A year of Zoom and classes in person return after Easter

StageScreen classes restart on April 17, 2021

Today we are marking the 12 month anniversary of running classes on Zoom.

We are so proud of all our students for the resilience they have shown and their kindness to each other.

We will be returning to the classroom with blended learning (a mixture of online classes and classes in person) from April 17th. We’ll be following all the guidelines to keep students and their families safe.

Free trials of performing arts classes

If you are six to 18 and would like to come along and have a FREE Saturday morning with us, complete the form here.

StageScreen is based at the Burton Albion Community Hub, Grange Street, Burton on Trent, DE14 2ER. Students are enrolled in one of the following groups depending on their age:

  • Debut (for 6-9-year-olds)
  • Spotlight (for 10-13-year-olds)
  • Encore (for 14-18-year-olds)

Saturday morning sessions last for three hours in total. Each age group rotates between rooms at The Hub, spending an hour each on comedy and drama acting; film and musical theatre.

For children aged four to six we offer a 45-minute, weekly Starlets class from 9am to 9.45am.  More about Starlets, and the form to apply for a free class to try it out, is available at stagescreen.co.uk/starlets

Principal Heather Gallagher is an experienced performer and successful singing teacher who has put together a team of industry professionals who lead classes every Saturday morning in term time.

Looking forward to performing together again

Heather said: “A year ago, I knew that the world was about to change but never did I think that 12 months later we still wouldn’t have stood close together again to sing and perform.

“I’ve treasured every single week we have met since on Zoom and briefly in person last year when it was allowed with social distancing guidelines.

“I want to thank all my students for their commitment, their passion, their dedication,  their love for performing and their determination to keep calm and carry on.”

She added: “I can’t wait to see all our students again after Easter and I’m also looking forward to meeting and working with the new students who have joined us in the past year on Zoom.”

StageScreen has been promoting kindness through performing arts in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, since 2016.

West End performers deliver more workshops for StageScreen

StageScreen students are enjoying a busy programme of virtual workshops led by professional actors and musical theatre stars.

Now, there’s an opportunity coming up for youngsters aged six to 18 to join us for a special Harry Potter workshop in March 2021! Places are limited. Read on to find out how you can apply.

StageScreen’s own students pay no additional costs to take part in these workshops. Already this year, they have worked with musical theatre star Christina Modestou on a workshop around the new musical The Boy In The Dress.

StageScreen patron and West End theatre director Tom O’Brien has also delivered an acting workshop this month. Principal Heather Gallagher said: “The students worked on character development and acting for both stage and screen. Everyone did so well! Tom was very impressed with them all.

“We are so very grateful for Tom’s continued support. Not just a patron in name only, Tom gives so much energy and valuable training to our students and school.”

Billionaire Boy workshopIn February, there will be a Peppa Pig workshop for our starlets, StageScreen’s youngest students aged four to six.  Debut class students, aged six to 10, will join our Starlets for a workshop based on David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy. StageScreen students (and their siblings) can also attend a workshop on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory..

Limited spaces for special Harry Potter opportunity

On March 6, 2021, West End star of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Jack North, will be zooming in to deliver a magical workshop for an hour during a three-hour StageScreen Saturday morning training session. The exciting news is that for this special event, youngsters aged six to 18 who are NOT StageScreen students can apply to join in too. For just £5 they can enjoy a full morning of online StageScreen classes INCLUDING the Harry Potter workshop.

Heather added: “While we are doing online training we are offering two free weeks. So children who join the Harry Potter morning for £5 can still book a second free trial week with us.”

Tickets will go on sale at https://harrypotterbundle.eventbrite.co.uk on Saturday, January 30, at 9am. We expect demand to be high and places ARE limited. Youngsters who have attended previous external workshops and free trials have been given a chance to apply before sales go live to the public.

Harry Potter StageScreen workshop promo

Jack North played the roles of Karl Jenkins, Viktor Krum and Dudley Dursley in the original West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Billionaire Boy and Peppa Pig workshops

Our Starlets and Debut students (aged four to 10) have the exclusive opportunity to do a Billionaire Boy workshop in February with professional actress Emma Matthews.

Emma’s recent credits include Gangsta Granny (West End and tour) and Billionaire Boy (National Tour). Her TV credits include Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Shameless, Casualty, Doctors, No Offence and Prisoners Wives.

Melanie Clark Peppa Pig workshop

Starlets only (four to six-year-olds) will do the Peppa Pig (Muddy Puddles workshop) with Melanie Clark (pictured right)  who is currently the choreographer for the UK and West End production of Peppa Pig Live.

Melanie’s theatre credits include: George Pig in Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever (Duke of York’s Theatre West End) Ben Elf in Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom Live (UK and Ireland tour), Mowgli in The Jungle Book (UK tour), George Pig in Peppa Pig’s Surprise (West End, UK & Australia tour), George Pig in Peppa Pig: My First Concert (Royal Festival Hall & UK tour), Fairy Liquid in Jack and The Beanstalk (Dorking Halls) and Red in Little Red Riding Hood (South East UK tour).

Between theatre tours, Melanie teaches at a variety of performing arts establishments: Head of Musical Theatre at Directions Performing Arts, Virtual Dance Teacher for StageCoach International, Acting Tutor at MEPA College.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the West End’s Sam Lathwood

StageScreen students (and their siblings) will enjoy a Charlie and the Chocolate factory Zoom workshop with Sam Lathwood.

Sam Lathwood StageScreen workshop

Sam trained at The Arts Educational Schools, London.

His theatre credits include: Ferdy/ Dance Captain/ 1st Young Ebenezer/ 1st Fred/ First George in A Christmas Carol (The Old Vic, West End); Messenger Boy/ 1st Robertson Ay/ 1st Valentine in Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre, West End); Assistant Dance Captain/ Gym Captain/ Swing/ 1st Michael Wormwood/ 2nd Doctor in Matilda the Musical (UK and Ireland Tour); Sam in Elf the Musical (Plymouth/Manchester); Swing/ Understudy Robertson Ay in Mary Poppins (International Tour Zurich/Dubai); Crossover Swing in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal Drury Lane, West End); Disaster! (Charing Cross Theatre); Jim in Elf the Musical (European Premiere, Plymouth/Dublin); Mark/Lynch in Damn Yankees (Landor Theatre); Assistant Dance Captain/Swing in Hairspray (UK and Ireland Tour); Ensemble/ 1st Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance (Hackney Empire/Australian Tour).

Other credits include: Elf the Musical (Channel 5); The Jane McDonald Show; singer in Mary Poppins Returns (Disney Movie/ Soundtrack); backing vocalist for Adele at Wembley Stadium; singer for ‘Eurosport Winter Olympics 2018’ commercial; Royal Variety Performance (London Palladium, 2019); Mary Poppins cast recording (West End, 2020), Matilda the Movie workshops (2020); Britain’s Got Talent (ITV, 2020).

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.”

West End performers train StageScreen students during lockdown

The show must go on – and it does at StageScreen. For instance, we’ve been able to bring in West End performers to teach our students in Zoom workshops during lockdown.

Our classes moved online when the national lockdown began in March. Our students have continued to work hard and, just as importantly, support each other.

Having fun and forging friendships in a safe, caring environment is just as important to us as the training we provide in musical theatre, acting and film work.

Helped by our patron, theatre director Tom O’Brien, we have held a series of Zoom workshops with professional performers from West End shows. You can watch a video below showing the highlights of some of these events and a look forward to our next production – the online children’s musical The Show Must Go Online, which is coming up in September.

Finally, our grateful thanks go to Chris Tendai (Hamilton); Luke Bayer (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie); Tom O’Brien (West End director and StageScreen patron); Christina Modestou (Six and StageScreen MTS patron); Danny Mahoney (screen acting – Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Florence Foster Jenkins) and Barnaby Thompson (The Lion King)

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.