Spotlight Falls on Technical Support for Events Students To Help to Restore Town’s Art Deco Theatre to Former Glory

In Adults, Courses, Employers, In the Press, News, School Leavers, on the 18th, April 2016

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Darlington College students Phoebe Stainthorpe and Gareth Baker work on wiring at the Majestic

Twelve first and second year Level 3 BTEC technical support for events students from Darlington College are gaining invaluable real-life experience helping to transform the Majestic for an end of year production by their peers.

Darlington College Level 3 BTEC technical support for events and performing arts students will stage We Will Rock You in the newly transformed 300-seater theatre, the first to use the refurbished facility in Bondgate.

Course leader Tim Paver said: “We always aim to stretch and challenge our students and the Majestic is offering them an incredible opportunity to gain some amazing real-life experience.

“They have been able to get hands-on experience of a range of skills, from performing risk assessments, managing the various tasks and their time and working autonomously, which boosts their knowledge, confidence and experience.”

Students have been able to hone their skills in a range of areas including lighting, sound, wiring, video and effects. They will also help construct the set.

Mr Paver said: “Educationally the opportunities to lift our gifted and talent students out of their comfort zones has been incredible and the project complements perfectly what they learn in the classroom.”

For Phoebe Stainthorpe, 17, of Yarm, the initiative has reinforced her wish to work in theatre stage management.

“I love the practical side of the course, getting my hands dirty, and I think it will be incredibly rewarding to see the show knowing that we have helped to put it on.”

Gareth Baker, 23, of Darlington, added: “This is what I want to do as a career and I would love to be a roadie for a band like Tenacious D.”

Mature student Keith Jackson, 35, of Willington, has been able to learn new skills, gain a formal qualification and also use his experience to mentor younger students.

“I have been working in community theatre for years but didn’t have any formal qualifications,” he said. “I have really enjoyed working with the younger students and passing on some of my experience.”

Ex-Longfield Academy student Ryan Daly, 17, of Darlington, added: “We have really bonded as a group and worked together well. I now have the choice of continuing my studies at university or accepting a job offer down south.”

The public will get the chance to see first-hand the transformation of the theatre, including the students’ efforts, at an open event on April 29.

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