Global reach for online competition

When StageScreen Principal Heather Gallagher launched the Centre Stage Door Performing Arts Competition during the pandemic, she didn’t imagine that it would spread across the globe. But that’s just what has happened.

Heather explained: “With festivals and theatre productions cancelled, I thought an online competition was a way of allowing people to enjoy the fun of performing and also develop their skills through receiving feedback from professional performers.

Entries from across the world

“I wanted it to be open to anyone who wanted to compete – as well as StageScreen students. Professional adjudicators have come on board to give constructive and helpful feedback to all the performers. I hoped there would be a good response in the Midlands, where we are based, but when entries began to flood in from across the world, I’ll admit I was surprised.”

Over the two heats of the competition, entries have been received from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland but also from Australia, Italy, Singapore, America, China, Indonesia, South Africa, Canada, Hong Kong, Dubai and Cyprus!

Map of the world showing competition entries

The second heat closes on Sunday, February 21, 2021, at noon GMT.

Every entrant will get an individual report from the professional adjudicators along with a certificate. A medal will go to everyone who places first, second or third in their class. All competitors who score 85+ points will qualify for the aptly-named World Championship Finals at Easter 2021.

Tom O'Brien The heat 2 adjudicator for speech and drama is Tom O’Brien. Tom is a director, dramaturg and writer. He trained at Arts Ed, Living Pictures and at National Theatre Studio and is patron of StageScreen.

Katherine Jarowicki

Dance adjudicator is Katherine Jarowicki, who trained at Addict Dance Academy and has danced on television, cruise ships and for fashion brands. She is also a teacher.

Christina ModestouVocal adjudicator is Christina Modestou, who originated the role of Anne Boleyn in Six in the West End and made the original cast recording. She has also appeared in The Boy in the Dress (RSC); The Winter’s Tale (National Theatre) and Little Shop of Horrors (Regents Park Theatre).

 

 

 

Zoom workshop with Christina Modestou

StageScreen students past and present are being invited to a workshop with Christina Modestou.

Christina ModestouChristina originated the role of Anne Boelyn in Six. This month, she will be leading a workshop for us based on The Boy In The Dress.

Principal Heather Gallagher said: “You may not be too familiar with this brand new musical. I was lucky enough to go and see it in Stratford when Christina was in it. It is pure joy!”

The Zoom workshop will take place on Sunday, January 24. The cost will be as a pay-what-you-can-afford donation (maximum £5 per person).

If you are a StageScreen student, past or present, who would like to attend, please email Heather at info@stagescreen.co.uk. She will give you more information and reserve your place on the workshop. You can pay your donation via Paypal.

Christina ran a high-energy, fun Zoom workshop as part of StageScreen’s virtual summer school in 2020. It was a real hit with students. As a result, she accepted an invitation to become patron of StageScreen’s sister school StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates.

Students thrive during third lockdown

The third lockdown holds no fears for us.  Our students are continuing to benefit from virtual lessons that are full of fun and creativity.

StageScreen students on zoom

Founder and principal, Heather Gallagher, said: “Last March, when the first lockdown came, we switched immediately to using Zoom to bring our students together for lessons. We’ve not missed a beat since.

“In a world that can feel very scary and unpredictable, I think it’s important that we give our youngsters some certainty.”

An antidote to stress and anxiety

Heather continued: “Whatever else is going on, they know they will see their friends and their teachers on screen every week. Creativity is a real antidote to stress and anxiety. It’s a great way to forget about everything else for a few hours. Our students can relax and focus on something they love.

“We have viewed each lockdown as a chance to shine a spotlight on what we CAN do. This has led to a host of exciting new opportunities.”

West End stars came in to teach

StageScreen’s patron, Burton-born West End theatre director Tom O’Brien, has helped Heather bring in West End stars to deliver live Zoom workshops to students.

The stars who have taught Burton youngsters new skills and boosted their confidence in this way have included Christina Modestou, who originated the role of Anne Boleyn in the musical Six. Also sharing their knowledge were: Chris Tendai (Hamilton); Luke Bayer (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie); Danny Mahoney (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Florence Foster Jenkins) and Barnaby Thompson (The Lion King).

Other highlights of 2020 include the youngsters filming their own, original drama serial, Castleford Close and uploading it to the StageScreen YouTube channel. They also did one of the first UK performances of The Show Must Go Online – a musical specially written for lockdown.

Free, two-week trial on offer

StageScreen is currently offering a free, two-week trial for any new students to experience classes on Zoom classes. Youngsters aged four to 18 get age-appropriate lessons in acting, singing and film work from teachers with professional industry experience. Classes run every Saturday morning in term time.

Heather has also devised and organised a series of online performing arts competitions. These are open to all youngsters, not just StageScreen students. The first one received more than 400 video entries, including some from overseas.

Recently, StageScreen hit its target on a Crowdfunder campaign to raise money so that its child-friendly version of the hit musical Sister Act could be filmed without an audience and streamed online. The licence for the show was bought when Heather assumed it could be performed in front of a real audience at Burton’s Brewhouse Arts Centre. When the COVID-19 crisis made this impossible, StageScreen needed to raise more money for extra costs to film it and stream it online. The show can now go on as a filmed musical.

Heather said: “We are so grateful for the support we have received on Crowdfunder. We will continue to follow Government rules and guidance. So, if it’s not possible for us to come together in March to film Sister Act Jr, we will put the date back until it is safe to do so. But, meanwhile, we’ll keep creating new opportunities and providing a creative outlet for our students.”

Entries open for Heat 2 of Centre Stage Door Performing Arts Competition

Heat 2 of the Centre Stage Door Performing Arts Competition is open for entries.

Heat 2 of centres stage performing arts competition is openThis online event is organised by StageScreen founder and principal, Heather Gallagher. She said: “Our first heat in 2020 went so well and we were overwhelmed with the talent we saw coming through!”

It’s only £3 per entry. You can enter as many classes as you want in dance, drama and vocal. There are also six different age categories. Everyone who gets 85 marks or more from our professional adjudicators will qualify for our live, online, World Championship Finals at Easter 2021. If you entered heat one and didn’t qualify, you can try again in heat two. Categories for Centre Stage performing Arts Competition

Email centrestagedoor@hotmail.com to request an information and entry pack. The deadline to enter is February 27, 2021, and there are some 30 different classes to choose from. Every entrant will receive a certificate and an adjudicator’s report. There will be medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in all classes.

There are three industry professional adjudicators – one for dance, one for drama and one for vocal.

Christina judges vocal categories

Christina ModestouChristina Modestou is our judge for vocal categories. She originated the role of Anne Boleyn in Six in the West End. Christina is originally from Port Talbot, South Wales.

Her theatre credits include: The Boy in the Dress (RSC); BBC 10 Pieces (Tour); The Winter’s Tale (National Theatre); Little Shop of Horrors (Regents Park Theatre); Six (Arts Theatre, Cast Recording); 35MM (The Other Palace Studio); Rent (St James Theatre, UK tour); The Last Mermaid (WMC); Shrek (UK tour); Urinetown (Apollo Theatre); In The Heights (Southwark Playhouse); The London Revue (Park Theatre); Edges (Tabard Theatre); Aladdin (Everyman Theatre); We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre)

Television appearances include: Holy Popcorn (web series); Belonging (BBC Wales); Strictly Come Dancing (BBC).

Christina trained at the Arts Educational Schools, London. In 2020 she became patron of our sister school StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates.

Katherine  hopes to inspire future dancers

Katherine JarowickiKatherine Jarowick is judging Heat 2 dance classes.

She trained at Addict Dance Academy after enjoying dance her entire life from a young age.
She has performed around the world on cruise ships, in fashion and on television for brands including Princess Cruises, The X Factor, Adidas & Reebok.

Katherine loves performing in all genres and has just as strong a passion for teaching which has lead to her current position teaching on the east coast of Australia where she is loving helping to inspire the next generation of dancers.

Tom judges drama classes

Tom O'BrienWest End theatre director and StageScreen patron Tom O’Brien will adjudicate the drama classes.

Tom is also a dramaturg and writer. He trained at ArtsEd, Living Pictures and at the National Theatre Studio.

His theatre credits include (as director): Afterglow (Southwark Playhouse); Top Hat (Cunard); Fabric (Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury/UK Tour); Underbelly (Scotsman Fringe First Winner 2016); Foiled (Edinburgh Festival); Our Friends, The Enemy (UK Tour/Edinburgh Festival/Theatre Row, New York City); The Dogs of War (Old Red Lion); Remote (Drum – Theatre Royal Plymouth/St Ives Theatre); The Wedding Singer (The Lowry); The Fastest Clock In The Universe (Old Red Lion – Recorded for The V&A National Video Archive of Performance); How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (The Lowry); Coming Up (Soho Theatre); Judy The Righteous (King’s Head); Christmas Is Miles Away (Hen and Chickens Theatre).

As resident/associate/assistant: Miss Saigon (International Tour); Little Shop Of Horrors (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park); Half A Sixpence (Noel Coward); Dangerous Lady (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Watermill); Merrily We Roll Along (Clwyd Theatr); Ruben Guthrie (New Wimbledon Theatre); Little Women (LOST Theatre); A Clockwork Orange and Titus Andronicus (Edinburgh Festival).

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.”

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.

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.

Congratulations to all our virtual performers

The very first Centre Stage Virtual Performing Arts Competition was a huge success with more than 300 video entries emailed to us. Congratulations to all who took part in the classes for speech and drama; dance and vocal.

Each entry will receive an adjudicator’s report and certificate with trophies and medals for the highest marks.

Entries were submitted by video and watched and assessed by four professional adjudicators ahead of a live Zoom bursary final held on August 29. Twelve entrants from across the classes were invited to perform again by the adjudicators.

Virtual performing arts festival bursary finalists

Our 12 bursary finalists

Head adjudicator, and founder of StageScreen, Heather Gallagher said: “Wow! What a treat the Bursary final was! Well done to every single performer- we could have chosen any of the 12 as very worthy winners!”

After a difficult deliberation our junior bursary winner, who won £50, was seven-year-old dancer Bronte Ashmore for her entry to the lyrical class.

The senior bursary winner, who won £100, was 16-year-old singer Isabelle Byrne for her entry in the CCM pop solo class.

Our £25 StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates Vouchers (to be used against any of our workshop or fees) were awarded to: Laila Parry (modern dance class) and Amelia Nixon (musical theatre vocal).

The other eight bursary finalists were: Rose Dawson (contemporary monologue); Freddie Dawson (Shakespeare monologue); Kiya Sanwalka (ballet); Jenna Stephenson (contemporary comedy monologue); Aimee Rowe (own choreography); Ethan Shimwell (unaccompanied vocal); Effie Lennon Ballard (unaccompanied vocal) and Maisie Axton (lyrical).

The virtual award winners in the three sections are listed below.

Speech and Drama

Overall Junior Aggregate Winner – Libby Falkingham

Overall Inter Aggregate Winner – Rose Dawson/Jenna Stephenson

Overall Senior Aggregate Winner – Freddie Dawson

Overall Open Aggregate Winner – Jo Kingman

Endeavour Award – Maia Violet Holmes

Vocal

Overall Junior Aggregate Winner – Ethan Shimwell

Overall Inter Aggregate Winner – Georgia Barley

Overall Senior Aggregate Winner – Isabelle Byrne

Highest mark Junior – Ethan Shimwell

Highest mark Inter – Ruby Stewart/Amelia Nixon

Highest mark Senior – Isabelle Byrne

Endeavour Award – Hannah Minness

Dance

Overall Junior Aggregate Winner – Kiya Sanwalka

Overall Inter Aggregate Winner – Aimee Rowe

Overall Senior Aggregate Winner – Maisie Axton

Highest mark Junior – Bronte Ashmore

Highest mark Inter – Aimee Rowe

Highest mark Senior – Maisie Axton

Highest mark Lyrical – Maisie Axton

Highest mark Contemporary – Aimee Rowe

Highest mark Ballet – Kiya Sanwalka

Highest mark Modern – Maisie Axton/Aimee Rowe

Highest mark Tap – Emily Stebbeds

Highest mark Musical Theatre (with or without song) – Eleni Bott

Endeavour Award – Lily Cockram

Centre Stage Virtual Performing Arts Festival trophies and medals

Some of the awards that will be posted out to winners

Winners of each class were as follows:

Speech and Drama

Screen Acting

Junior – Libby Falkingham

Inter – Hazel Proud

Senior – Dan O’Neil

Own Humorous Verse

Open – Logan Powell

Harry Potter Prose

Junior – Libby Falkingham

Open – Jo Kingman

David Walliams Prose

Inter – Brandon Lawson

Open – Jo Kingman

Contemporary Comedy Monologue

Junior – Zoe Cross

Inter – Jenna Stephenson

Shakespeare Monologue

Inter – Amelia May Jones

Senior – Freddie Dawson

Open – Jo Kingman

Acting, Contemporary Monologue

Junior – Grace Rees

Inter – Rose Dawson/Jenna Stephenson

Senior – Isabelle Byrne

Open – Jo Kingman

Speech Solo

Junior – Lily Sharples

Inter – Maia Violet Holmes

Vocal

CCM Pop Solo

Junior 1 – Lucie Anna Ward

Junior 2 – Ethan Shimwell

Inter 1 – Imogen Burton

Inter 2 – Georgia Barley

Senior – Isabelle Byrne

Musical Theatre (post-1960)

Junior 1 – Lucie Anna Ward

Junior 2 – Ethan Shimwell

Inter 1 – Amelia Nixon

Inter 2 – Ruby Stewart

Senior – Isabelle Byrne

Open – Leah Springham

Musical Theatre (pre-1960)

Junior –  Ethan Shimwell

Inter 1 – Caitlin Cole

Inter 2 – Olivia Carroll-Walsh

Senior – Georgia King

Open – Emily Hyde

Unaccompanied Vocal

Junior – Ethan Shimwell

Inter 1 – Effie Lennon Ballard

Senior – Hannah Minness

Musical Theatre Duet

Senior – Anna Milne and Emily Haywood

Vocal Solo

Junior 1 – Lucie Anna Ward

Junior 2 – Sophia Affleck

Inter 1 – Amelia Nixon

Inter 2 – Liberty Skye Woodhead

Senior – Isabelle Byrne

Dance

Lyrical

Junior 1 – Sophia Reid

Junior 2 – Bronte Ashmore

Inter 1 – Zahara Monfries

Inter 2 – Lily Wheeler

Senior – Maisie Axton

Contemporary

Junior – Lily Clarke

Inter 1 – Keeley Byrne

Inter 2 – Aimee Rowe

Senior – Kira Caple

Ballet

Junior 1 – Sophia Reid

Junior 2 – Kiya Sanwalka

Inter 1 – Isobel Hanson

Inter 2 – Ellie Preston

Senior – Katie Dale

Modern

Junior 1 – Sophia Reid

Junior 2 – Laila Parry

Inter 1 – Keeley Byrne

Inter 2 – Aimee Rowe

Senior – Maisie Axton

Musical Theatre Dance only

Junior 1 – Lilly Hendrick

Inter – Rebecca Harrison

Tap

Junior 1 – Emma Willey

Junior 2 – Bronte Ashmore

Inter 1 – Maria Bott

Inter 2 – Emily Stebbeds

Senior – Reece Lilley

Musical Theatre Song with Dance

Junior 1 – Emma Willey

Junior 2 – Eleni Bott

Inter 1 – Lily Cockram

Inter 2 – Liberty Skye Woodhead/Isabel Mead

Senior – Hannah Minness

Classical Duet

Inter – Natasha Harper & Hannah Stephenson

Classical Duet With or Without Song

Junior – Olivia Crawford & Nicola King

Inter – Jodie Thorpe & Scarlett Pratt

Senior – Lilly Griffiths & Melissa James

Own Choreography

Junior 1 – Molly Bowes

Junior 2 – Florence Burt

Inter 1 – Isabella Hammond

Inter 2 – Aimee Rowe

Senior – Nicola Freeman

 

 

Special Tshirt gift for all students

Today saw our Principal drive to the homes of more than 50 students to deliver a special gift as a thank-you – their own specially-designed Quaranteampurple t-shirts!

Tshirts delivered to students during lockdown

It was so lovely to see so many smiling faces – from a safe distance! 💜

While lockdown continues, students have been doing lessons via Zoom. They miss each other, and our teachers miss them. But, we are so grateful to all our students and parents for being so supportive during lockdown and enabling us to continue to teach the children week in and week out.

We can’t wait to see you all again, once it is safe to do so.

Quaranteampurple tshirts