This year WCTT has launched an exciting Mentor Scheme which sees recent alumni of the Youth Theatre return to the organisation as emerging professionals. They will mentor the next generation of the family as well as being mentored by our professional team.
Within Young Actor Company sessions, our three brilliant mentors – Joshua Nicolas, Leah Thripp and Joshua Dighton-Crookes – are able to offer one-to-one support, lead warm ups and be that extra pair of eyes to help elevate the wonderful work of our members.
Mentor for our ‘Act One’ younger group, Joshua Nicolas, was a member up until the pandemic hit. Their last production with us was in ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’.
So far, in sessions, Joshua has loved meeting the young people and hearing all of their creative ideas for the production. They are looking forward to learning more about how to lead a company of actors, writing scripts and producing productions in order to help achieve his ambition of becoming a youth theatre director.
Josh has already taken strides towards his ambition having recently been employed as a teaching assistant at Blossom House School, a specialist school for those with complex speech, language and communication needs.
“I have really enjoyed gaining experience and knowledge in mentoring young aspiring actors. I really enjoyed being part of the YAC company and I’m loving being back. I have such fantastic memories and have missed being part of the WCTT family.”
Leah Thripp, our ‘Act Two’ group mentor working with school years 9 & 10, has long dreamed of working in the creative arts. “This position has given me the opportunity to gain transferable skills such as: communication, social, leadership skills and confidence, that will be greatly useful throughout my career. This scheme is a combination of work experience and mentorship which is giving me the opportunity to develop personally and professionally.”
Leah started her journey at WCTT in 2015 and continued as a member until 2019. “I have many great memories from YAC, it’s difficult to choose one. I enjoyed the rehearsals, the shows and performing at The Royal Albert Hall but I think the supportive atmosphere where my fellow young actors and I could just be ourselves, have fun and let our creativity flow, may be my favourite memory.”
Leah is over the moon to be able to now help build the favourite memories of our current members where, she says, “…. the sessions so far have been engaging and fun. I’m really enjoying supporting and encouraging our members to participate in the activities and develop their confidence and creativity. It’s a very rewarding experience to be a part of making the experience at YAC just as amazing for others as it was for me.”
Our Act Three group for older members has former member Joshua Dighton-Crookes as its mentor. He is one of WCTT’s longest serving members with a grand total of seven years under their belt.
Joshua (on the left) says, “… amongst the 7 years I spent as a YAC member I gained many fond memories and it’s impossible to pick just one. If I had to pick I would choose winning the Jack Petchy Outstanding Achiever award in 2018. Honourable mentions however go to Act 3 2020’s precovid modern adaptation of ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray.’ This was the last theatre show I performed with YAC.”
The opportunity to mentor has allowed Joshua to develop their skills in facilitation and experience how workshops and rehearsal processes are run. “My two largest passions are fashion and drama, my ultimate goal is to work within a theatre costume department. I hope to witness and help with the creation of the costumes for the Young Actors Company to expand my experience in this specific area.”
Our mentors are fast developing skills and confidence in the rehearsal room. WCTT is really proud to be able to offer these paid placements to continue nurturing the amazing talents of our members. You can read more about our Young Actors Company here.