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.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

It’s been a tough year for everyone including our students, their families, our teachers and the arts industry as a whole.

But we have good reasons to be excited and positive for 2021. Firstly, we are grateful for the support our Crowdfunder campaign is continuing to attract. This will help us film and stream our March production of Sister Act Jr. Secondly, we are proud of all our students and the way they have continued to work hard and have fun. We know they are going to love the projects we have lined up for the new year.

Now, it is with great pleasure that we would like to share with you our students’ Christmas Virtual Performance for 2020. It is a cover version of ‘Just Sing a Christmas Song’ from Elf The Musical.

We would all like to wish you all a merry and safe Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

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.

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.”

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.

Cast announced for Sister Act Jr.

We are delighted to announce the cast for our planned production of Sister Act Jr. at The Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton upon Trent, in March 2021.

Congratulations to everyone who auditioned, virtually via Zoom. You were all fantastic. We can’t wait to get started on rehearsals and we look forward to welcoming you all to see the production.

StageScreen Sister Act Jr cast list

Annie Jr delights audiences in Burton

StageScreen Annie Jr castOur students have just completed two performances of their first, full-length musical, Annie Jr, and we couldn’t be more proud!

Annie Jr poster by StageScreen

The cast took to the stage of Burton’s Brewhouse Arts Centre to delight matinee and evening audiences with the story of little orphan Annie and her adventures as she searches for a family and a home.

Annie Jr is adapted from the Tony Award-winning musical by Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin but has been specially adapted to be performed by youngsters with some songs edited and keys changed to ranges appropriate for young voices. It still includes all the songs that Annie fans know and love, including The Hard-Knock Life, Easy Street, Tomorrow and Little Girls.

Annie Jr cast image

Annie Jr with starlet chorus member

Miss Hannigan in Annie Jr

Eryn and George as Annie and Daddy Warbucks In Annie Jr

StageScreen students make their West End debut

After three months of exciting rehearsals, students from StageScreen and our sister school StageScreen Musical Theatre Associates performed at Her Majesty’s Theatre yesterday.

Thirty five excited youngsters travelled to London’s West End to step on to the stage that is home to The Phantom of the Opera.

Here we are outside the stage door waiting to go in. StageScreen on the West End

We performed four numbers: One Night, One Moment, Sparkle and Shine; What’s Inside; ’13’ and The Schuyler Sisters.

It was thrilling to walk in the footsteps of so many great performers.

Backstage at Her Majesty's Theatre

Principal Heather Gallagher said: “I want to just say how immensely proud I am of each and every single student! Their work ethic over the last 12 weeks has been phenomenal.

Heather Gallagher and students outside Her Majesty's Theatre

“I would say to them, your teachers and I have been strict with you and have pushed you and that showed last night up on that stage! You all performed the best you ever have. 100% energy, 100% character, 100% focus and lots of patience while your teachers and chaperones tried to make everything run smoothly and calmly for you.

“There were some very special moments for me as Principal taking my first school to perform in the West End, which included:

💜 Watching our seven & eight-year-olds perform strongly without a scrap of nerves.

💜 Witnessing a perfect backstage moment during rehearsal as a nine-year-old stood, entirely focussed and ready to step into stage and then turned around with wonder in her eyes saying ‘This is my dream!’ Then turning back and taking her first steps into that huge stage.

💜 Seeing an eight-year-old melt adults hearts as she left the stage and wished members of the next group (strangers) good luck for their performance.

💜 Seeing my 16 MTA students ROCK the stage with their Hamilton number and then, after a second round of applause started by other schools, ALL individually and collectively spontaneously shouted ‘Thank you’ before exiting stage right.

💜 Seeing the 11-year-old who had got so worried during rehearsal that she had a nosebleed take the microphone and sing her solo line and then come off saying ‘I did it!!’

💜 Seeing how respectful and in awe some of the StageScreen students were of our MTA group and their performance and harmonies.

West End stage debut

💜 Witty banter and great behaviour in the dressing rooms.

💜 The best backstage etiquette as they had been told to respect all other performers and remained silent until out of the backstage area.

💜 A 14-year-old use her head and collect props from stage that had been left- when it wasn’t her assigned job.

💜 The sheer determination and level of committed performance each and every student brought to the stage. They are all at different stages in their journey but each one took a massive step up last night and performed at a different level.

💜 The joy in the faces when they came off having done well.

💜 The anticipation in their faces as they waited for the principal and teacher feedback.

💜 The undying loyalty and support of all my teachers and chaperones who have  supported the student’s dreams and worked INCREDIBLY hard all day.

“It’s a day I’ll never forget.”

The Greatest Showman – our Summer Intensive 2018

Greatest Showman summer intensive

What a fantastic work ethic we saw from the students who joined our 2018 Summer Intensive based on The Greatest Showman.

In just three and a half days they worked with songs and scenes from the popular film musical. During intensive workshop sessions, the group of eight to 18-year-olds developed their skills in singing, acting and dancing.  They also learned about video production and had the experience of recording vocal tracks in a recording studio.

The result of all this hard work was a 10-minute music video medley, posted on the StageScreen You Tube channel.

Credits:

Choreography was by Heather Grace Gallagher & Viki Wilkinson.

Musical direction was by Megan-Louise Daniels.

Music video direction was by Heather Grace Gallagher.

Vocal recording: Chris Baldwin and Arch 16 Studio.

Location shoot: GrindhouseStrongman.co.uk and Star Foundation.

Camera: Jo-Anne Foster.

Edited and produced by Lumina Studios and StageScreenUK.

The Greatest Showman is composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Red Carpet Annual Film Festival and Awards 2018

More than 30 awards were presented at our end of term film festival and awards ceremony at The National Brewery Centre, Burton-on-Trent.

Students aged from four to 18 walked the red carpet into the brewery centre’s marquee. They enjoyed all the glitz and glamour of an A-list celebrity event along with their proud families and friends.

Red carpet at StageScreen 2018 festival

The evening also saw the premiere of 16 short films and music videos that the youngsters had devised and filmed during their Saturday morning classes.

Awards were presented for performance and progress but also for traits such as helpfulness and kindness, passion and spirit.

Outstanding performances recognised

Eryn Baldwin receives the 2018 StageScreen Principal's AwardThe Principal’s Award went to Eryn Baldwin. Principal Heather Gallagher said: “This year the Principal’s Award was an easy decision. This student, to an audience, comes across as extremely confident and talented. Behind the scenes, I know how hard she works to achieve the level of performance we ask of her and the level she asks of herself. Like some of the best actors out there, Eryn questions her own ability constantly. She has delivered OUTSTANDING performances this year and is a pleasure to have around. Eryn spreads joy constantly and, in my opinion, has a very bright future in performing arts. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Eryn continue to grow and impress audiences as she has done this year.”

Heather added: “I am so very proud of all the StageScreen students. It was an absolute pleasure to present more than 30 awards which recognised the abilities of students and also positive traits such as enthusiasm, confidence and support for others. It was a great night to round off a wonderful year.”

This was our second annual film festival, and the audience loved every second of our music videos and short films made by students.

Watch some of our work here

2018 StageScreen film 1 StageScreen film 2018 2

 

2018 stagescreen film 4    stagescreen 2018 film 4

All the films are on the StageScreen YouTube channel and it’s easy to subscribe to see new films as they are added.

Here are three of the videos shown last night.

Students of all ages covered When You’re An Addams.

Our Starlets group, aged four to six, appeared on camera for the first time.

The annual blooper reel showed all the things that didn’t quite go to plan!