Stage Struck info
Stage Struck is a small and unpretentious youth theatre which is based in Penzance. It is currently in its 14th year. It was set up by 2 women involved in local am dram – Judith Lockwood Urban an ex professional dancer who runs her own dancing school and Judith Nicholls - a secondary school teacher (not Drama) who had done a lot of amateur acting and who had had great success as a singer when a child (classical) and done a bit as an adult to amuse herself!!
The Youth Theatre was set up because there were few opportunities for talented local children and young people to perform musical theatre other than by joining an adult company with no chance of ever taking a leading role. West Cornwall attracts so many talented people but has so few resources because of its remote location. Indeed it has one of the highest areas of social deprivation in the UK despite the amazing scenery. Kids get very few opportunities to see professional theatre (our nearest theatre is Truro - 35 miles away.
We roped in all our friends to help us with the technical backstage stuff and staged a production of The Wizard of Ox in 1996
The company is currently run by a small team with others helping out with shows. Judith left after 5 years as working in our company plus her Dance School and work an examiner was becoming too much to cope with. Currently we have another ex professional dancer Ruth Caird as our choreographer and our musical director is a local secondary school middle manager - Kevin Lane. We have a Technical manager - Mike Uren and an assistant Director – Pat Kelly ably assisted by Rosanne Hocking and between us we can turn our hands to most things and very often do!!
We finance our shows by charging our members a small fee per rehearsal (currently it's £2.50 ) and an annual fee to cover our insurance policy (currently the annual fee is £15) - the rest of the money coming from ticket sales and all the usual money raisers at shows - raffles, programmes and refreshments. Occasionally we have received small grants from the local council and we had a grant from Western Power to buy some black stage curtains. Otherwise we fund raise - we sing in town around Christmas. We are never in debt but there's never a lot to spare.
We stage one main show each year - it's generally in March time and we do 4 performances at St John's Hall. Last year we took a gamble and did a show never staged professionally called 'Back to the 80s' which was a huge success. Shows usually cost us around £8000 - £10,000 to stage and we usually just break even
We take our responsibilities to our children very seriously. We have chaperones in place at our shows and several of us are trained in child protection and safeguarding and we have a policy in place.
We also stage a Christmas concert in mid December with a one act play and lots of singing and dancing. The kids are into Glee so we are building our Glee repertoire at the moment - and either a small show or concert in the summer along with a performance at our local Golowan Festival. Recently we have staged a couple of musicals from the U.S. We did 'Fussin an a Feudin' and 'A Pirate's Life for Me' both very silly, loads of fun and perfect for summer!!
Lots of kids come and stay for years. We had founder members who clocked up 12 years with us before leaving to go to University. We have a bottom age limit of 6 and a top age limit of 21 - though these are flexible!! We had a boy with Downs Syndrome who stayed with us until he was 30. Kids audition to get in so that we can keep the balance of the company right for the shows we do and we don't take kids who don't sing in tune. Some of our kids have gone on to train professionally We've had 3 kids at GSA, 2 at Mount View, 2 at Stella Mann, 1 at Bristol Old Vic., 1 at Royal Court and 1 at Rose Bruford. Currently we have 2 members in the National Youth Theatre - not bad for a tiny youth theatre!! We're very proud of them. Currently we have 50 members aged 7 - 20 from local schools and colleges.
We rehearse every Tuesday at: Humphry Davy School. We rehearse on Sundays too in the run up to shows. We divide up our rehearsals into singing dancing and acting sessions which run simultaneously so that we rotate the kids through these and keep them busy all the time. It works very well and we get a lot done. We don't work people for lots of hours and we try to have a lot of fun together. The kids get on very well. we work hard at emphasising that this is a team effort and we don't tolerate any prima donna like behaviour. We have lots of kids with dyslexia who really thrive with us. We hope that we are giving the kids a life long hobby and interest. We hope that they learn lots of skills which will help them in their daily lives and that what they do with us will raise their self esteem. We know that over the years we've helped hundreds to be more confident and to have a real sense of pride in their achievements.
We've performed at The Minack, the Hall for Cornwall, The Acorn, in schools and every year in St John's Hall. We've raised money for schools in Uganda and Help for Heroes. We've been to Truro, Plymouth and London to see shows, to look behind the scenes and to meet the casts. Dudley Sutton has even been filmed for one of our shows!
Currently we hold auditions in September but we do sometimes look at kids interested in joining us at other times of the year,
Any one interested should contact Judith Nicholls on 01736 369142 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.