RPA wish you a Merry Christmas!

RPA wish you a merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

It’s been an eventful term!

Full of performances, assemblies and workshops. The drama team completed a fantastic primary schools tour, performing their show ‘The Great Fairy Tale Mix Up’ to approximately 3,700 children 21 times in 17 different venues. This includes 4 new schools who’d never seen the drama team perform before. We received this comment from a head teacher in one of those schools:

 “The performance was outstanding: engaging all children and delivering key messages based on respect for each other and British Values. Our children are still ‘buzzing’ about it and discussing the concepts – which is when you know a performance has had a true impact! Well done to the performers; who clearly have a real flair and talent.”

We are amazingly proud of the work they’ve done!

The theatre company have delivered a number of drama workshops, taught assemblies to the drama team, delivered smaller drama projects such as the story of the Prodigal Son for Shrewsbury Abbey and Solihull Catholic Schools and performed Elmer’Ctrl-Alt-Delete’, ‘It’s Complicated’ and ‘Carol’ in primary and secondary schools and church venues. They have been so busy. In fact, they’re still performing! You can catch a performance of ‘Carol’ at 7.30pm on Saturday 17th December at Stirchley Baths. More information here.

We are so conscious that all this cannot be achieved without the amazing support we receive from you!  We thank God for all your support, encouragement, hospitality, care, prayer and general cheerfulness. It keeps us going and there’s so much more to come in 2017!

 May you have a fun-filled, festive Christmas and be blessed with all energy, creativity and grace for the year ahead!

 Much love

RPA staff team xxxx

Would you like to know more about Riverside Performing Arts gap year programme?
Our RPA gap year programme offers training to 18 – 30 year olds in drama, movement, dance, singing, devising and performing in community venues, professional theatres, youth groups, children’s groups and churches along with Christian discipleship.
Click
here more information about the course or how to apply for the 2017-18 course.

Student Profile – Emily White

Emily White RPA 2016-17

Emily White

Hi I’m Emily! I’m 18 years old. I’ve had a passion for performing arts for as long as I can remember. Finding Riverside was a real “God-Thing”, as four different people suggested it to me. These first few weeks have been a beautiful, crazy, energetic whirl which I’m absolutely loving! I’ve learned so much about God, myself and theatre. There isn’t one thing I would change. Working with a team of people who believe in power of theatre as well as having a passion for God is the biggest blessing.

You can see Emily performing in The Great Fairy Tale Mix Up on Saturday 10th December at The Hub, Hazelwell.

Performances at 10am, 11.30am & 2pm.

Would you like to know more about Riverside Performing Arts gap year programme?
Our RPA gap year programme offers training to 18 – 30 year olds in drama, movement, dance, singing, devising and performing in community venues, professional theatres, youth groups, children’s groups and churches along with Christian discipleship.
Click
here more information about the course or how to apply for the 2017-18 course.

Student Profile – Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis RPA 2016-17 drama team

Lydia Davis

I’m Lydia! I’m very excited join the RPA first year drama team. I’ve come all the way from Virginia in the USA having graduated from University with a degree in Cultural Communication and Spanish. I’ve always loved theatre and so I was thrilled when God opened up an opportunity to come here and learn. I hope to grow, not only as a performer, but also in my understanding of how to use the arts to further the Kingdom of God. I love singing, acting, dancing, cooking, the outdoors and travelling. I also really love chocolate and avocados. 

Since arriving, the RPA course has gone beyond expectations. It’s invaluable to experiment and learn theatre in a safe environment. It’s encouraging to see how I’ve already learned more skills. Jesus has really blessed our team with unity and endurance. I’m so grateful!

Riverside Performing Arts presents ‘The Great Fairy Tale Mix Up’ our 45 minute story theatre show combining physical theatre, music, song and lots of fun! The show tours primary schools in the Midlands area from Monday 28th November to Friday 9th December 2016.
Ideal for reception to Year 6.

Come and see Lydia and the team perform their original, musical story theatre show:
‘The Great Fairy Tale Mix Up’ at The Hub, Hazelwell on Saturday 10th December.
Performances at 10am, 11.30am and 2pm.
Fun for children aged 3 – 80 years!

Would you like to know more about Riverside Performing Arts gap year programme?  This gap year programme offers training to 18 – 30 year olds in drama, movement, dance, singing, devising and performing in community venues, professional theatres, youth groups, children’s groups and churches along with Christian discipleship.
Click
here more information about the course or how to apply for the 2017-18 course.

What a week of performing!

Elmer performs at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

‘Elmer’ at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

Three different shows in one week means that this has been Riverside Performing Arts theatre company’s busiest to date.

Early on Sunday 16th October we brought ‘Elmer’ to hundreds of eager young children and their families at the Parabola Arts Centre as part of the Cheltenham Literature Festival. The children were delighted when Elmer left the stage and toured around the auditorium, singing, dancing and waving. After the show there was a long line of young children waiting patiently to meet the patchwork elephant and have their photo taken together.

At Moseley Church of England Primary School, the theatre company presented the story of ‘The Prodigal Son’ and creative story telling workshops with Key Stage 2 children . We repeated this performance of ‘The Prodigal Son’ for the Solihull Catholic Schools as part of their Year of Mercy Celebration. After the show, the Year 6 and 7 students had the opportunity to “hot seat” the characters of the Father, Older Son and Younger Son. We were so impressed by their intelligent and thoughtful questions as they unpacked the issues and dilemmas raised in the story.

Meanwhile the drama team delivered their first assembly performances in local primary schools on the themes of ‘responsibility’ and ‘perseverance’. For the drama team this is their first opportunity to perform as they prepare for their story theatre performances of ‘The Great Fairy Tale Mix Up’ in December.

Finally the theatre company performed  ‘Carol’ a modern day adaptation of Charles Dickens’ famous tale ‘A Christmas Carol’ in a local secondary school. This show emphasises issues around identity, self esteem and belief, highlighting the fact that there is always hope to change and begin afresh.

Wow! We’re so excited that we can offer this range of shows to schools. With more shows in the pipeline, there’s even more to look forward to in 2017!

Would you like to know more about Riverside Performing Arts gap year programme?  This gap year programme offers training to 18 – 30 year olds in drama, movement, dance, singing, devising and performing in community venues, professional theatres, youth groups, children’s groups and churches along with Christian discipleship.
Click
here more information about the course or how to apply for the 2017-18 course.

RPA’s drama team are full of creative fun

RPA gap year drama team 2016-17

RPA drama team 2016-17

The new RPA drama team were thrown into a week of jam packed fun activity at the start of their gap year programme, getting to know each other, the RPA staff and orientate themselves around Riverside House. Our team of 6 young people from across the UK and USA have met many new faces, played loads of energetic drama games, shared meals together, sung, worshipped, studied the Bible, prayed and even enjoyed an overnight stay together in the countryside all crammed into their induction week.

Here’s what they think of their RPA experience so far:
“This week has flown by. It’s been such a dream to work with people who have the same passion for performing arts and Jesus as me.”
“I’m so excited for this year. I’ve already learnt so much and know that God is going to do amazing things with this team. Meeting everyone from church has made me feel at home.”
“When I first started I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I love it and everyone who’s part of Riverside is so nice. You can really see God at work here.”
“It was lovely to see how all of our team is coming together – not just because of natural bonding – but also through the obvious result of prayer.”
“I’m definitely ready to dive straight in with the rest of the year!”
“I’ve loved doing drama again and getting out of my comfort zone. I’m having a blast!”

Would you like to know more about Riverside Performing Arts gap year programme?  This gap year programme offers training to 18 – 30 year olds in drama, movement, dance, singing, devising and performing in community venues, professional theatres, youth groups, children’s groups and churches along with Christian discipleship.
Click
here more information about the course or how to apply for the 2017-18 course.

Welcome RPA 2nd years

Caroline, Matt and Nikki. RPA 2nd years 2016-17

Caroline, Matt and Nikki.
RPA 2nd years 2016-17

It is nearly two weeks since we returned to RPA as second years. As Matt, Caroline and I reflect back on the weeks, it has flown by, yet at the same time, I am not quite sure how we have squeezed all that we have done into the time!
From meets and greets, office tips to discipleship to Elmer run-throughs, laughter, fun and playing the fools to taking our first two performances of Elmer into schools; it has been an exciting and packed start to our new adventure.
The time has been filled not only with many activities but lots of excitement about plans for the year ahead.  It was fantastic to meet Tom Frith, our new director, hearing of new possibilities and opportunities, and we are hopeful and expectant that the dreams and visions God has planned for the theatre company this year will be immeasurably more than anything we can ever ask or imagine.
Yes, we are nervous, yes, we are still finding our feet, but, with planning, performances and people patiently journeying with us every step, I am reminded how privileged I am to have the opportunity to continue in living out my dream,  and can only say Thank You!

Written by Nikki Ferris

Riverside Performing Arts is a runs a full-time Theatre in Education theatre company and a drama training programme called  “Learning through Serving” based in Birmingham UK.
This gap year programme offers training to 18 – 30 year olds in drama, movement, dance, singing, devising and performing in community venues, professional theatres, youth groups, children’s groups and churches along with Christian discipleship.
Click
here more information about the course or how to apply for the 2017-18 course.

 

Full Steam Ahead into the Autumn

Nikki, Matt & Caroline perform RPA's show Elmer

Nikki, Matt & Caroline return to perform Elmer

We welcome back Nikki Ferris, Matt Oliver and Caroline Webb as they return to Riverside Performing Arts to begin their second year training with our new theatre company director Tom Frith. What a busy Autumn term it’s shaping up to be, with so many dramatic adventures already in the diary!

Our new second years will be performing our delightful children’s show Elmer in many local primary schools and nurseries. You can catch this colourful patchwork elephant as we perform Elmer at the prestigious Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sunday 16th October and at Riverside House over the October half term holiday!

Nikki, Matt and Caroline are taking part in ODSA (Open Doors to Shrewsbury Abbey) at the start of October performing and facilitating creative drama workshops for visiting school children in the beautiful surroundings of the ancient Shrewsbury Abbey. We are delighted to renew our partnership with the staff at Shrewsbury Abbey.

As we move into the winter, look out for the theatre company unpacking issues around cyber-bullying in a revived production of   Ctrl-Alt-Delete for primary schools.

They’ll also be bringing a modern day twist to the classic Charles Dickens’ tale “A Christmas Carol” in a new production of Carol which will be available to secondary schools, church youth groups and community groups from November and into the New Year.

Wow! What a busy time to come! We’re so looking forward to getting started at full steam ahead!

Riverside Performing Arts is a runs a full-time Theatre in Education theatre company and a drama training programme called  “Learning through Serving” based in Birmingham UK.
This gap year programme offers training to 18 – 30 year olds in drama, movement, dance, singing, devising and performing in community venues, professional theatres, youth groups, children’s groups and churches along with Christian discipleship.
Click
here more information about the course or how to apply for the 2017-18 course.

Student profile – Nikki Ferris

Nicola Ferris RPA student team 2015-16

Nikki Ferris

I’m Nikki from Northern Ireland. After studying a Drama degree, my dream was to use performance to honour God. When those doors remained closed, I worked in Christian Youth Work for some years. One morning, I awoke from a dream where I left my job to do drama.  This dream re-ignited my passion. With the help of Google and lots of phone calls, I applied to RPA.

I’ve learned so much about creatively using authentic Christian performance to share God’s love in every day places such as Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, youth groups, churches and public theatres. I’ve learned that the ‘heart of the artist’ is of highest priority to God. He has definitely worked deep in me and challenged my character and heart. I know that I’m still being shaped by Him and I’m learning to trust in the Master Potter. After finishing my gap year with RPA, I’m continuing into a second year with the theatre company to train further and take on new responsibilities.

RPA “learning through serving” 2016-17 gap year course begins on Monday 26th September 2016. This gap year programme offers training to 18 – 30 year olds in drama, movement, dance, singing, devising and performing in community venues, professional theatres, youth groups, children’s groups and churches along with Christian discipleship. Click here more information about the course or how to apply for the 2017-18 course.

Welcome Tom Frith

Thomas Frith RPA theatre company director

Tom Frith RPA director

We are very excited to welcome Tom Frith to our staff team as our new Theatre Company Director, leading current productions such as ‘Elmer’ and ‘It’s Complicated’ as well as creating new shows for the theatre company.
Tom graduated from the RPA course in 2003 and then gained a first class honours in Acting, an MA in Performance Practice as well as setting up Mr & Mrs Theatre Company with his lovely wife Sara, another graduate from the RPA 2002-3 team.
Tom has worked as a freelance actor on both stage and screen and directed projects with Storyhouse and Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre. Most recently Tom has spent the past 3 years as Creative Lead at Saltmine Theatre Company, overseeing all creative projects and teams.
Tom has worked as a freelance tutor and actor with RPA for many years and we are delighted to have the wealth of creativity and experience he brings to our permanent staff team.

RPA “learning through serving” 2016-17 gap year course begins on Monday 26th September 2016. This gap year programme offers training to 18 – 30 year olds in drama, movement, dance, singing, devising and performing in community venues, professional theatres, youth groups, children’s groups and churches along with Christian discipleship. Click here more information about the course or how to apply for the 2017-18 course.

Farewell to the RPA second years!

RPA 2nd year trainees

Alice, Elisa and Dannie
Farewell to RPA 2nd year trainees

The second year theatre company team finished their time with RPA by leading the React Summer Intensive, a fun, energetic week of devising, film making, dance and singing training for 7 -12 year olds at the start of the summer holiday.

React was a tribute to how far they have come in their ability to devise, produce, organise, resource and deliver performance projects and workshops over the two years that they have been with us; originally completing the 2014-15 gap year training programme and then staying for a further year of training with the RPA theatre company.

Alice, Elisa and Dannie have risen to the challenges of all they’d been presented with this year, delivered some fantastic productions including ‘Elmer’ and ‘It’s Complicated’ and grown so much in their leadership and performance abilities.

So where are they moving on to? In the Autumn, Alice starts a degree in World Performance at East 15 Acting School in Essex to pursue her love of acting. Elisa is also starting a four year Theatre Degree programme at the University of Victoria, on Vancouver Island on the Canadian West Coast. Her dream is to start my own theatre group eventually.  Dannie is planning 3 months working with refugee children in the Jungle Refugee camp in Calais delivering drama workshops before applying to drama schools.

Please pray that God will continue to call them into all He has planned for them.

If you’ve a passion for theatre, they would really recommend RPA to you!

RPA “learning through serving” 2016-17 gap year course begins on Monday 26th September 2016. This gap year programme offers training to 18 – 30 year olds in drama, movement, dance, singing, devising and performing in community venues, professional theatres, youth groups, children’s groups and churches along with Christian discipleship. Click here more information about the programme.

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