Sahana will join 19 other young people who all demonstrated exceptional talent, focus, commitment and passion, when they took part in a series of master classes that took place across the country earlier this year.
The master classes involved 180 students from the RSC’s Associate Schools Programme*, and were held in Cornwall, London, Kent, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, York, Hull, Bradford, Blackpool and Stoke. The 20 members of RSC Next Generation ACT are all aged between 12 and 16 years old, and were selected by a panel of RSC actors and representatives from the RSC’s Casting and Education departments. Alongside an obvious talent for acting, they were looking to recruit young people who might ordinarily find it hard to break into a career in the theatre.
Bodmin College’s Head of Drama, Alison Dures, writes, ‘Sahana, aged 15, has been a pivotal member of the Drama Department ‘family’, throughout her school life here, from the early days in Year 7 when she joined ‘Shine Club’ to taking up any opportunity to be involved, whether it be in offering her help at school events, in a front of house or technical role, taking part in acting workshops and performances and in attending productions by touring theatre companies and practitioners. Sahana is currently working towards her BTEC level 2 qualification in Performing Arts: Acting and has recently achieved her Arts Award Gold Award, equivalent to Level 3 in the Arts. This year she took on her first major Musical Theatre role of Jasmine in the whole school musical production of ‘Aladdin’. As Cornwall is so far from the busy theatre world of London and as Bodmin is an area of social and cultural disadvantage, opportunities are snapped up when they come along and Sahana is ‘hungry’ for any opportunity to extend her skills and experience. To be selected for the RSC Next Generation Act, is a wonderful testament to Sahana’s sheer hard work and commitment as well as her obvious talent. She is a conscientious and ambitious individual, who will give 100% to this amazing project. We are all immensely proud of her and know that she will soar with this incredible experience.’
Sahana and I would like to thank the Hall for Cornwall for offering the audition opportunity to the college and Sahana is very much looking forward to joining the other young people on this venture.
Sahana will join the rest of the RSC Next Generation ACT company members later this week when the group will come together for the first time in Stratford-upon-Avon on the 14-16 September 2017. During their inaugural weekend as a company, the young people will be introduced to key staff and departments at the RSC, as well as attend skills-based workshops and classes run by some of the world’s most experienced actors, directors, voice, movement and text experts. The group will also attend mentoring sessions with established RSC actors and begin to familiarise themselves with the play they will perform at the end of their first year together in July 2018.
Talking about the announcement, Robin Belfield from the RSC’s Education department, said:
“The RSC has trained generations of the very best actors, directors and practitioners, but for a long time we’ve been aware that, for a variety of reasons, some young people really struggle to break into the theatre industry. Our Associate Schools programme works in partnership with schools and theatres nationwide, often in areas of significant disadvantage. Those schools work with us for a minimum of two years so we get to know the students really well, and have a clear sense of who has the talent, focus and passion to benefit most from a programme like RSC Next Generation ACT. We are thrilled that we can now offer a potentially life-changing opportunity to some of these young people and help them to hone, develop and make the most out of their extraordinary potential”.
RSC Next Generation ACT is one strand of RSC Next Generation, a unique talent development programme that gives gifted young people, who might ordinarily find it hard to break into a career in theatre, the opportunity to gain experience in acting, directing or backstage, and explore whether a career in the theatre is for them.