Auditions for a new Hijinx Academy in Prestatyn

Are you, or do you know, a talented performer with a learning disability who is keen to develop their acting skills?

Audition days lined up in Prestatyn for a new Hijinx Academy, a professional performance training course for people with learning disabilities in North Wales (Sun 5 & Mon 6 October 2014)

Next month, Welsh theatre company Hijinx and Scala Cinema & Arts Centre will be holding two days of taster workshops and auditions to find talented performers with learning disabilities from across North Wales to join the brand new Hijinx Academy Prestatyn. The organisers, in conjunction with Co-Options, are keen to hear from people with a learning disability aged 18+ who are interested in exploring a career in performing arts.

Hijinx Academies are vocational performance training courses for adults with learning disabilities. The course content includes a range of performance skills, including physical theatre, improvisation, mask work and forum theatre. Beginning in November 2014, Hijinx Academy Prestatyn will be delivered by a team of professional arts practitioners two days per week, 50 weeks per year at Prestatyn’s stunning Scala Cinema & Arts Centre.

North Wales authorities working in partnership
The new Academy is being brought about by a broad-reaching partnership with social services in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham, Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey. Students living in any of these local authorities will be able to apply for funding to attend the Academy via social services in their area. This remarkable partnership is being facilitated by Co-Options, a social enterprise in Rhyl who provide inspiring opportunities for people with learning disabilities to fulfil their ambitions.

Jeni Andrews, Commissioning and Planning Officer for Social Services & Housing at Denbighshire County Council said: “Having learning disabled adults in a professional acting role helps to change attitudes and perceptions by raising awareness of the skills and capabilities of people with learning disabilities.”

Hijinx Theatre and its Academies
Hijinx Academy Prestatyn is the second of its kind to be established by Hijinx Theatre. Following the success of the Hijinx Academy Cardiff, launched in 2012, Hijinx have received funding to start a second through a Residency at Scala, which will serve students living across north Wales.

Hijinx’s Executive Director, Clare Williams, said “We are thrilled to be launching the second Hijinx Academy in Prestatyn in partnership with Scala. We have created the Academies to ensure that promising performers with learning disabilities literally have a platform to develop and show off their extraordinary ability and skills. We have seen remarkable progress from the students in the Cardiff Academy and can’t wait to begin that journey with a new company of students from across north Wales.”

Venue
Academy sessions will be held in state of the art facilities at Scala Cinema & Arts Centre. Set 3 minutes from Prestatyn Rail Station and 10 minutes from the A55, Scala is ideally located for Academy students to travel in from other parts of north Wales.

The Scala Cinema & Arts Centre’s General Manager, Chris Bond, said “We are delighted that Hijinx has chosen the Scala as its North Wales home. The Scala has many exciting spaces – all fully accessible – which will be used and enjoyed by these budding actors. We look forward to welcoming Hijinx and the first group of participants in the Autumn.”

Sign up to auditions
Taster workshops and auditions for the Academy will be held from 2-6pm on Sun 5 & Mon 6 October at Scala Cinema and Arts Centre. They are free to attend, but places need to be booked in advance through Co-Options. Contact Angharad or any of the Co-options team on 01745 851454 or by emailing angharad@cooptions.co.uk or office@cooptions.co.uk. The closing date for booking is 26 September 2014.

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