TWO well-known York institutions want to help launch the careers of future stars of stage and screen.

York Theatre Royal has teamed up with York College to launch a new fast track degree course for aspiring actors.

The BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen degree was created by York College in conjunction with the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) and will offer students conservatoire-style professional acting training as well as month-long placements within the industry, including York Theatre Royal.

College programme leader, James Harvey, who developed the two-year course, said: “There’s nothing like this anywhere in North Yorkshire or the North East.

“It’s a collaboration with ALRA, which is one of the top drama schools in the country. It’s very much an industry-facing course and we want our students to work with professionals – that’s why we’ve worked a month-long placement in to the course.”

James said he hoped the course would attract students from a wide range of social backgrounds, and that the two-year duration presented ‘maximum value for money’.

York Theatre Royal producer, Thom Freeth, said: “This new partnership is such a brilliant opportunity for York Theatre Royal to help support and shape training for people embarking on careers in the theatre industry.

“At a time when arts education is under threat and the industry is changing rapidly, it’s really important that creative organisations connect with training providers and that people can access high quality training regionally rather than having to move to London.

“We’re so excited to be working with York College, not least because this partnership will enable us to make established strands of our work, such as youth theatre and new creative projects, more accessible to communities across the York.”

As well as in-house tutors, students will benefit from regular visits from industry professionals and ALRA staff. The course also offers specialist classes in a wide range of improvisation, rehearsal and performance skills, voice, movement, professional development and will involve live performances at York Theatre Royal.

Kieran Sheehan, Acting Principal at ALRA said: “We’re delighted with the partnership and will use our pioneering approach to actor training and offer advice on integrating traditional and cutting-edge techniques for screen and live theatre.”

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