Trestle Theatre Company is celebrating a big anniversary in 2017: It’s 15 years since the company moved into its home, Trestle Arts Base, a £2,000,000 refurbishment of the 100-year-old Hill End Hospital Chapel in St Albans, Hertfordshire. 
It’s also a year of new beginnings for Trestle, as the new Trestle School of Drama opens its doors in September. 
Trestle, which launched in 1981, already has a highly regarded arts and education programme. They’re one of the leading providers of theatre school workshops, teacher training and participation programmes in the country, and their aim as a charity is to engage children, young people and adults in creative activity. Trestle seeks to inspire all ages to engage with the Arts, through mask and physical theatre. The company uniquely makes handcrafted theatre masks, which are exported on a worldwide scale. 
Well, if you know anything about the Music Workshop Company, you’ll know we’re passionate about all things Arts and education too. So the MWC team feel we have something in common with Trestle. And here at MWC, we’re also celebrating a 15th birthday: It’s 15 years since we launched! 
From September 11th, 2017, Trestle School of Drama will open to students aged 4 – 21 for weekly sessions at Trestle Arts Base. 
Spearheaded by Trestle’s Learning and Participation Manager Helen Barnett and Trestle workshop leader Karene Horner-Hughes, this fully inclusive youth theatre will create a stimulating and professional environment within which its participants can find their own creative expression and grow their understanding of professional theatre practice. 
Karene, who has been working with youth groups and as a freelance drama practitioner for 12 years, has been trained by Trestle as a mask and physical theatre specialist. As well as her work with young people Karene is an actress, singer, prop maker and puppeteer. She takes real pride in seeing her student flourish and is “very excited” about the School’s opening. 
Helen has worked on education and outreach projects as a freelance theatre facilitator and Director with companies including The Bush Theatre, The Tricycle Theatre, Polka Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre. She joined Trestle in March 2017 and is “thrilled to be bringing back the youth theatre to Trestle.” 
The School of Drama will offer one-off experiences to see and work with visiting companies as well as creating work from scratch for the Trestle stage based on the company’s renowned masks and physical theatre style. 
Sessions will run over 12 weeks each term and include a mix of games and exercises developing skills in movement, vocal choral technique and acting. Each course will cover a range of theatre styles and techniques with a strong focus on ensemble based theatre, culminating in an end of term sharing or performance. 
Artistic Director Emily Gray believes this is a natural progression for the company: 
"We’ve had an amazing few years that have seen a large amount of National work and support for Trestle growing both internationally and locally,” she says. “In light of our recent Festival, celebrating 15 years at Trestle Arts Base, we are very excited now to be launching the School of Drama and look forward to bringing our work home to some fabulously creative young people." 
All sessions will be held at Trestle Arts Base, which boasts a theatre, rehearsal studio and meeting rooms, workshop and exhibition spaces and café. Classes will run on Thursday and Friday evenings, and all day Saturdays, and will be split into different age groups. 
BEGIN for ages 4-6 will be a fun, vibrant start to drama introducing key skills through creative play. 
EMERGE for ages 7-10 will focus on creating stories and gaining experience in text, movement and ensemble vocal work 
EVOLVE for ages 11-15 will focus on developing skills in focus, text and voice and devising. 
ADVANCE for ages 16-21 will be an ongoing development of artistic process in intensive cross art sessions tailored to the participants need 
First Term Dates: From week commencing 11th September until week commencing 4th December (no sessions during half term, week commencing 23rd October). 
Fees: £22.50 per 3 hour session / £7.50 per 45 min session for BEGIN participants, paid in termly installments. Bursaries are available where financial support is needed. 
For booking contact or download an information pack from the website 
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