Call to Act! An interview with Katherine Allen

Posted on 6 September 2016

The Belgrade not only offers the chance for young people to enjoy watching excellent theatre, but also a chance to participate through our Acting Classes. On Saturdays, these classes are taught be experienced theatre-practitioners and are great for building confidence, developing speaking skills and making new friends in a safe and professional environment.

We caught up with our Assistant Education Officer Katherine Allen to discuss her role at the theatre and what’s happening at the Belgrade this autumn.

What’s your role at the Belgrade Theatre?
I am the Assistant Education Officer at the Belgrade Theatre. That means that I work with young people who attend our Work Related Learning programme – Belgrade LifeStage (formerly known as Acting Out). I also run our Middle Youth Theatre group and I ran the Saturday Youth Acting Classes last term. At the moment I am also working on a show called Ostrich Boys as the Trainee Assistant Director.

How long have you been a theatre practitioner?
I have worked at the Belgrade for 3 years. I have had the chance to work with lots of groups during that time, and have worked on a number of shows and sharings which have been performed in B2 – our studio theatre. Before that, I set up my own Youth Theatre Company in Birmingham, and I’ve been working with them for… eek… about 8 years!

Why were you first interested in working in theatre?
I always enjoyed drama at school, and I joined a youth theatre myself when I was younger. I really enjoy working with young people to hear their ideas and turn them into performances for the stage.

What have you got planned for the Youth Acting Classes in the autumn term?
This term our theme is Slapstick Comedy. We’re going to look at famous slapstick performers – from Charlie Chaplin to Mr Bean, from Monty Python to Miranda Hart – and then create our very own comedy masterpiece.

What do you enjoy most about the Youth Acting Classes *?
Each term our” Youth Acting Classes”:http:// have a unique theme, and we have 10 weeks to work together to create a performance based on that theme. So I think for me, I enjoy the challenge of running a theatre company and creating a piece in 10 short weeks. The classes are always fun, there’s opportunities to play games, meet new people and learn more about what it takes to be a budding actor or actress.

Do participants need to be good at acting to take part?
You don’t need to have any experience in order to take part. You just need to come with plenty of energy and be willing to work with lots of different people. Even if you don’t feel like you are good at acting to begin with – hopefully you will by the end!

What is your top tip for getting the most out of Youth Acting Classes ?
Enjoy it! Our Youth Acting Classes are designed to be fun for all the young people involved. Through practical activities, we develop your skills in a particular area of performing – this time Slapstick Comedy – and we work together to make our very own show for family and friends to watch at the end of term. It’s a chance to build your confidence and enjoy coming and taking part in exciting workshops at the Belgrade Theatre.

The theme for our Autumn Term is inspired by the Belgrade’s hilarious annual Panto so one of the workshops will include a make-up masterclass with the Belgrade’s own Panto dame,* Iain Lauchlan*. To book, call our Box Office team on 024 7655 3055 or book online now.