Vicky Featherstone with TheatreCraft volunteers (Credit: Helen Murray)
Teaching Drama visited TheatreCraft, the backstage theatre careers fair, on 17 October. The one-day event, aimed at young people aged 16-25, had more than 1,000 visitors in attendance at the Royal Opera House.
The event was opened with a speech from the Royal Court’s artistic director Vicky Featherstone. She said it was ‘such an honour’ to address the visitors to TheatreCraft. She described it as ‘an amazing moment’ that young people had gathered to pursue and research careers in backstage theatre.
Featherstone said in her opening speech: ‘I truly believe theatre in its wider sense has something in it for absolutely everyone and TheatreCraft will allow you to explore this. There are so many possibilities. Today is an amazing opportunity to come together and learn about your future. Theatre is all about people and their shared experiences. British theatre needs you.’
The day itself offered participants the chance to take part in over 70 workshops on offer in everything from theatre marketing to wig making. Over 50 exhibitors were on hand to talk to in the marketplace, highlighting education and industry opportunities throughout the country in the backstage sector. There were also 39 industry experts available for one-to-one advice sessions.
If you missed out on this year’s event, keep up to date with developments for 2015’s TheatreCraft on their website, www.theatrecraft.org.
Winner Corrine Priest with Julia McKenzie
The finals of the eighth Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer Of The Year Competition took place on 18 May at the Garrick Theatre.
The competition was won by 20-year-old Corrine Priest. The London School of Musical Theatre student performed Sondheim’s ‘Don’t Laugh’ from musical Hotspot. Priest was presented with her prize by patron of the Stephen Sondheim Society, Julia McKenzie. Callum Mcintyre, from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, was this year’s runner up. The 23-year-old performed ‘Buddy’s Blues’ from Follies.
The Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Prize was also presented as part of the competition. Twelve new musical songs competed for the top prize, which was won by Tamar Broadbent. The 26-year-old had two of her songs in the finals: ‘The Procrastination Song’ and ‘Library Boy’. Both prize-winners were presented with £1,000.
Judges for this year’s competition included Julia McKenzie, director and choreographer Jonathan Butterell, musical director Nigel Lilley, director David Lan and writer Edward Seckerson. The best new song prize was judged by singer songwriter Scott Alan, composer Andrew Lippa and, the award’s namesakes, composer/lyricists George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.
Christina Maiden, competition winner from 2012, presented with an award by David Wood
Trinity College London has announced details for its fourth International Playwriting Competition. The competition is open to writers of all ages and abilities; entries can be submitted from 9 September until 13 December 2013. There are two categories: Plays for Young Performers, one-act plays which are suitable for performers aged 11 and under; and Plays for Teenage Audiences, one-act plays suitable for ages 12-16.
The winning playwrights of both categories will receive £1000 and see their plays performed in London in May 2014 as part of Trinity’s second International Festival of Playwriting and Performance. Runners up will be awarded £500, and up to six promising young playwrights aged 15 and under will receive a prize of £100. The winners, as well as all the competition’s runners up, will have their plays published in a collection by Trinity.
Head of drama and performance at Trinity College London, John Gardyne, said: ‘Over the last three years, the standard of entries has just kept getting better, so much so that we are taking last year’s winning play in the category Plays for Teenage Audiences, to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.’
The 2012 winner of the Plays for Teenage Audiences category, Mariama Ives-Moiba, said that the competition, ‘boosted my confidence and fuelled my ambition to pursue a career in writing.’
To download the application form and to find out more, visit www.trinitycollege.co.uk/playwriting.