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Us And Uk Students Meet In A Theatrical ‘Neverland’
Thursday - August 11, 2016
A group of young people from Maryland, USA, have journeyed to Richmond this week to take part in a 5-day international youth theatre festival where they will act alongside local students.

The project involves around 30 English and American students, aged between 11-18 years, who will work together to create a show from start to finish that will be performed at the end of the week to a public audience. It will be accompanied by an art exhibition, incorporating photography, music and sculpture.

Based on the popular Peter Pan character, created by Scottish novelist JM Barrie, the play will be performed on Friday 12 August at 7.30pm and explores the world of Neverland through the eyes of the mischievous young boy who can fly and never grows up. The students will bring to the performance their own experiences of growing up and personal journeys.

The festival is the result of an initiative between Richmond’s Georgian Theatre Royal and the Performing and Visual Arts High School Magnet Program of Anne Arundel County Public School System in Maryland and is now in its third successful year.
The students are staying at nearby Kiplin Hall which has strong historical links with Maryland, having been built in the early 17th century by George Calvert, the first Baron of Baltimore, who was the spiritual founder of Maryland and father of Cecil Calvert, first Propriety Governor of the Province.

Leayne Dempsey, a guest teaching artist from the Anne Arundel County Public Schools who is directing the show, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity to bring together students from both countries. The collaborative theatre process allows the young actors to incorporate their own unique ideas into the production. This piece of drama is truly original and breathtakingly beautiful.”
US student Anna Courtade said: “It has been really interesting to find connections between our own lives and the artistic material. I also love the Theatre. It is absolutely beautiful and creates such an intimate performance space.”

UK student Finlay Worrallo who has been involved in the previous two international youth theatre festivals said: “The festival provides an amazing opportunity to work with other students within a totally different acting style. The whole week is pretty intense. We start by not knowing each other but very soon we are all working together to bring about a unique piece of drama that in a few days has to be performed to a live audience.”

This is just one of the many education initiatives spearheaded by the Georgian Theatre, which also runs a popular programme of youth theatre classes throughout the academic year. These are open to young people from 6 to 18 years old and offer experience of all areas of theatre and stagecraft, including acting, directing, devising and stage management.

Classes start again in September and places can be booked by calling 01748 823710; emailing admin@georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk or downloading an application form from the Theatre’s website: www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk

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