Backstage Academy is looking to recruit teaching, admin and industry staff ahead of the new term commencing in October 2014. The academy, based at the LS-Live rehearsal studios in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, deliver industry-based training in lighting, sound, staging, live visuals, networks, show control and event planning
Backstage Academy’s courses are validated by the University of Bolton. It runs an FdA in live events production, a BA (Hons) top-up year and, new for 2014, a BA (Hons) in visual production. The academy focuses on employability, practical experience and industry-relevant skills.
Director of courses Robin Watkinson: ‘We are looking to add stage engineering, automation, stage management, film and TV location management, and sports events management to our portfolio of validated courses.
‘We are currently seeking applications from: industry professionals interested in delivering lectures, seminars or masterclasses in their field of expertise; experienced teachers with experience of lecturing and supporting students studying at HE4 or above; and admin staff to support our growing education portfolio.’
The academy has part and full-time positions available, as well as opportunities to run masterclasses. If you are interested in a position at Backstage Academy, submit your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attendees of Matilda The Musical’s relaxed performance
By Ruth McPherson
On 15 June, the Royal Shakespeare Company presented the inaugural ‘relaxed’ performance of Matilda The Musical at Cambridge Theatre, building on the programme of relaxed performances that the RSC has been running in Stratford-upon-Avon since 2013, when it was among the first to adopt and promote the concept. The National Autistic Society worked closely with the RSC on this special performance offering full access to the theatre for people with autism and learning disabilities.
The performance provided a relaxed environment, with elements of the production adapted to reduce anxiety or stress. Lighting and sound levels were adjusted to soften their impact and there was a relaxed attitude to noise and moving around the auditorium during the performance. Designated ‘chill-out’ areas were provided outside the auditorium with soft seating and activities for people to use if being in the auditorium became overwhelming for them. All audience members were also sent a visual story to help them familiarise themselves with the plot, characters and the setting before they arrived at the theatre.
Tickets for the show were offered at the reduced rate of £20 and it was a sell-out performance. Catherine Mallyon, executive director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, said ‘Relaxed performances are a fantastic way of offering a warm and inclusive welcome to those families, giving them the chance to experience high quality, live theatre, often for the first time. We are delighted to be part of the growing number of theatres across the UK helping to make relaxed performances a standard feature of British theatre-going.’
The cast of Matilda The Musical (Credit: Manuel Harlan)
Several other major London shows have also presented successful ‘relaxed’ performances recently, including The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Romeo and Juliet, The Elephantom, Mamma Mia! and The Lion King. The National Theatre has recently announced that they will be putting on a relaxed performance of War Horse in September.