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29 April 2016

Another Canfordian chosen for the National Youth Theatre 

Canford’s Drama department is delighted to announce the third successful audition for the National Youth Theatre in the past two years.  Fifth Former Madeleine Kearns is one of only 15 pupils in the  UK to have been chosen as a stage manager for the NYT and will take part in one of their prestigious courses this summer.   Madeleine joins Anna Cooper and Imani Thompson who gained places with the NYT last year.

The National Youth Theatre is the UKs leading theatre company developing and showcasing Drama talent both on and off stage.  Previous NYT Technical members include the Technical Director of London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies – Piers Shepperd, Artistic Director, Unicorn Theatre – Purni Morell, Fashion Designer – Gareth Pugh, Multi Olivier Award Winning Lighting Designer – Howard Harrison, Head of Construction at The National Theatre – Darren Joyce, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd Production Manager – Anna Anderson and Multi Olivier Award Winning Set and Costume Designer – Rob Howell.

Madeleine takes up the story of her journey to the NYT:

“When I came to Canford, I became involved in the backstage activity on Friday afternoons. After just a few weeks I was asked to stage manage the school’s senior play Love's Labour's Lost which was both a great experience and a baptism of fire!  Since then I have been directly involved in the stage management of three house plays - de Lacy, School and Salisbury - five school productions and the memorable pupil led Lip Sync Battle, as well as helping out with several other productions through set building and painting.  Although I generally work on stage management, I have also run lighting and sound, occasionally at the same time.  During one production I was the stage manager, lighting operator, and sound operator!

During the school musical, Kiss Me Kate, one of the leads told me that I should consider applying for a technical position at the National Youth Theatre. With much support and encouragement from the Drama department, especially Kevin, Colin, and Mr Thomas, I applied and went for an interview at the NYT London Studios.  The interview process was split in two - 20 minutes of presenting and discussing a portfolio I had put together, and a 30 minute interview with the Company Stage Manager of NYT.

I was so excited to learn I had won a place!  This summer, I am going on a three week residential course, with the last week focused on producing a show.   I am really looking forward to the experience, to developing my stage management skills and to meeting other pupils and swapping stories.

Before Canford, I had never even thought about technical theatre, but since coming here I have discovered a passion. I have made many friends through the theatre, from the tech team, to actors and actresses, to people who have only been in one house play. In a year I have come from not knowing the first thing about technical theatre to being accepted to NYT, and I'm nervous but also very excited to take the next step in this journey.”

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