The RCS Junior Conservatoire is a nurturing and empowering space for young people who want to improve their artistic skills, gain self-confidence and learn with other like-minded people.
In this blog series, we hear what some of those young people like about the Junior Conservatoire, and why they look forward to coming to classes every week.
Molly is part of the Junior Conservatoire Young Theatre Company, an auditioned course for young people aged 13-21 which meets weekly during term time. The Company is specifically for people with some acting experience who wish to improve their performance skills, possibly with a view to further education and a career in acting.
Often the best way to learn a skill or craft is by actually doing it and the Young Theatre Company at the RCS Junior Conservatoire certainly encourages this approach.
“What I enjoy most about RCS Young Theatre Company is that we create something brand new every single week” Molly has been a member of the Young Theatre Company for two years and really loves the creativity of the rehearsals “Each session is fast paced and personal and has given me a creative soundboard and open environment to create work that’s based on issues that are most important to me. I leave each class energised and excited for the next.”
Working in an ensemble, the Young Theatre Company is led by an experienced director and practitioner through intensive rehearsal processes, much like working on a real theatre production. Members are required to demonstrate commitment to rehearsals and be willing to undertake some preparation work in between classes. Through practical sessions, members continue to build on the technical and creative performance skills which they already have from other drama training, and explore how to apply and develop them further within a rehearsal process.
“The collaborative element of the company, alongside excellent guidance from our tutor, means that we excel as individuals and as an ensemble the company is what we make it” says Molly.
“During my time with the company I have learned that I am much more creatively capable than I had previously thought. Before joining I had no idea how much I would enjoy devising and the process of creating a show. The company has completely shaped how I now think of starting my career in the arts and has broadened my horizons of what theatre can be. It’s taught me that there are no limits.”
From this September RCS will actually be running two companies side by side: an Origins Company for young people between the ages of 13-15 and a Main Company for those aged 16-21.
The Origins Company is for aspiring performers at the beginning of their journey within performance who are keen to learn and develop skills within devising and theatre practice. Just like the Main Company, the Origins Company will adopt an ensemble approach with students having the opportunity to build relationships and work with like-minded people. Each week the company will be led by a theatre practitioner, who will explore the techniques for creating performance through live and digital media whilst developing the skills of each young performer. There will be opportunities throughout the year for small scale performances within RCS.
Members of the Origins Company will have the opportunity to move up to the Main Company when they turn 16 years old. The Main Company will focus on improving vocal, physical and emotional performance skills, as well as undertaking in-depth character development activities. Members are guided through the process of researching, developing and rehearsing a performance, and work as an ensemble with other aspiring actors/theatre makers to create polished performances throughout the year.
“As part of the Company, I’ve had the opportunity to perform at RCS, but also at other places such as the National Festival of Youth Theatre, in collaboration with Ayr Gaiety Young Theatre Company. Also, we have recently been working on an online collaboration with Wonder Fools Theatre Company” (you can see this piece as part of the online Youth Arts Festival)
Membership of both companies will be by audition to ensure all members are at a similar level in their performance skills and experience. The audition is nothing to worry about, according to Molly “When I auditioned for the company, I was mega excited and slightly nervous but the workshop leaders and staff were so encouraging and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was a fantastic insight into what my time in the company would be like. My audition was a wholly positive experience in itself.”
Applications for next year’s Origins and Main Companies close on Monday 27 July. RCS hopes that from September all our Junior Conservatoire classes will be taking place in the main Glasgow city centre building again with its custom built facilities, however the situation with regards lockdown is still fluid so there might be some element of online participation to start with. You can find out more details and apply online here.
So would Molly recommend auditioning for the Young Theatre Company? “Absolutely. Being part of the RCS Young Theatre Company is a life-changing opportunity for your growth as an artist and gives you the opportunity to have your voice heard as a young theatre maker. Do it!”
For 50 years, the Junior Conservatoire has nurtured and empowered young people to fulfil their artistic potential, develop essential life skills and explore a world of possibilities within the arts and far beyond. Many Junior Conservatoire alumni have gone on to study the performing arts full time (at RCS or elsewhere) but many have also taken the self-confidence and life skills taught at the Junior Conservatoire and gone on to excel in other fields such as journalism and medicine.
We believe that encouraging and supporting young people to be the best they can be in a vibrant, happy and encouraging environment can help them grow, finding self-confidence, new artistic influences, and making life-long friends in the process.
Young people aged 8-18 can come and study lots of different genres within music, dance, drama, production and film techniques, all within the same world-leading facilities and from the same expert, knowledgeable tutors that our undergraduate and postgraduate students have access to. Find out more about the Junior Conservatoire.