Extant's young actors spent an evening training with Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; Lucy Hayward was there


Extant supported Rachel Bagshaw from RADA in the organising of an integrated drama workshop for visually impaired young people. RADA encouraged participants who have been previously involved with their youth theatre to come along on 2 December 2014. It was an exciting and fun-filled session where every person was enthusiastic and excited about getting involved.

Voice coach Caroline Kilpatrick warmed everyone up with vocal exercises: we practised breathing, inhaling through our mouths rather than our nostrils, and tested how long we could make our breaths last. We started adding noises into the mix, opening up our throats and trying to push the sound over to the other side of the room, which resulted in some crazy and beautiful sounds.

Once we were warmed up, Rachel Bagshaw paired everyone up to rehearse a scene from the play ‘This is a Chair’ by Caryl Churchill. Each pair was made up of one visually impaired and one RADA youth theatre member, who worked together to explore their characters. We started by assigning a character to each of us and reading through the lines. We sat in a circle and Rachel asked us how we thought the characters were responding to each other and what was making them behave in this way. For the next hour we played with these characters and the really good thing about it was that we did not rely on the script. After each exercise we would group together and discuss what we had discovered. It was a very physical session, encouraging everyone to use their bodies and their imaginations, playing with movement and gradually unravelling how these characters should be performed.

At the end, each pair performed a section of the scene, producing insightful and innovative performances. It was fascinating to see the different ideas each pair had created for this one scene and brilliant that everyone had enjoyed themselves so much whilst developing and creating their stunning characters.

Lucy's role is supported by Unlimited Impact; supporting artists and venues to celebrate the work of disabled artists, funded by Spirit of 2012.

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