Summer school has come around again and this year it’s making me particularly nostalgic!
As a theatre fan from an early age some of my favourite childhood memories come from my time taking part in summer school projects at The Octagon. I’m sure many others who have taken part in these projects over the years can agree with me that our time spent being creative within our local theatre was some of the best time we ever had whilst growing up.
For me the end of the school year didn’t just herald 6 weeks off but also marked the beginning of another exciting week of singing, dancing and acting at The Octagon. The projects were always geared towards a final show for all our families (as they still are now) and so it was a hectic week involving a group of young people – some you knew, some you didn’t – working together to get a show up and running by Friday!
For one whole week The Octagon would be your home as you worked from 10am – 4pm for 5 days on your project. During this time you’d make new friends, gain valuable performing experience with the guidance of your professional leaders, have the opportunity to be creative in your assigned roles and, most importantly for me as a quiet child, gain confidence both as a performer and as a person.
Now that I work in the theatre I still enjoy summer school immensely. Seeing all the participants as they arrive excited every morning, raring to get working on their production, gives me a real sense of happiness knowing that the tradition of summer school continues. For me they were such a key part of my childhood and so it’s fantastic to know that children are still getting these valuable opportunities to be inspired and develop as young performers.
This year’s projects make me particularly envious as, I believe, they are some of the best that The Octagon has ever staged. Showstoppers runs from 3 – 7 August and is led by some of our professional cast and creatives from our spectacular Christmas pantomimes – what coaches to have the opportunity to work with! The next week welcomes Castaway Theatre Group’s first ever summer school project which is now fully booked; and then there’s The Octagon Theatre’s Company’s outdoor project from 17 – 21 August – this is a particularly creative project as participants will make all aspects of their production as they perform in an outdoor setting.
The Octagon Theatre Company and Showstoppers projects are £125 for the week and really do give your children the chance to develop their imaginations and performance skills as they work alongside our professional mentors.
For more information or to book a space, call the Box Office on 01935 422884, visit: www.octagon-theatre.co.uk or pop into the theatre.
I look forward to seeing everyone taking part in this year’s summer school projects having great fun over the summer.
Hannah (Marketing Officer)