IN today’s world the arts sector is often battling with continuing cuts to funding, however one local drama school has made a breakthrough.
Bright Young Things (BYT) has joined forced with internationally renowned actor James Nesbitt to launch of a highly desirable scholarship programme aimed at children whose circumstances otherwise might now allow them the opportunity of private drama and confidence building classes.
In Northern Ireland, two young people aged between three and 18 will receive a full year’s membership – one in BYT Magherafelt and the other in BYT Belfast. The Hobbit star James Nesbitt is taking a dedicated approach as he intends to follow the lucky pair’s progress.
James said: “It gives me great pleasure to support the BYT scholarship programme. Drama and performing arts training from an early age can be key in developing personality, social skills, confidence, and of course, it is also a great way of nurturing a natural talent who may not have had the opportunity otherwise.”
Founder and director Lisa Duffy will be mentoring the young people using her background as a professional actor, qualified teacher and performing arts lecturer.
She added: “The Arts provide skills not just for the stage, but more importantly they equip young people with skills for school, for home and for life. And there is a growing lack of arts in our schools’ curricula so it is vital that we encourage it out of home and school.”
In the hope of inspiring creativity and getting to know the person behind the application, BYT is encouraging video entries for the scholarship.
Lisa said: “Entrants can let their imaginations go wild with the 30 second clip: we’re hoping to some of them perform a funny poem or show us their best impression; pull some of their wackiest facial expressions or recreate a scene from a favourite book with puppets.
“They could make a crazy costume, shoot a documentary of their favourite place, show off a favourite party trick, or just tell us a wee story. Most importantly we just want to see sparks of personality and lots of fun while they’re doing it!”
Applications for the scholarship are available from the BYT website at bytdrama.com