Voice & The young actor FAQS
Our Voice department is one of our most celebrated courses…members work in very small groups to explore the power of effective communication, to enhance a love of reading, and to work annually towards LAMDA exams. Voice & The Young Actor is run by Playbox Theatre’s Founding & Executive Director, so participants are learning with the best!
What skills will I explore in my workshop?
The primary skills you will be developing in Voice & The Young Actor are to be able to speak and articulate clearly, to be able to appear confident and in control of your language, your eye contact and your physical presentation when you are speaking (especially under pressure!). You will also be challenged to engage with debates and discussions, which might be stimulated by current affairs, by a specific topic, or by a piece of literature. You will be encouraged to read avidly, and to think carefully about your responses to written material, rather than just experiencing on a superficial level. Members are pushed to find their own ‘voice’ and to grapple with often challenging topics…but always within a calm and supportive environment. We hope that members of this programme will develop skills of persuasion, and will push themselves to take an active, rather than passive, role in their own development, and that of the world they are experiencing (at any age). Voice & The Young Actor is about so much more than LAMDA exams!
Will I do LAMDA exams?
Yes! This is the only part of Playbox Theatre that involves examinations of any kind! Every year, one season is devoted to members working towards LAMDA exams at all levels (up to, and including, P:Cert). You will work on your pieces and your theory within the weekly session, as well as being offered additional workshops and one-to-one guidance (all included within your membership fee). Playbox has a 100% pass rate, with most members achieving Distinction grades.
When and where do the exams take place?
The LAMDA exams take place annually, at The Dream Factory. They take place late spring (usually end April, early May) and you will be given plenty of notice, so arrangements can be made for a slot that suits you.
I’d love to take part in the Voice workshops, but I don’t want to do any exams. Is this possible?
The annual LAMDA exam is a pivotal part of this programme, so you would need to commit to being a part of this process. If you would rather not work towards any exam, you should consider one of the other workshops that Playbox Theatre offers.
I’ve already done some LAMDA exams, which group will be right for me?
We welcome young people of all different levels and experiences to Voice. The workshops are age-banded, but the director will also take into consideration the levels you have previously achieved and will discuss which group is best for you, at the time that you become a member.
Will I have to do homework?
Yes! It’s really important that members of Voice keep on top of the work that is set. This may be as simple as selecting an extract from a favourite book to explore the following week, but frequently you will be expected to learn pieces off by heart, in preparation for recitals, presentations and exams. We expect parents to fully support members when they are at home, to make sure that work is thoroughly completed. If a member isn’t able to fulfil the requirements of the course, they will be asked to give up their place.
I’m very shy – will Voice be an appropriate workshop for me?
Absolutely! Voice will be perfect for you! One of the major benefits we see from this intimate workshop is the development of confidence, self-esteem and the ability to put yourself across in a calm and articulate manner…skills that are invaluable in all areas of life. The workshops are incredibly supportive environments where everyone is received as an individual, and where their unique personality will be considered and celebrated. You will most certainly gain in confidence as a member of Voice…even if you are very nervous on the first day.
If I only attend Voice can I audition for Playbox productions?
No – to be eligible to audition for the major Playbox productions, you must be a registered member of the Theatre Training workshops. Lots of Voice members attend both sessions and we offer discounts to young people attending multiple workshops. Do enquire if you’d like to know more about these.
Will I have the chance to present work to an audience?
Absolutely! Members of Voice & The Young Actor regularly work towards presenting informal recitals, to share work that has been explored during the weekly sessions. Sometimes these take place in the workshop studio, other times they might be in the main theatre, or in the front-of-house Agora. There are plenty of opportunities to showcase your developing skills and to push yourselves in terms of performance.
How large are the groups?
We keep the groups very small, so that everyone has the opportunity to work in detail and to receive lots of individual guidance. Generally, a group will not be larger than 10 members.
Do I have to attend every week?
Yes! This is a commitment course and we need excellent attendance. This is to ensure that you are developing at the rate we expect, but also so that you do not affect the other members of your workshop. We frequently work towards presentations and group work, so if a member of these small workshops is away, it can have a very damaging effect. If attendance is poor, we will need to discuss with you and your parent, whether it is right for you to continue in this programme.
Who runs the Voice workshops?
Voice & The Young Actor is run by Playbox Theatre’s Founding and Executive Director, Mary King, so you are in the best possible hands! Mary has many years of experience delivering Voice and LAMDA workshops…as well as being at the helm of this extraordinary company for over 32 years!
What should I wear to Voice?
You should wear practical and comfortable clothing to your workshop. Skirts/dresses are not appropriate and we do encourage members to change out of school uniform before entering the session.
How much does it cost to join Voice?
Membership fees are paid by the season, and seasons operate in conjunction with the school term (between 10-12 weeks per season). Current Voice fees are £130 per season and are payable in advance.
I’m ready to sign up – how do I go about this?
We can’t wait to meet you! Please use our online form to apply. You may have to sit on a waiting list for a little while, but we will offer you a place as soon as possible.
We look forward to welcoming newcomers to SYC and, alongside the exploration of theatre practice, it is one of Playbox’s most active social gatherings with friends made for life!