2016 Round Up

Open Stage Arts is about to celebrate its one-year anniversary, so here’s a little round-up of what we’ve been up to in 2016.

 

Teaching team

Tanner Efinger and Roxy Rose kicked off the very first class by making a group of slightly nervous but also excited ‘students’ feel right at home. Since then the teaching team has expanded to include Liam Nooney, Tristan Pate and Paul Chesterton, with new instructors set to be introduced in 2017. You can find out more about our talented instructors at www.openstagearts.co.uk.

What we’ve been doing

Singing sessions over the course of the year have concentrated on arming ‘students’ with a ‘vocal toolkit for singers’. Through fun exercises we have been shown how to expand our vocal range and understand the use of chest and head resonance, how to project safely and open the voice more fully. We have sung a variety of songs in genres ranging from jazz and pop to musical theatre and contemporary folk, with a bit of swing thrown in for good measure.

The drama sessions have taught us that it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake. There has been a fair amount of improvising, as well as looking at ways to build character and devise scenes, trying out accents and exploring the differences between acting based on real experiences and working with imaginary scenarios. Buzz words such as ‘Meisner technique’, ‘Stanislavski’ and ‘Chekov’ have been bandied around!

Extra-curricular activity

From an extra-curricular point of view, something particularly enjoyable is seeing the teachers practice what they preach. Earlier in the year, Tanner looked especially glamorous for his role as Holly Woodlawn in High as Sugar, which a group of us saw as part of Oxford’s Offbeat Festival. He proved how amazingly talented he is, not only as an actor and singer but also as a writer.

Another treat was seeing Liam in Holmes and Watson: The Farewell Tour. Directed by Tristan, we enjoyed a preview at the Mill Arts Centre before the show headed to sell-out audiences at Edinburgh Fringe.

In January the Open Stage Arts ‘school trip’ is to the Oxford Playhouse for Showstopper: The Improvised Musical! We have done a fair bit of improvisation over the year, and are well aware of its challenges, so it will be great to see how the professionals do it.

Socialising

It is great to see new members join the class throughout the year. We are a friendly, sociable group and often go out after class.
The Wednesday morning group had a lovely Christmas lunch in December. Our new location has a cafe and bar, so we can continue socialising outside of class.

 

Our new home

Rose Hill Community Centre is a wonderful facility, and we are looking forward to relocating there in January. The centre has a friendly and sociable feel and practical bonuses such as car parking and an on-site café. I met some lovely people there when we put on a drama taster session at the Christmas event, and again while packing and giving out food bags with Rose Hill Regeneration Project.

 

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