I recently wrote a post about the extortionate costs that are involved with young people going to drama school in order to fulfil their ambition to one day be on the stage. I expressed my concerns with the amount of money that is spent in order to give themselves a chance of success. You can read that post here.
Therefore I am a huge advocate for young people getting involved with theatre in other ways, and how accessible learning the craft can be. As I currently live in the Midlands it was brought to my attention that a new performing arts school is opening in Birmingham and from what I’ve heard, it sounds really exciting.
BITA, which stands for Birmingham Institute of Theatre Arts, is an up and coming theatre company based in the heart of the Midlands. Produced by 4Stage Arts Ltd, a non-for-profit arts group, they have created the company to provide training for young people.
Artistic Director and CEO of 4Stage Chris Passey says that the training at BITA will focus on training and discipline, not just creating high quality performances.
He told me “setting up BITA is the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication to provide the young people of Birmingham and the Midlands with an actual training platform for their passion and art.”
BITA attracted my attention because of the professional patrons that are getting involved. West End star Kieran Brown (Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Les Miserables) is one of the many patrons and he will be at The Mac on Sunday the 13th of September to officially launch BITA.
Passey informed me that “all of our teachers work professionally with West End/No.1 Touring credits to their name. We have been heavily inspired by Annemarie Lewis Thomas and her school The MTA in London, whose ethos and passion for young people has lead to some of the brightest young stars entering the world of theatre fully prepared.”
West End Stars such as Lauren Samuels (Bend It Like Beckham, Grease) Liam Doyle (Wicked, Ghost) and Siobhan Dillion (Miss Saigon, Ghost) join Kieran in being patrons of BITA and they will be holding workshops and guiding these young people through their training.
BITA will be running during term time at The Mac in Birmingham, which has excellent arts facilities. It will held on Sundays from 4pm until 7pm and costs merely £11 per session with the first session completely free, which I think is fantastic especially because of how much similar style schools are charging.
All information for Birmingham Institute of Performing Arts and their opening event on the 13th of September can be found on their website and social media accounts.