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GAPA – Garrick Academy of Performing Arts
The Garrick Academy of Performing Arts, or the GAPA as it is now affectionately known, is now in its fourteenth year and continues to go from strength to strength. It was formed in 2003 by the academies Principal, Peter Birch (BA Hons MA) and one of its lead tutors, Dean Sumner (BA Hons), and from its humble beginnings in September 2003 it has developed from 60 students to more than twice that number today.
It now has 3 teaching staff, 3 senior assistants, all of whom are trained in various disciplines within the performing arts – and six trainee assistants who have been brought up through the GAPA ranks – all working with our students to develop their knowledge and gain experience. The GAPA currently run seven classes in total. Six on Saturday mornings for our 8 to 11 year olds, 12 to 16 year olds and our 15 to 18 year olds, plus our 5 to 8 year old class on Saturday afternoons.
The first class of the day commences at 9.00am until 11.00am, the second set of classes commence at 11.15am and finish at 1.15pm and the 5 to 8 class runs from 1.30pm until 3.00pm. Our teaching year is split into three terms, each lasting ten weeks, during which we perform two productions per group on our main stage or in our Lauriston studio theatre.
We provide, train and develop the performance skills of our students, offer a theatre grounding and give them the confidence to develop their love of performing. We have also supported a number of students into full time study in drama, provided professional opportunities for them within the region?s theatres and given them all a foundation they can draw on in whatever their future holds. Our main focus though is on performance and enjoyment, and we ensure the students are constantly working towards the presentation of their work in our many annual productions.
Each year our students present a series of monologues, duologues and devised pieces in one of our theatre spaces, allowing them to utilize their skills in front of a supportive ‘family’ audience. They also perform an annual full-length musical which, depending upon the production chosen, may be performed in the 400 seater auditorium at the Garrick Playhouse or, if the show or play is more suited to a more intimate space, in our Lauriston Studio.
Recent main stage productions have included Seussical Jnr, Arabian Nights, Honk! Jr., Bite Nite, Alice in Wonderland, Our Day Out, Guys and Dolls, Bugsy Malone, Fiddler on the Roof, Pirates of Penzance, Oh! What a Lovely War, Our Town and Tales from the Arabian Nights. In the Lauriston Studio we have performed a range of plays including Macbeth, Rat?s Tales, An Inspector Calls, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night?s Dream, Stags and Hens, Here Comes The Sun and Two Planks and a Passion.
In 2017 we will be staging one production on the main stage?(to be announced)?and Into the Woods in the Lauriston Studio.
In 2015 we also started one-to-one speech and drama classes and these will continue to run through this coming year following the success we had in the lessons and with the examination process.
We also see ourselves as a feeder to the main theatre and many of our students have given superb performances in a number of this season?s main stage productions to great success.
Whether you are interested in joining GAPA to perform, write, direct or get involved in the many back-stage activities that no show can do without, please contact Bev Wells on 0161 928 1677 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you at the next GAPA production, when you can watch our next generation of performing talent.
Auditions for the school take place throughout the year and we always look forward to seeing new faces eager to come down and join us.
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