places in our Spotlight group, for ages 10-13, are extremely limited. This class is almost full, so don’t delay.

Pictured above is our Starlets class (for four to six-year-olds) having fun today at the Burton Albion Community Hub, Grange Street, Burton on Trent, DE14 2ER. They were so happy to be back and we loved seeing them in person.

Thankyou to Burton Albion Community Trust for their wonderful support throughout  2020 💜

We also run age-appropriate training for six to nine-year-olds (our Debut class) and 14 to 18-year-olds (our Encore class).

Our number one priority remains protecting the health and wellbeing of all our students, staff and volunteers. All our staff members have completed  COVID-19 awareness training and the community hub is a COVID-secure venue. We will continue to follow the advice of the UK Government, NHS, Public Health England and our local Health Protection Team.

Crowdfunder launched to help Sister Act Jr go online

Sister Act Jr by StageScreen

The show must go on when it comes to our March 2021 production of Sister Act Jr.

We invested in the licence to perform this smash-hit musical some time ago and had high hopes that we would be performing it in front of an enthusiastic audience at our local theatre, The Brewhouse Arts Centre, in March 2021.

As restrictions have eased, and then tightened, and lockdowns and tiers have come and gone, we KNEW we had to provide our hard-working students with some certainty. They are so looking forward to performing this show and they deserve this opportunity after their hard work and resilience throughout 2020.

So, we have decided to film the show at the Brewhouse and then put it out online as a scheduled, streamed performance. It will be different from the production we originally planned, but there are a lot of positives. It gives us the opportunity to give our students the experience of filming a musical with the Brewhouse as their set. It also removes the uncertainty around what restrictions may (or may not) be in place for theatre audiences during March 2021. We are confident we can safely follow social distancing for our cast and crew to make our film in the covid-secure surroundings of the Brewhouse.

But, to film the show we need to meet all the usual show costs, and a few extras on top connected with the streaming and the filming. So, we’ve launched our first-ever Crowdfunding campaign in a bid to raise £500 towards the show costs and ensure that we break-even. You can find our crowdfunder, and read more about our plans, at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sister-act-online.

What’s Sister Act Jr about?

Sister Act Jr. is based on the 1992 film, starring Whoopi Goldberg, and the Tony-nominated Broadway and West End musical that followed it.

It tells the story of disco diva Deloris Van Cartier who witnesses a murder and is put into protective custody, disguised as a nun, at a convent by the police. She soon clashes with the Mother Superior but uses her unique disco moves and singing talent to inspire the nuns’ choir. When Deloris cover is blown, and the gang of baddies sets out to get her, her newly-found sisterhood comes to her rescue.

It’s a joyful tribute to the universal power of friendship – a theme that is close to the heart of StageScreen teachers and students.

How can you help?

We would really welcome any donations you can make to our Sister Act Jr online crowdfunder. We have put together a list of rewards. Please take a look at them. Some are ideal for local businesses and people who are self-employed as they will offer publicity and promotional opportunities in return for donations. Other might make a great surprise gift for a loved one.

We understand that times are tough and every penny counts, so if you are unable to make a donation, perhaps you could share this story, or our Crowdfunder page, with your friends, family and contacts on social media or by email? We would be very grateful.

Our Crowdfunder page will be open until January 23, and it’s an ‘all or nothing’ fundraiser, which means that any donations will be refunded if we DON’T hit out target of £500.

Principal of StageScreen and StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates, Heather Gallagher, said: “Our students have continued to work really hard and support each other since the first lockdown in March 2020. Exactly 12 months on from that milestone we want to give them a great experience with Sister Act Jr. Its themes of friendship and fun are just perfect for our talented students and the times in which we live.”

Centre Stage competition goes global!

Entries have now CLOSED for Heat 1 of The Centre Stage Door Performing Arts Competition. It’s a truly international event!

We have had entries from Australia, the United States, Cyprus, Italy, as well as England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Centre Stage Door Competition

If you wanted to enter, but missed the deadline, the good news is that there will be a second heat in February 2021. Keep an eye on our news feed here and on Facebook to learn more.

Our professional adjudicators are looking through all the videos submitted now. Results from heat one will be announced on Monday, November 23.

Katherine Jarowicki, Christina Modestou and Tom O'Brien

All entrants with 85+ marks will be invited to enter our World Championship Final at Easter 2021. Every entrant will receive a certificate and an adjudicator’s report. There will be medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in all classes.

Good luck to everyone who has entered.

StageScreen goes online for Lockdown 2

We did it for the first UK lockdown of 2020 – so we KNOW we can get through a second lockdown in England.

ALL our classes will go online from tomorrow until we get the go-ahead to start face-to-face classes in a covid-secure way.

We are really looking forward to seeing all our students again, but until then we will continue to offer classes online that are inspiring, innovative and fun.

We’re here for anyone who wants to talk and we know that our students will continue to support each other and enjoy the team spirit, kindness and companionship that mark out our amazing StageScreen students.

We will continue to follow the advice of the UK Government, NHS, Public Health England and our local Health Protection Team.

StageScreen goes online November 2020

 

Safe Halloween fun at StageScreen

StageScreen students enjoyed some safe, socially-distanced Hallowe’en fun today because spooky October 31 fell on a Saturday.

Here are our Starlets group, all aged four to six, at our Covid-secure venue, the Burton Albion Community Hub, doing their best Addams Family routine.

Halloween fun at StageScreen

Our staff members also joined the fancy dress fun. Here’s our Principal, Heather Gallagher, who also made sure she stayed in our #TeamPurple colours.

In keeping with the Halloween theme, we thought you might also enjoy another look at this Addams Family music video, put together by students from all age group classes two years ago.

Centre Stage Door Performing Arts Competition

The Centre Stage Door Performing Arts Competition is open for entries.

Centre Stage Door Performing Arts competition heats

The competition is being organised by Heather Gallagher, founder of StageScreen and StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates. There will be two heats leading up to the world championship finals at Easter 2021.  All entries and judging will be done online.

There are more than 30 different sections in dance, vocal and drama with six age categories in each section and open and novice sections.

Entries for the first heat are open NOW. The closing date is November 7, 2020. Email centrestagedoor@gmail.com for an information pack.

Katherine Jarowicki, Christina Modestou and Tom O'Brien

The judges for heat 1

A panel of three professional adjudicators will judge all the entries.

Katherine Jarowicki will adjudicate the dance categories. She is a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer. She has worked in fashion, television, cruise ships and theatre with some of the biggest brands and companies in the industry.

Christina Modestou will adjudicate the vocal categories. She is a Welsh singer and actress who originated the role of Anne Boleyn in Six, the musical about the wives of Henry VIII. Christina agreed to become Patron of StageScreen MTA after running online workshops for StageScreen and StageScreen MTA students earlier this year.

West End theatre director Tom O’Brien will adjudicate the drama categories. He has been the patron of StageScreen since September 2018. Tom worked as a professional actor for five years in plays, musicals, film and TV before turning to directing in 2010. He was resident director of the Cameron Mackintosh International Tour of Miss Saigon and directed Half A Sixpence at the Noel Coward Theatre, in London’s West End. He has also achieved success as a playwright.

How much does it cost to enter?

Entry fees are standard across all of the categories and age groups.

  • Solos – £4
  • Duets – £6
  • Trios – £9
  • Troupes/ensembles – £2 per performer.

What will entrants receive?

Every competitor will receive individual feedback and an e-certificate.

There will be medals for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in all sections.

Anyone who receives 85 marks or above in either the November heats or the second heats to be held in February 2021, will qualify for the World Championship Final at Easter 2021!

Industry masterclass and private lessons will be the prizes for our final.

Email centrestagedoor@gmail.com to receive an information pack.

You can also follow the competition on Facebook through the centrestagedoor page.

Serial drama Castleford Close – another success for StageScreen

Castleford Close end title
During lockdown we’ve seen some great work produced by writers, directors and actors on TV – did you catch Staged by David Tennant, Michael Sheen and friends?
Maybe you saw Isolation Stories, a series of 15-minute ITV dramas?
Well, StageScreen students have also been busy creating their own serial drama, Castleford Close, the story of a group of youngsters facing their own problems during lockdown.
It is written by acting tutor Jack Broughton and produced by film tutor Tilley Bancroft and the StageScreen students.
A pandemic can’t stop our incredibly talented students from producing excellent work! We are so proud of them all! You can catch all episodes of Castleford Close by subscribing to the StageScreen YouTube channel, or watch them below.

 

The Show Must Go Online

Finale of the Show Must Go Online

Our sister school, StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates, is thrilled to be among the first organisations in the UK to rehearse, perform and upload to YouTube the virtual musical The Show Must Go Online.

Show must go online detailsThis is the first musical of its kind – one written during lockdown to be rehearsed and performed remotely.

StageScreen MD Heather Gallagher said: “When lockdown started it soon became clear that we would be unable to put on any performances in person for a while. All our classes and workshops went online. Then we found out that Beat By Beat Press, a group of writers and arts educators in New York City who write children’s musicals, had created this special show where each performer could record their segment separately.

“When all the videos are edited together, they tell the story of a group of passionate students desperate to keep their annual musical alive online during the pandemic.”

“Schools in 40 different countries have so far acquired the rights to perform The Show Must Go Online, and we are thrilled to be among the first in the UK.”

You can watch The StageScreen production here:

StageScreen MTA is the elite performance arm of the StageScreen organisation and is an audition-only company for students aged from 8 to 21.

MTA classes run in South Derbyshireat Oakland Village, Swadlincote. We are delighted that we held our first in-person MTA classes on September 9 – one day ahead of our YouTube premiere of The Show Must Go Online.