Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and the Arena Theatre recently announced a new partnership which will see the cities two theatres combine to rehearse children and young people in a series of drama workshops beginning in the autumn. A phenomenal response to the scheme has seen a large waiting list already form, as spaces for both the junior (9 – 13 years) and senior (14 – 18 years) groups sell out within three hours of going on sale.

As part of the new Youth Theatre, members will attend weekly classes held at the Arena Theatre on Wulfruna Street. Once a disused gym in the 1970s basement of Wolverhampton Polytechnic, The Arena now has a reputation as an innovative 150 seat theatre working with culturally diverse artists and productions hosting in excess of 200 public performances per year.

The weekly rehearsals will focus on drama technique with students working alongside professional practitioners. They will work towards two performances a year, one at the Arena Theatre and with the aim of working towards a community production at the Grand Theatre.

Head of Creative Learning at the Grand Theatre, Claudia Gilmour said: ““We are extremely pleased with the popularity and uptake from local young people for our Youth Theatre collaboration with the Arena Theatre. We are looking forward to the opportunities this will provide for members to work alongside professional artists and perform in a variety of venues, and also to work with the Arena in creating this magic.”

Venue Manager of the Arena Theatre, Neil Reading said: “We are delighted to be offering this improved Youth Theatre programme with the Grand Theatre and overwhelmed by the response from the young people of the city. We look forward to creating innovative, exciting new work with the group over the next year.”