24 January 2018
Posted by Stuart Fraser
Backstage Pass at the RSC
Backstage Pass is a unique opportunity for students aged 14-18 to gain a hands-on experience of working at a theatre company working across several different departments including: Scenic Arts, Costumes, Front-of-House, Technical, Stage Management, Digital, Marketing, and Props. At the end of the week, the students will present their work to one another, before performing Act I, Scene 2 from The Tempest.
The Backstage Pass program helps students develop the necessary skills to work in a theatre environment, and provide them with an introduction to the extraordinary world of theatre.
Two students from Treviglas College are in Startford this week and have been keeping a rehearsal diary...
‘It was with great excitement, and a little trepidation, that our students (Bethany and Georgia) arrived at The Other Place in Stratford upon Avon for the first day of their Backstage Pass work experience week with the RSC. Following registration, students from all over the country gathered in one of the large rehearsal rooms to meet the director and RSC technical teams. The focus of the week is to stage a performance of the opening scene of Twelfth Night, using professional actors. The students will work alongside RSC professionals, taking responsibility for aspects of the production. Bethany is working with the scenic arts department, creating the set, while Georgia is working with the costume department.
After an initial warm up, the director, Robin Belfield, outlined his vision for the play, together with the head design of design, who shared with the students the process of designing a show, including a set model and mood board of initial ideas. The students then assembled in their teams. First up for Georgia was measuring the actors in order that she could source the costumes. These are found in the vast RSC costume department, where Georgia enjoyed wandering among the many floors of shoes, dresses, hats and accessories (300,000 of them!) Together with a partner from a Stratford school, Georgia was given responsibility for the Captain’s costume, and will be adjusting and ‘stressing’ it on Thursday. Georgia commented, “I am really interested in gaining costume experience, as I would like to lead costume on Treviglas productions. Already I have been taught measuring, and will be dying fabrics too.”
Meanwhile, Bethany joined with the scenic arts department and travelled to another part of Stratford, to the RSC workshops where all sets and props are built. Bethany spent the afternoon touring the facilities seeing a high pressure water cutter used for precision cutting of almost any material, exploring the drawing room, where initial designs are interpreted by the scenic department for construction. She was also treated to a backstage tour of the RST on the set of A Christmas Carol. Bethany said, “As a DT student it is amazing to experience backstage at such an important theatre. I am looking forward to completing a set that will be used in a professional production.”
Bethany was also invited into a rehearsal of the ‘First Encounters’ Julius Caesar that is touring to Treviglas in two weeks’ time. The company were keen to show some of the scenes where audiences will become part of the performance, and to hear feedback from the invited audience. Everyone agreed that it looks like it is going to be an incredible production, and the cast are really excited about coming to Cornwall.’
Book your tickets through Hall For Cornwall website here.