Next Stage Youth
About Next Stage Youth:
Launched in the same year as the parent company, Next Stage Youth has been in existence since 1994. Next Stage tutors and actors have coached hundreds of youngsters, preparing many for performances, auditions and competitions. Indeed, some of our talented young actors have gone on from Next Stage Youth to train for the professional theatre.
The emphasis is always on friendship, teamwork, support and a professional grounding in theatre arts. In any year members of Next Stage Youth have the chance to work on devised theatre, competition entries in the Mid-Somerset Drama Festival in March, and at least one full-scale production in The Mission Theatre. There are no auditions, anyone between 11 and 18 is welcome and Next Stage has a policy of using talented youngsters whenever possible in adult productions.
Next Stage Youth runs for ten-week terms (£120 per term), with each session on a Sunday from 4.30 – 6 pm at The Mission Theatre.
This term, all members of Next Stage Youth are working on a full-scale production of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s version of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, to be performed in Febraury half term next year. New members wishing to join are invited to purchase tickets to see the play and then join us for the second-half of the Spring 2017 term, commencing Sunday 5th March 4.30-6pm.
To download our child protection policy documentation please click Child_Protection_Policy_2016.pdf. (Adobe PDF).
What goes on at NSY?
As well as the regular weekly sessions with Next Stage tutors, students also have the chance of attending professionally led workshops. All aspects of stagecraft and dramatic presentation are explored.
Next Stage Youth regularly enters local competitions and presents public showings of its work. This year six groups from NSY competed in the prestigious Mid-Somerset Drama Festival. Read a brief report on the competition.
Youngsters are also invited to take roles alongside adults in Next Stage’s programme of challenging productions. In 2015 15 members of the Youth Company performed alongside members of the adult Company in a production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe which toured to The Minack Theatre in Cornwall. Also in 2015 Next Stage Youth produced an epic production of Peter Pan.
Come You Giants Bursary
In May 2012, Next Stage Theatre Company announced the creation of the Come You Giants (CYG) bursary open to all members of Next Stage Youth who have been in the company for at least 2 years. The £1000 grant has been set up specifically to help young and talented actors who wish to pursue further training in performing arts. Click here for an article on the ways in which this bursary has been used by recipients since 2015.
Applications are open from 1 to 31 May of each year. An article on the application process is available here.
International Links with Dream and Learn
After seeing a production of Sparkleshark in 2010, pupils from Madrid on a Summer School in Bath met the Youth cast and then attended a theatre workshop led by Next Stage actors in which cast members and the Spanish teenagers explored some of the universal issues raised in the play. In Summer 2011 the Spanish students from Dream and Learn returned to have a full fortnight of workshops exploring the themes behind Blood Brothers and Wind in the Willows - and they even performed their own versions at the end of their visit. In 2012 the Dream and Learn youngsters worked with Next Stage Youth for a week on themes inspired by His Dark Materials and in 2013 they all worked together on Noughts and Crosses. In 2014 the group of Spanish students returned to The Mission Theatre to take part in workshops based on Next Stage’s production of Oh What A Lovely War. Click here for pictures and an account of how the week went.
The Bridget Casse Award for Excellence in Youth Theatre
Each year, the Next Stage Youth tutors select one member to receive the Bridget Casse Award. This is given to somebody who has shown enthusiasm, talent, a willingness to help out, a positive attitude towards fellow members, and is an asset to NSY. This was awarded for the first time in 2010 to Philip Davies, in 2011 to Anna-Fleur Rawlinson, in September 2012 to Jenny McGlynn, in 2013 to James Langley, in 2014 to Ben Armstrong and in 2015 to Amberley Couchman. The current award holder in Olivia Anniss. To read an article on the 2016 award, and to see pictures of the ceremony, click here.