Royal Shakespeare Company launches next generation initiative for students

Next Generation students at work in the props dept. Photos Lucy Barriball

Gregory Doran, artistic director of The Royal Shakespeare Company, today announced the launch of RSC Next Generation, a new initiative aimed at fostering future talent in young people from low income families.

Up to 100 young people each year, from disadvantaged backgrounds, will be given the chance to develop a career in the theatre, whether it is as an actor, working backstage, or in production.

Gregory Doran

He said: “We are also looking forward to the future, developing new talent with RSC Next Generation.

“Theatre has been my passion since childhood and it’s there that our imaginations are first sparked.

“I am so pleased that we are opening up opportunities for a new generation of young talent to explore theatre careers in acting, directing and backstage, and that we are doing this important work in collaboration with our theatre partners and schools across the country.

“Shakespeare belongs to everyone and what better legacy from 2016 than to give new voices a chance to shine”.

Developed in collaboration with partner theatres and schools across the country, RSC Next Generation is a response to the fact that young people from low-income backgrounds remain under-represented across the theatre sector.

Some of the best theatre-makers, actors and directors in the business will give advice, teaching, support and practical experience, under the guidance of the RSC, in three key areas.

Next Generation Act will see up to 24 talented young people, aged 13-18, join RSC Next Generation to hone and develop their skills as actors. The RSC will continue to offer the students support until they are 18 years old, recruiting new members of the Young Company each year.

Next Generation Direct, working with Intermission Theatre, is for young people over 18 who demonstrate the creative leadership and directing skills needed to take a play from page to stage.

Next Generation Backstage will see 40-50 students, aged 13-18, each year be given a Backstage Pass to discover everything that goes on behind the scenes to bring each production to life.

Participants in the programme will be drawn from the thousands of young people who attend (or have attended) the RSC’s 500+ Associate and Partner Schools nationwide in communities that are under-represented in the cultural industries.

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