Brixham theatre company opens free theatre classes for people on low income
With a 17 year track record of nationally and internationally awardwinning theatre productions creating theatre opportunitiesfor local people, the Players have now received a small grant to enable them to open theatre classes free for adults on low incomes in Brixham, in partnership with Brixham Theatre.
A primary reason that the South Devon Players Theatre & Film Company got underway in the winter of 2005-6 was to create local professional opportunities for actors & theatre creatives, in Torbay, where there was very little of that nature, and where, if someone could not afford to move away to the bigger cities upcountry, there was very little chance of launching a career in theatre.
While this is achieved mainly through being involved in the creation and performance of shows; many people prefer to begin with classes instead; and the Players, through discussion with their partners Brixham Theatre CIO, suggested the idea of opening theatre classes for adults – while there are a lot of youth theatre classes, there is nothing in Torbay for adults.
The Players applied for grant funding towards covering the cost of hiring Brixham Theatre, which was also supplied by Brixham Theatre “at cost only” to enable these projects, and one of the applications was successful. Running the classes on the stage at Brixham Theatre, also allows the students to learn, working on and around a functional working theatre stage.
As a result the classes are able to be offered free to local people on a low income (read that as means tested benefits, having needed to use a food bank, etc), and take place one evening a month to fit best around peoples work, classes and other commitments. The six month course covers the basics of performance, finding acting work, performing on stage, and finishes with each student having a photoshoot and a short filmed performance which they can use to begin a professional portfolio.
If this is a success with a good take-up, then there will be continued expansion of the theatre classes
The course is run by Laura Jury, the founder of the South Devon Players, who is also an experienced director with 22 years experience, and actor with 24 years experience, and one of four theatre directors nationally on Equity’s Directors Committee
All details can be found on the Learning Zone tab at www.southdevonplayers.com.
The theatre company itself breaks down barriers for creatives. Run by an autistic woman of colour – who also founded the South Devon Players, a not-for-profit theatre company based in Brixham, Torbay, in 2005 – led it to national and international arts awards for previous shows. Players creates opportunities for local Devon actors and creative talent of all backgrounds to further, developing a career in theatre and the arts.
The South Devon Players always welcome people from the local area who would like to get involved in creating theatre and performances