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).

 

 

 

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.”

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

 

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.

StageScreen goes online and interactive

We are looking forward to seeing everyone online again tomorrow for their full Saturday StageScreen training!
Fully interactive sessions will now be held every week in term time via the video sharing app Zoom. We have set-up a secure process, which will run while the UK remains in lockdown.
Classes on Zoom for StageScreen
Our wonderful teachers will be online to work with you and we will remain a team even though we are in different places!
Starlets class for our youngest students will run from 9-9.45am.
The main session for six to 18-year-olds will run from 10am-1pm.