De­velop your child’s skills dra­mat­i­cally

The Jewish Chronicle - - SUMMER SCHEMES -

DRAMA QUEENS and shrink­ing vi­o­lets alike can find a role in the per­form­ing arts. For some, a hol­i­day course will build a foun­da­tion for a stage ca­reer; for oth­ers it will un­lock hid­den tal­ents, over­come shy­ness or in­crease con­fi­dence and so­cial skills.

Jig­saw Per­form­ing Arts has more than 20 week­end schools in Lon­don and the Home Coun­ties.

Ses­sions are de­signed for three-to-18year-olds, sub­di­vided into age groups and many of them are taught by pro­fes­sional per­form­ers.

In the school hol­i­days, there are two theatre-based schemes, both reg­is­tered with Of­sted. For those aged 16 to 20, with a gen­uine de­sire to work pro­fes­sion­ally in the per­form­ing arts, there is also a Youth Theatre Com­pany, stag­ing full-scale pro­duc­tions in pro­fes­sional venues. Com­ple­ment­ing this is Jig­saw’s the­atri­cal agency, which rep­re­sents se­lected stu­dents.

Hol­i­day schemes and theatre work­shops are held in Hen­don (ages five to 14 years), Whet­stone (theatre work­shop, ages eight to 16) and En­field (theatre work­shop). Classes run from Mon­day to Fri­day, 9am to 3.30pm.

On the hol­i­day schemes, each day be­gins with drama games, as an ice­breaker. Chil­dren are then di­vided into age bands for drama, dance, singing and art. Th­ese ses­sions may in­clude chore­og­ra­phy, draw­ing, face-paint­ing, im­pro­vi­sa­tion, mask-mak­ing, mime, move­ment, mu­sic, paint­ing, prop­mak­ing and script-work.

At the theatre work­shops, de­signed to stretch the skills of tal­ented per­form­ers, each day be­gins with a phys­i­cal and vo­cal warm-up. Stu­dents are then di­vided into smaller groups to work on dance rou­tines and songs re­lat­ing to the week’s theme.

Scripts and de­vised drama will also be re­hearsed in prepa­ra­tion for the end-of-week show. Cos­tumes, props and the set are cre­ated dur­ing the week by the stu­dents.

The per­for­mance, viewed by proud rel­a­tives and friends, is held on Fri­day af­ter­noon and var­i­ous prizes are awarded.

Stage­coach op­er­ates more than 500 branches in Bri­tain, Ger­many and Amer­ica and runs nu­mer­ous sum­mer schemes across the coun­try.

Stu­dents don’t have to at­tend a Stage­coach school to take part in a hol­i­day work­shop. Stage­coach aims to en­sure that ev­ery­one has a full role, and dis­trib­utes parts so that each young­ster uses his or her skills to their best ad­van­tage.

The work­shops com­prise classes in dance, drama, voice and singing, as well as re­hearsals lead­ing to a per­for­mance on the last day.

Stage­coach caters for eight-to-16year-olds and some cen­tres run shorter ses­sions for four-to-seven-year-olds. Ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude cast­ing, script read­ing and tech­ni­cal and dress re­hearsals, all lead­ing to the fi­nal per­for­mance.

Cen­tres run­ning hol­i­day work­shops in­clude Bore­ham­wood, Herts (Au­gust 18 to 22); Har­row, Middx (July 28 to Au­gust 1) and St Al­bans, Herts (July 21 to 25 and July 28 to Au­gust 1).

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