Friday, February 23

Free masterclasses for young actors In Leeds

Leeds Actors in Training (LAIT) is offering free online masterclasses for young adults aged 18-25 who are serious about an acting career throughout March 2021.

In anticipation of theatres reopening LAIT Intensive is a series of five evening sessions run in collaboration with Leeds Grand Theatre over three weeks by professional artists, and overseen by LAIT with Leeds Grand Youth Theatre Director Lizi Patch.

Running from 6-8pm on Tue 16th, Wed 17th, Tue 23rd, Wed 24th and Tue 30th March, the sessions will cover everything from physical and vocal health and flexibility, to clowning and presenting their talents at an audition.

Guest artists include Dawn Holgate, Course Leader Foundation Dance Degree, Leeds City College, writer, composer, teacher Sam Kenyon, Clown Space’s James Lewis-Knight and actor, writer, filmmaker Dermot Daly.

“It has been widely publicised that our sector has suffered exponentially because of the pandemic; it is no exaggeration to suggest that 1000s of artists across the country have been affected professionally, and personally,” says Lizi Patch.

“What was an already competitive industry, will be increasingly more so as the arts tentatively make small steps to getting back on their feet. By delivering LAIT Intensive and creating a vibrant online space in which to learn, we aim to give participants the tools to unlock their potential, develop skills and engage with likeminded people, as well as highly regarded industry professionals. Passion and a good publicity photo will only get you so far in this industry; in my experience, to truly succeed, an actor must be skilled and committed, with a strong grip on reality.

“Previous experience is absolutely not essential, what matters is that participants are hungry to learn. We will provide a supportive and professional environment”

Founded in 2018, LAIT was developed in response to a call from young people interested in an acting career looking for alternative high-quality training and skills development opportunities to the traditional (and prohibitively expensive) drama school route.

The year-long course, run by professional, working artists, was designed to develop participants vocally, physically, and imaginatively, encouraging an independent and in-depth approach to a career within the theatre industry.

Participants must be able to attend every session and to book


Tuesday 16th March: Session 1 – Balancing the body

This session will work practically with the body to build a movement practice that develops strength, flexibility, openness of the body, coordination of breath and movement. During the session participants will spend time learning several movement exercises and sequences and be instructed on how to work safely with posture and alignment. Lead Artist: Dawn Holgate

Wednesday 17th March: Session 2 – Voice

This session will begin with vocal health essentials – lifestyle choices and their impacts; warming up; working out; and warming down, alongside some technical ideas and considerations for playing with different voice qualities and in differing styles of music. The session will also cover song interpretation: how to make a song your own, and how to make sense and take control of the various decisions imposed by the composer/lyricist. Lead Artist: Sam Kenyon

Tuesday 23rd March: Session 3 – Spontaneity

This session will explore the fundamentals of clowning – openness, spontaneity, and play – the joy that can be found in play, how to build and maintain audience connection, and most importantly how to embrace failure. Lead Artist James Lewis-Knight

Wednesday 24th March: Session 4 – Presenting yourself

This session will look at how participants can stand out – for the right reasons. Discussions will cover common worries, tips on dealing with nerves, and presentation. Lead Artist: Lizi Patch

Tuesday 30th March: Session 5 – Auditions

This session will look at the changing face of auditions – what they are; what they’re for; who they’re for; and how they have, and will, change. Lead Artist: Dermot Daly