• Monday, May 27, 2024

Entertainment

Open Door announces applications for acting and behind-the-scenes programmes

Open Door was launched by actor David Mumeni in 2017 to help provide budding actors and behind-the-scenes creatives from low-income households with the opportunity to enter the industry. 

By: Mohnish Singh

Award-winning charity Open Door has announced applications for their Acting and Behind the Scenes programmes are open, with auditions and interviews set to take place in September and October.

Boasting 178 offers at leading drama schools so far and with a growing number of Open Door participants securing roles across television, film and stage, the charity is looking for aspiring actors across Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Warrington, West Yorkshire and the Borough of Halton, as well as Essex, London and the South East, who are serious about pursuing a career in acting but might need some help getting there. Auditions for the Acting programme will be held in London, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester in September and October.

 The Open Door Acting programme offers successful eligible applicants aged 18 – 30:

  • An 8-month part time training to prepare you for drama school
  • 15 hours of one-to-one tutoring on your audition speeches
  • Free auditions and any UCAS Conservatoire fees covered at: Guildhall, LAMDA, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • Free theatre tickets
  • Access to a hardship fund
  • Pastoral support and mentoring from the Open Door Team.

In addition to this, Open Door are also opening up their applications to their Behind the Scenes programme for those who are serious about a career in Technical Theatre and Production Arts, but might also need help, across England, Wales and Scotland. Interviews for the Behind the Scenes programme will take place through September and October in person and online, with the hope that offering online interviews will encourage even more budding creatives to apply.

  • Free interviews and UCAS Conservatoire fees paid for at: Guildhall, LAMDA, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • Travel expenses for all interviews
  • Five hours of one-to-one tutoring
  • Access to a hardship fund.
  • Pastoral Support and mentoring from the Open Door Team.

Open Door was launched by actor David Mumeni in 2017 to help provide budding actors and behind-the-scenes creatives from low-income households with the opportunity to enter the industry. The charity helps talented young people aged 18-30 who do not have the financial support or resources to gain a place at one of the UK’s leading drama schools, and in December 2022 was awarded the prestigious Special Jury Prize at the British Independent Film Awards. Open Door ambassadors include Emilia Clarke, Riz Ahmed, David Morrissey and Woody Harrelson.

As factors such as the cost-of-living crisis and ongoing barriers to the industry continue to disproportionately impact on those from lower-income backgrounds, Open Door continues to support emerging talent gain entry to Drama Schools who otherwise may not be able to.

Recent Open Door graduates have already begun to secure professional acting work, including Jerome Lance, who’s secured a lead role in the new Hunger Game movie, Dionne Brown, who landed the leading role in upcoming Apple TV+ series Criminal Record alongside Cush Jumbo and Peter Capaldi, as well as multiple participants landing roles at the National Theatre, Regents Park Open Air Theatre and at The Old Vic.

Open Door said: “We are thrilled to announce the opening of Open Door in the North of England for the very first time. This region has a rich history of exceptional talent, with a legacy of producing some of the finest actors and behind-the-scenes professionals in the country. However, in these challenging times, we recognise that the barriers hindering this exceptional talent from reaching their full potential have become much greater. That’s why it is now more crucial than ever to cultivate and fortify a strong pathway into training institutions and the industry. By doing so, we can ensure a sustainable and vibrant future for the aspiring individuals in this region, enabling them to excel.”

Ambassadors of Open Door, Paapa Essiedu and Emilia Clarke said today There’s no one else really doing what Open Door are doing in providing the specific opportunities that Open Door are providing. There aren’t any organizations that I can think of that are as successful and as reliable as Open  Door for helping provide the opportunity, the support and the mentorship necessary to get that first foot in the door.”

Emilia added: “Open Door is so profoundly necessary for the industry. It allows young people to feel like there is a place for them to be heard and be creative, and that’s incredibly important for our industry as a whole because we need to hear new voices. We need to give people access and confidence and encouragement so that we’re not just listening to the same stories over and over again.”

Applicants for both the Acting and Behind the Scenes programmes can apply for an audition and interview by visiting www.opendoor.org.uk/acting (Acting) and www.opendoor.org.uk/behind-the-scenes (Behind the Scenes) before the deadline of 15th September 2023 for Acting and 15th October 2023 for Behind the Scenes and those successful in the auditions/interviews will secure a place among the upcoming Open Door 2023 intake.

 To be eligible for either programme applicants must:

  • Applicants must be a UK Citizen or be eligible for UK Student Finance
  • For the Acting programme, applicants must be based in Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Warrington, West Yorkshire and the Borough of Halton, Essex, London and the South East
  • For the Behind the Scenes programme, applicants must be based in England, Scotland or Wales
  • Have an annual family household income of £33,000 or less OR £40,000 or less with mitigating circumstances (caregivers, care leavers, are over 18 and receiving Disability Living Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance or a Carers Allowance)
  • Be aged 18 – 30 for Acting, 17-30 for Behind the Scenes
  • Not currently hold a degree
  • Have a commitment to acting or technical theatre and production arts as a career goal
  • Intend to apply for a full time BA Hons degree for the academic year 2023/2024

For further information please visit opendoor.org.uk.

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