Stage2 Youth Theatre

Location: England/Italy

Subject: Theatre

Dates: 2015

Related ACE Cultural Tours:

Mission/Vision

Stage2 is Birminghams busiest youth theatre, working with 7-21 year olds under a completely open access policy – a third of their members have specific needs such as Aspergers or Autism. They help their members to develop skills in drama, as well as a whole host of areas related to the arts, teach a range of transferrable skills and generally build confidence.

Project History

Stage2 was founded in 1988 by Liz Light and has since built a fantastic reputation in Birmingham, as well as nationally across the theatre industry. We are still working to the same ideas and principles and are very proud of, and thrive on, the attitude, level of discipline and commitment of our Members and Tutors. It has always been an important aspect of the company that membership is open to all. For example we guarantee that each term every child who wishes, can take part in a production, with no audition. Our main rule is that no one is ever left out and we have a zero tolerance of any kind of bullying. Everyone should feel totally at home at Stage2; it has proved to be a safe and supportive environment where members can develop at their own pace and to their own standard. A good attitude, enthusiasm and a willingness to take part are valued above everything else.

In 2002 Stage2 launched itself as an independent company (no.5317309) and registered charity (no.1108213) governed by a Board of Trustees, a change which has opened up new avenues and allowed us to take on new ventures. With an established reputation; an excellent track record, high quality shows, happy kids, good exam results and tight financial control, Stage2 was thrilled to be invited to move to the Birmingham School of Acting in 2006. When it became affiliated to Birmingham City University (formally UCE) the school then moved to Millennium Point and we are very pleased to have accompanied them to Eastside, especially at a time of huge redevelopment in the area.

We now work alongside an ever-expanding network of fellow professionals and organisations. We have collaborated with (amongst others) the late Laurie Lee, Claire Dowie and Colin Watkeys (now Stage2’s Patrons), Stan’s Cafe, Metaphysique, Midlands’ Youth Theatre Network, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, The Shakespeare Institute and The Mentoring and Befriending Foundation. Since 1993 we have run foreign exchange programmes with Germany, Spain and America.

Project & ACE

ACE supported a project to enable a group of 12 young people to to travel to Lucca in Itatly to perform Requiem for Ground Zero by Steven Berkoff, a poem about the events that affected America on September 11 2001 and the aftermath. The students will also take part in a series of Workshops with theatre companies from Italy, Germany, the Baltic Staes and the UK. They will be hosted by Italian theatre company Teatro Rumore. As well as being great exchange of theatrical method and knowledge, it will be a fantastic opportunity to learn about and experience other cultures.