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Safe resumption of Youth Theatre classes. Things are going to be different.

Fat Sam's Gang. A scene from An Grianán Youth Theatre/On Cue Academy production of Bugsy Malone, Jan 2020. Left to right - Amy Doherty, Darragh Ramsay, Rudi Murphy Brown, Patrick McCormack, Isaac Morrison, Ethan Barron and (crouching) Evin O'Donnell. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved.

We have spent a lot of time over the summer deciding on to how safely resume youth theatre classes and we have come up with what we feel is going to be a fun but challenging project for our autumn programme.

NB: places on our autumn project are only available to students who are already members of An Grianán Youth Theatre. In the event that we do not fill all places we will hold online auditions to fill any remaining places. If you would like to be added to the waiting list send an email with your details here.

First the less good news. In order to maintain social distancing the number of participants we can have per class has been severely reduced. We can no longer use the rehearsal room which means all classes will be on our stage with a maximum of 9 participants per class. We have also taken the decision to suspend our junior classes (ages 7 to 13) until Spring 2021 and will concentrate on delivering a high quality programme for our senior youth theatre (ages 14+).

Current members: Please have a read below of our proposed programme and if interested in taking part please let us know ASAP. You can eMail Nicola or leave her a message via the youth theatre’s facebook page or the theatre’s instagram account.

So what have we decided to?

Monologues and Devising – being able to deliver a good monologue is a key skill for any actor and this term that is going to be our focus. This reduces the need for close physical interaction between students while allowing everyone to work on a skill that will help prepare them for future auditions. As we are going to record and screen the monologues this programme will also serve as an introduction for acting for radio and screen, new skills for most of our students.

Rather than using an existing monologue students will work on devising their own short original work which will be recorded and screened in December. We have invited the digital media team from the Regional Cultural Centre to record the monologues using professional film and sound equipment while our inhouse technical team will make sure it all looks beautiful.

An Grianán Theatre's stage has been divided into 2 metre boxes for social distancing in workshops.

An Grianán Theatre’s stage has been divided into 2 metre boxes for social distancing in workshops.

Students will be assigned a box at the start of term which will be theirs for the duration of the course.

Students will be assigned a box at the start of term which will be theirs for the duration of the course.

How will it work?

We will hold classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Wednesday classes will be in person in the theatre. We will have two classes with a maximum of 9 participants per class. Classes will not be divided according to age. These classes will focus on performance.

Class 1: 4.30pm to 5.30pm (NB: this class is now fully booked)
Class 2: 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Course fees can be paid online here.

Thursday classes will be online using Zoom. These will be group classes led by Nora and will focus on devising and writing your monologues. There will also be breakout rooms where students can work together in smaller groups.

We know that for a lot of you that one of the most important elements of being in youth theatre is hanging out with your friends so we hope that by offering the online classes that you can still enjoy some of that social interaction that we now can’t have in our in-person classes.

Dates

Proposed restart date: Wed 9 Sept for in person classes.

Classes to run until Thur 10 Dec (and take our traditional break at Halloween).

Filming

Assuming that we fill all available places we’ll have 18 monologues to film so dates to do that will be determined nearer the date but assume that there might be some additional filming/rehearsal days in December.

Safety

We are preparing a video with Nora to outline our new procedures but for now here is a quick overview of what’s happening.

  • The stage has been divided into 2 meter squares. Each student will have their own 2 metre performing square that will be theirs for the duration of the term. They can also keep their personal belongings in this space.
  • Separate entry and exit points. Students will enter by the stage dock and exit via the exit emergency at upstage left. Do not enter by the usual front entrance.
  • Contact tracing – students will follow our Covid protocols. Hand sanitiser will be provided at entry and exit points. They must bring their own pen to sign in with.
  • Classes will not be grouped by age. Students from the same household will be kept in the same class.
  • Please arrive just before class time to minimise time spent hanging around and socialising.
  • Parents/guardians will not able to stay in the building during class.
  • The stage will be cleaned and sanitised before each class.
  • A certified first aider will be available on site at all times.
  • Toilet breaks – students will use the toilet facilities in dressing rooms 1 and 2.
  • Zoom – parents must give their consent for students 16 and under to participate in online activities.
  • In addition to the facilitator another member of An Grianán’s staff will sit in on Zoom classes as per child safe guarding recommendations from Youth Theatre Ireland.