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Budding actors take centre stage at National Theatre of Scotland

Young people find out more about theatre, including an acting class, lighting, costumes and set design.

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Budding theatre stars took centre stage as they got an exclusive behind the scenes peek at the inner workings of the National Theatre of Scotland.

Young people from Castlemilk took part in a tour and workshop through the First Nights programme, funded by the Wheatley Foundation.

It gave them the opportunity to find out more about different aspects of theatre, including an acting class, lighting, costumes and set design.

The workshops are being run thanks to funding from the Wheatley Foundation, the charitable arm of Scotland’s largest housing, care and property management organisation, Wheatley Group.

Katie O’Brian, 12, from Castlemilk, who lives in a GHA home, was one of the youngsters taking part. She said:

“We learned about the things that happen when a play starts, like costumes, sound and lighting.

“I enjoyed seeing the costumes and finding out about how they spend time on them, how to sew, and seeing how the costumes turn out really good.

“It has been good to be here and find out about more about how theatres work.”

Ethan Browne, 15, added:

“We’ve been looking at all the different types of things that you can do here, so it’s been interesting.

“My favourite part was learning about the music. I’m actually a metal guitarist in a band, so I like music and learning more about that was good. I liked the joinery part as well. I do it in college. I was part of stage crew in school, and we did some performances, so it was good to see how it would be done in a theatre”.

First Nights is one of the programmes supported by the Wheatley Foundation, which funds and runs a wide range of social and economic programmes that help thousands of people in Wheatley communities lead better lives.

Since the First Nights initiative was launched in March earlier this year, over 180 young people have had access to the National Theatre of Scotland thanks to the partnership with the Wheatley Foundation. Young people from some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities have been offered their first experience of theatre with the opportunity to see productions, meet casts and creative teams and attend post show events and workshops.  Shows that the young people have seen this year include Rocket Post, The 306:Day and Adam in places including Clydebank, East Renfrewshire, Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Wheatley Foundation Director Lorraine McLaren said:

“It is great to see how young people are enjoying their first taste of the magic of theatre and how the Wheatley Foundation is helping everyone to get a chance to participate in Scotland’s thriving cultural scene.

“We are really excited to help young people in our communities explore their interests and discover new talents.”

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director and CEO of National Theatre of Scotland, added:

“The First Nights programme, generously supported this year by the Wheatley Foundation, is very special to the National Theatre of Scotland.

“It lets us open up our theatre programme to a new generation of young people, introducing them to the joy of live theatre as well as giving them an insight into the industry of theatre-making.

“We were delighted to welcome this fantastic group of young people from Castlemilk to Rockvilla, our new HQ. Their enthusiasm and interest in our work was inspiring, and we hope it marks the beginning of an ongoing relationship with their National Theatre.”

Pictured: National Theatre Director Beth Morton with Kerr Doctor (left) and Cale Murphy.