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Curtains up, barriers down here comes Bermuda Glee

Bermuda’s young people are urged to try out for an intensive summer performing arts programme that brings students from all over the Island together with the motto ‘curtains up, barriers down’.

Auditions begin next month for Bermuda Glee, a ten-day musical theatre programme for 14 to 18-year-olds put on by the Argo Foundation.

A new feature of this year’s programme, is the two-day intensive in technical theatre for students who are interested in light and sound design as well as stage management.

Bermuda Glee utilises teachers from both the private and public school system. One of last year’s teachers, Josie Kattan, head of the Drama Department at the Berkeley Institute, said she found teaching the programme to be an exciting experience.

“It brings performers out of their comfort zone and broadens their talent as all round performers,” she said. “The students have the opportunity to work with a cross-section of the youth interested in the performing arts from across the Island. Their enthusiasm and talent was electrifying and they all had the opportunity to make new friends.”

Rebecca Dorrington, drama coordinator at Saltus Grammar School, said Bermuda Glee is a fantastic opportunity to unite students from different backgrounds and schools.

“It is also a good taster for anyone who is considering attending a performing arts school as the intensive is just that intensive whole days of focusing on the performing arts.”

Jane Thorpe, head of the Drama Department at The Bermuda High School for Girls said she is looking forward to taking part again this year. She said not only did the students get a lot out of it, but so did she.

“Bermuda Glee does exactly what its motto says it will do: ‘curtains up, barriers down’,” she said. “When the students and teachers come together, where you go to school is irrelevant. You are working together as a group of students and teachers to create a performance. It was a very rewarding experience. Even today, almost nine months since we finished, students involved stop me in the street to catch up and to just chat about what they are doing.”

The Argo Foundation established the programme last year as a way to encourage collaboration and partnership between the Island’s public and private schools. The programme is presented under the patronage of Education Minister Dame Jennifer Smith. Last year, 67 students aged 14 to 18, and six teachers from the Berkeley Institute, The Bermuda High School for Girls, CedarBridge Academy and Saltus Grammar School participated in the inaugural programme.

It culminated in two standing room only performances of original musical theatre created by the students. This year, Warwick Academy will also be represented on the Bermuda Glee teaching faculty. Composer and producer John Woolridge will again provide input and guidance to students as they craft their performances.

Auditions will be held April 10 at Berkeley. Auditions in singing, dancing and acting will run from 10am to 1pm. Students are required to pre-register for the programme and may obtain a registration form either from their performing arts teacher or from the Bermuda Glee Facebook page.

Registration to audition is $10. Once accepted into the programme, students pay a $40 participation fee.

For more information contact Wendy Davis Johnson: 300-3719; wendy.davisjohnson[AT]argolimited.com.

A song and a dance: Students performing in last year?s Bermuda Glee programme.

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Published March 14, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 14, 2012 at 8:49 am)

Curtains up, barriers down here comes Bermuda Glee

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