January has always been one of my favourites. It’s the beginning of a brand New Year which means that there are a whole bunch of new and exciting things to try and so much to look forward too. This meant that when I was invited along to attend The Young Company’s open day I couldn’t wait to see all of the incredible opportunities that are on offer.
The Young Company is one of the largest youth Theatre Groups in the UK. Just over thirty years old it offers a variety of courses for ages 5-25 including Acting, Dance and Design in addition to both volunteering and training opportunities.
Arriving at TR2; Theatre Royal Plymouths production and learning centre, for 3:00PM we were greeted by the company where we were able to learn a little about each workshop before choosing which sessions we wanted to take part in. Everyone including the members of staff were very excited about the day’s events and couldn’t wait to introduce us to all of the different projects that the company is involved with. There were four workshops altogether which covered Acting, Dance, Design and Playwriting all areas that the company offers. We were able to take part in three throughout the course of the afternoon which allowed us to try a little of each. Not only are there weekly workshops but the chance to take part in or be involved with Young Company productions in addition to joining one of the several Academies that are a part of the company.
The first workshop I decided to take part in was Design and I couldn’t wait to get started. The Design group is responsible for the creation of set, props and costume which are all designed and constructed on sight. It was interesting to learn about the entire process as we were able to see sketches, models and construction plans for various productions such as ‘Big the Musical’ before having a little look at the current project being built. Having watched ‘Big the Musical’ it was surreal to see the initial ideas for the show imagined through sketches which perfectly mirrored The Lyric stage. The design team usually work alongside the director creating unique sets for a variety of performance spaces but each production is different to the next.
The second workshop focused on playwriting which is something that’s quite new to the company and something which I was eager to try out. Throughout the session we had to devise a six line script in just under twenty minutes using creative writing techniques. Light-hearted and fun we listed places, characters and times to create a little taster of a script. The whole process was brilliant and something which I would definitely recommend. As part of the company the workshop focuses on developing your creative writing skills and individual writing style where you’ll get the opportunity to write for the stage.
The final workshop was filled with tonnes of energy as we took part in a series of warm-ups to familiarise us with a few theatre techniques. This included games and improvisation which everyone enjoyed from start to finish. The Young Company offers multiple courses where you can develop your performance skills whilst focusing on a different theatre technique and style each term and the workshop was a great introduction to the classes.
The Young Company’s truly has something for everyone. The enthusiasm of everyone taking part on the day made the entire afternoon even more enjoyable as we moved from one fun filled workshop to the next. The company although based around performance focuses on building confidence within a collaborative and creative environment which the atmosphere definitely reflected.
You can find out more about the Young Company here: