TWO Morpeth schoolgirls have been showing their star quality in a theatre summer school.
Newminster Middle School pupils Rose McKean and Lydia Wheeler have just completed the intensive week-long course at Northern Stage, formerly Newcastle Playhouse.
The pair were among 50 young people, aged between 11 and 20, to take part in the programme, half of which were previous participants and half were rookies.
The course comprised of sessions in all parts of theatre, with the aspiring artists involved in devising and shaping material, performance, writing, choreography and marketing.
It culminated in a play in front of a live audience on Saturday.
Twelve-year-old Rose enjoys watching plays at the theatre and had always wanted to experience what it was like to take to the stage herself.
She said: “The Summer School is a great way to have fun and at the same time to build up my confidence and acting skills. It also helps you to learn lines and remember things.
“This will be good when I go back to school as it will allow me to put ideas across in class as we do a lot of speaking and listening exercises so our drama skills will be very helpful.”
Lydia, also 12, who heard about the programme from her friend and classmate, said: “I’ve always wanted to do acting and Summer School is a good opportunity to show people just what I can do and adapt my skills.
“It also proves that you don’t have to be a professional to produce amazing stuff and if you can do this then you can do anything.”
The initiative is one of the biggest projects staged at the venue each year and was supported by the Gillian Dickinson Charitable Trust and The Joicey Trust, while The Shears Foundation and Sir James Knott Trust provide year-round support for the theatre’s participation programme.
Northern Stage Deputy Director of Participation Susan Mulholland said: “The Northern Stage Summer School is a great way of not only introducing young people to theatre making, but also enabling them to appreciate the values of theatre.
“We hope the young people will take away from their Summer School experience an increased level of self-confidence and self-esteem. The positive attributes will hopefully be transferred to situations at school or inspire them to pursue a career in the performing arts.”
Northern Stage is supported by Arts Council England and Newcastle City Council.
For more information visit www.northernstage.co.uk