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ACDS Centre teams up with the Liverpool Empire Theatre to deliver audition masterclasses

Students studying in our Advanced Creative & Digital Skills (ACDS) Centre benefit from a number of exciting partnerships. Most notable for our performing arts students is our new relationship with the Liverpool Empire Theatre, established in 2022. This partnership provides students with opportunities for frequent theatre visits, complimentary tours whilst there and access to bespoke workshops. The Liverpool Empire Theatre has been an established name in the industry for over 150 years and so it comes as no surprise that Warrington & Vale Royal College is absolutely delighted to be working with them so closely.

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A particular highlight of this partnership is the access students have to the theatre’s ‘Young Ambassadors Programme’ which will provide valuable placement opportunities such as working backstage, within the hospitality team or even performing on-stage. As well as this, students will have access to question-and-answer workshops with performers, access to digital resources and masterclasses, and the chance to use the theatre’s stage as a performance space.

Representatives from Liverpool Empire Theatre recently visited our ACDS Centre to deliver two bespoke workshops to performing arts students: a dance call audition and a monologue or singing audition. The dance call was delivered by Beth, a talented triple threat, while the monologue or singing section of the auditions were led by Dan, another talented member of the team who is both an actor and a musician. All workshops were overseen by Ben, a member of Liverpool Empire’s Community Outreach Team, who works with partner schools and colleges.

The purpose of the visit was to give students a real insight into the industry and how intense the audition process can be. Both Beth and Dan have experienced first-hand the highs and lows of the industry and so they were able to provide students with real and honest feedback on their performances. Rosanna Rigby, Performing Arts Tutor at the college, said: “The session provided an essential experience for students to develop the skills that will be assessed throughout the academic year. They need to understand the expectations that will be placed on them in the industry, so this session will be invaluable.”

Those participating in the dance call were taught a routine by Beth, who chose the student she believed performed best and explained what they did well, compared to those who weren’t chosen. This was incredibly authentic to how a real dance call works and was an amazing learning experience for our students. Students participating in the singing and monologue auditions faced Dan, who assessed their performances and gave valuable tips for improvement, such as how to use pauses effectively. Numerous members of the college staff viewed the sessions and were delighted to see both the younger and older students so dedicated to their craft.

The Liverpool Empire team were kind enough to stay for a question-and-answer session with our students, who were able to ask anything they wanted. Students took full advantage of this, asking about the etiquette of real-life auditions, what a normal day auditioning would look like and the overall processes of employing an agent to land a roll. Students were enthusiastic about the session and the insight they had access to, giving them a new awareness of the reality of the industry. Megan Clarke, second year Level 3 Performing Arts student, said: “It was nerve-wracking at first but the team from Liverpool Empire made me feel comfortable; they are enthusiastic and encouraging.”

Warrington & Vale Royal College wishes to extend a huge thank you to Ben, Beth and Dan for taking the time to deliver these workshops. We’re so excited to see how the students take the feedback received onboard and progress ahead of the Liverpool Empire’s next visit!

Learn more about our ACDS Centre View our range of performing arts courses