Stages, our Widening Participation pilot, worked with young people to produce a promenade performance of Orpheus and Eurydice. In the video above, contributors to the Stages project reflect on its impact.
Starting in April 2013, Central Saint Martins worked with more than 130 young people – mostly from local schools in Camden and Islington – through introductory workshops and auditions. By July, a company of 45 young people had been selected – including dancers from Dance United.
The project culminated in four site-specific promenade performances of Orpheus and Eurydice. The young people staged the play across five spaces within the Granary building, including The Street and the Platform Theatre.
Artistic Director Simone Coxall said: “I think Stages has been an amazing opportunity for young people to engage with performance. It went across a year, it felt quite epic at times, and I really felt the young people came so far from the beginnings – when we were in the schools – to the final performance here at Central Saint Martins.”
As part of the project we also ran audition technique workshops with the young people, to help them to prepare for applying to BA Acting. Since the project, one participant has been offered a place on the course and another has reached the second round of auditions. With nearly 2,000 applicants competing for BA Acting’s 16 places, this is an outstanding achievement.
This year, Stages will continue building relationships with local schools and working with partners to secure funds for another large-scale project. We will work to make Stages sustainable, so that more young people can increase their chances of attending university or gaining employment in the creative industries.