Helping hand to youngsters aiming to follow in footsteps.
Every term, Birmingham-based Stage2 Youth Theatre runs a masterclass for members and their friends and parents, where they can learn valuable skills and techniques that can benefit them in their acting as well as help them with other careers they want to pursue, whether this is in the arts or something completely different. This term the masterclass was run by ex-member Billy Coughlin-Miller, and the members were taught about acting and directing.
Billy has worked in many theatres in the West End, and is currently working at The Rep in Birmingham, and has just been offered a contract with the Young Vic theatre in London. He joined Stage2 when he was a teenager, having main cast parts in many plays and taking advantage of all the opportunities the company offers such as workshops and marketing/fundraising committees, and decided he wanted to pursue an acting career. He got into drama school quickly, graduating with an agent, but realised after this that it was directing he most enjoyed about drama, and decided to pursue a career in this instead.
Stage2 member Roni Mevorach said, “I really enjoyed last week’s masterclass. It was really interesting to learn the different exercises and warm ups that are used in the rehearsal room and I will definitely be using these in the future. It was also great to see such a wide variety of members attending and to learn from a director with a very different style.”
Billy expressed in an interview that he came to Stage2 to give back to the company that helped him in so many ways, and to teach the members important skills that have been valuable to him in both his acting and directing life. In the workshop, he began with talking about his experiences with acting and directing, and the members were encouraged to ask him any questions they had about his life, or any general questions they had about his profession. Feedback from the event was, of course, completely positive and everyone had a brilliant time while learning lots!
And Billy isn’t the only success story this company has to be proud of. Ex-members Yolanda Kettle and Sam Swann recently starred in the World Premiere of Oil by Ella Hickson at the Almeida in London, and Wayne Fitsimmons is currently on tour in Billy Elliot The Musical and Matt Wycliffe in Million Dollar Quartet.