Summer school 2009

After last year’s shortened, three-day Summer School, the Youth Theatre Committee voted unanimously for a return to the full week format in 2009 and so, on 24th August, twenty-four young people presented themselves at Isham Studios for a week of drama activities, led by professional actors, dancers and directors. The tutors all praised the students for their enthusiasm, concentration and for the high standard of their work.

We were privileged to have free use of the drama and dance facilities at the University, with the added bonus of the student canteen at lunch time. The atmosphere all week was brilliant – everyone was working at full stretch, learning new and quite advanced skills, but having such fun in the process. Five of the participants were new to Masque, and have subsequently joined the group. One of them, Nick Easton, writes about the week:

Masque Summer School 2009 was my first experience of Masque Youth Theatre, and immediately I knew it was a fantastic thing to be involved in. The first day we spent working on props, which was a really great way to get around the room and work with people who you’ve only just met. In the afternoon we worked on musical theatre and we all sang and danced to “All That Jazz” from Chicago with help from Kay and Tracey. On Tuesday we had Philip and Brian. Philip helped us on characterisation, which was really great fun. Brian helped us on our speech, concentrating on the iambic pentameter. It was super to get to know how to use your voice properly when performing. On Wednesday we had Katye taking us for a very tiring day in which we worked on using our bodies in non-stylised movement.

On Thursday things got really exciting. We started working towards our pieces which we would be performing on Friday. We split into two groups being directed by Katy and Joff. I was put in Katy’s group, working on a very interesting and exciting piece (based on the 1921 feature film Destiny, directed by Fritz Lang), using a promenade theatre style in which we could really interact with the audience. The other group did something really cool with Joff, using some amazing technology. Overall the week was fantastic and a real help with all different types of drama techniques.

By Ursula Wright and Nick Easton

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