The Actors Centre has today announced that its Graduate Festival — a week-long festival to support graduates whose final drama school showcases were cancelled due to Covid-19 — will run online from Monday 2 November – Sunday 8 November. Presented by The Actors Centre and curated by Ameena Hamid Productions, the Graduate Festival, will feature work from one hundred graduates, and provide an essential platform to showcase their talent to the industry and public.
Graduates from drama schools including Bristol Old Vic, Central School of Speech and Drama, Guildford School of Acting, Mountview, Royal Welsh School of Music and Drama, Italia Conti, Rose Bruford College, Royal Academy of Music, Manchester School of Theatre and many more will perform their showcases on the stage of the Tristan Bates Theatre with each showcase available to stream on-demand for one week from 2 November.
Speaking about the Graduate Festival, Mitchell Reeve, Theatre Programme Manager at The Actors Centre said: “When our industry shut down overnight due to Covid-19, at The Actors Centre, we knew we needed to find new ways of working to continue our support for emerging talent. Following on from the sold out live run of Gemma Lawrence’s Sunnymead Court, which marked the first new socially distanced theatre production back in the West End in over six months, we are delighted to continue shining a light on the creative talent at the heart of our sector.
“The Graduate Festival was created to provide a crucial platform for drama school graduates of 2020, many of whom didn’t get to experience that all-important final showcase because of the pandemic. We hope that this festival will go some way towards restoring this opportunity, as well as serve to amplify and promote these incredibly talented graduates. With the entire festival available to stream on-demand, it also provides an additional opportunity for graduates’ work to be seen on the international stage.”
Curator Ameena Hamid said: "It has been fantastic working with The Actors Centre on the Graduate Festival. We were always committed to ensuring that it would happen, not least due to the huge number of submissions from graduates who had missed out on the vital opportunity to perform their final year showcases. It truly feels like the light in the darkness for 2020 graduates and it is amazing to give them this opportunity and showcase such a brilliant range of talent from young graduates."
The Graduate Festival runs from 2 - 8 November, with tickets priced at £8 and available from Monday, 2 November when a full line-up of graduates will also be released.
A complete list of drama schools represented in the Graduate Festival include: Guildford School of Acting, Drama Studio London, University of Northampton, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Drama St Mary’s, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, East 15 Acting School, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London College of Music, LMA, Cygnet Training Theatre, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts, The University for the Creative Arts, Italia Conti, Mountview, The Brighton Academy, Liverpool Media Academy, Drama Centre London, Plymouth Conservatoire, The Manchester School of Theatre, Fourth Monkey, The Royal Academy of Music, Rose Bruford College and University of West London.
About The Actors Centre
Established in 1978, The Actors Centre is the UK’s leading professional development organisation, supporting actors and creative talent throughout their careers. Through an unrivalled programme of diverse workshops and masterclasses — led by distinguished practitioners from the worlds of theatre, film and television — The Actors Centre provides an essential space for artists to network, to share, to create, to thrive. We strive to programme an eclectic mix of original, evocative, diverse and challenging theatre that attracts a wide and varied audience.
At the core of our organisation is a commitment to supporting artists — offering opportunities to emerging, as well as established, artists and companies. Our flagship theatre space, the Tristan Bates Theatre, established in 1994, has become a celebrated off-West End venue, presenting high quality, four week plays and musicals. Our smaller space, the John Thaw Studio promotes work-in-progress and allows artists to receive vital feedback on work currently in development. The John Thaw Studio is also home to the John Thaw Initiative, with each season tailored towards supporting a particular demographic of artist, or a particular theme of work.
About Ameena Hamid Productions
At the helm of Ameena Hamid Productions Ltd. is company director and creative producer Ameena Hamid. Ameena is an independent producer based in London. She produces work that brings people of colour, LGBTQ+, those who identify as disabled, women and genderqueer theatre-makers to the stage and is particularly passionate about increasing inclusivity and representation in theatre.
She has completed short courses with the National Theatre and Harvard and has worked at the Nuffield Southampton Theatres. She was selected as one of the EdFringe and British Council’s Emerging Producers for 2019 and is one of the 2020 Stage One Bridge the Gap Producers.
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