It only seems like yesterday that the curtain came down on the StageAbility pantomime, but already we are planning for StageAbility’s next children’s youth theatre production of Shrek the Musical Jr!

We’re really looking forward to seeing faces old and new for auditions on 22nd and 29th January and the best news is, anyone can audition, whether they are a student with StageAbility or not!

All of the rehearsals will be held in Lower Earley.  We do this so that the rehearsal venue is roughly in the middle of where our drama and musical theatre classes are held.  It’s not too far to travel whether you are coming from Wokingham, Tilehurst or Burghfield Common.

And we do get a real mix of children from across our classes and clubs take part in the show, which is great.  What is even better is the friendships that are built between children who may live opposite sides of town, but have a shared interest and a passion for performing.  We see some of these friendships lasting well beyond StageAbility classes, which is wonderful.

There’s something different about drama friends.  I think that because of the nature of our activities, a real bond is built.  The cast must trust one another and feel safe during rehearsals to act out some quite crazy characters, freestyle dance or put on a different voice.  This can often mean not looking ‘cool’, so to know that you are in a group that embraces this creativity and celebrates it can create friendship bonds that are different from those with school friends. 

And that’s before we even mention the experience of doing a show together.  Pre-show nerves and upsets, although not pleasant, create an opportunity for support and encouragement to be demonstrated by fellow cast members, which is a privilege to see.  And when a group of young people pulls off a joyful performance and are met with rapturous applause, the feeling of togetherness multiplies even moreso.

We really love working on these shows with young people and seeing these friendship bonds develop while they are doing something they love.

If you have a child who would like to audition for Shrek the Musical Jr later in January, just email and request an information pack.  See you down at the swamp!