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Act Two: A fresh start

Act Two has moved online – and Dinos Psychogios, formerly an assistant director at the company, is now leading the group.

This week, Act Two’s new director, Dinos Psychogios, reflects on the experience of performing Twist! on the main stage at New Wimbledon Theatre, tells us how it feels to take over as Act Two’s lead director and highlights Act Two’s online transition.

Twist! was a really special experience for everyone. All involved will remember it and look back on the joyous times we had.

The main stage experience was unique. It’s so great for young people to be able to see a how large venue operates and the technicalities of staging a show. Those who choose to keep engaging in the performing arts will have learned priceless lessons from it.

Act Two perform Twist! on the main stage at New Wimbledon Theatre, February 2020

I worked with [former director, Katie Turner-Halliday] for three seasons and it was strange when it was over. This group of young actors is – and has always been – a really energetic bunch that amaze you with their ideas and hard work. It has been great seeing them develop through the Young Actors Company (YAC) and consistently coming back to do more with us. I am really proud of them and can’t wait to see them develop as individuals and artists.

I am really excited to be directing them. I understand the impact of what we do: I got involved with theatre through a youth company as a teenager. I think YAC does wonders for all that attend and I am proud to have an impact with these young people.

[After the lockdown], we knew we had to go on because art and creativity are needed no matter the circumstances. We are really lucky to live at a time when we can all log in and be in the same conversation, engage socially, experiment and brainstorm ideas. If we realise the potential of this, it can be fascinating.

It was the need to keep going that pushed us into coming up with new ideas, using the tech to serve our purpose and experiment with things we would never tackle normally. This exercise is ongoing and we are still discovering ways of incorporating aspects of theatre training and activities into our Zoom meetings. I am extremely interested to see where this takes us as it will foreshadow some things about the performing arts’ future in a digitised world.

Act Two performers have strong bonds

It is a tough time for everyone, but it’s a good opportunity to educate ourselves. Watch films, read books, listen to music. Performers generally flourish working with others, having human contact and interactions: now is an opportunity to be a creator. Write thoughts down, learn to play that song you always loved, read a modern or classic play, find out about organisations offering recorded performances for viewing…look after yourselves and loved ones and do what makes you happy and gives you peace of mind.

This term, we’re exploring ways to make fun performance pieces through Zoom. We’re challenging the group to work with their skills and talents and putting together a performance that will be shared remotely. We will combine music, movement and acting, playing with things that technology allows us to do that would not be possible with a live staged performance.

You can expect to see something uplifting and fun. Watch this space for more!

Take a look at Act 2’s Anghad & Jamie’s darkly comic take on lockdown.

Join the Young Actors Company in September 2020

Our 2020/2021 application form is now available to download online.

We have three exciting programmes in store for the next academic year: Act One will be relaunching The Empress as a lockdown-inspired comedy to be broadcast in March 2021; Act Two will be working on a large scale production for local secondary schools; and Act Three will be writing and producing their first feature film.

We’ll continue to create positive change, within our company and the wider community, whether we’re connecting at the theatre or online – if you’re in school years 7-13, apply to join today!

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