All the world’s a stage for 11 young performers who are undergoing an intense grounding in Shakespeare under the expert guidance of an RSC director.
The youngsters, aged from 14 to 21, are preparing to stage Shakespeare’s romantic comedy As You Like It, via a gruelling two week project which started on Monday (July 28) at the award-winning Upstage Centre Youth Theatre in York.
“We have been running Shakespeare projects for years, but this one’s really special,” says Upstage artistic director Joshua Goodman.
“This project will give our young actors a real taste of a professional rehearsal process and a chance to work with a real comic masterpiece.
“What with Shakespeare’s 450th birthday celebrations going on this year, it feels like a great time to be giving young people the opportunity to really get their teeth into a classic text.”
The project is led by Royal Shakespeare Company director Mel Cook who is taking the talented youngsters through their paces as if they were a professional company.
She is also pushing the artistic vision.
“I’m experimenting with ideas and exploring the text in ways I often can’t in professional productions,” she said.
Georgie Bryan, 15, is participating in the project. “This intensive two-week project is really exciting because it gives you the chance to really get into it,” she said.
“We’ve only been going a couple of days and already I feel like it’s my whole world.”