The state’s only Shakespeare Troupe announces statewide apprentice program to begin in the fall of 2017.
The Vintage Theatre Company’s Founding Producer and Artistic Director Jason A. Young is pleased to announce the formation of a brand new high school actor apprenticeship program through The VTC Academy and The Rustic Mechanicals.
This 10-month program, helmed by Young and the Mechanicals’ Troupe Director Celi Oliveto, will culminate June of 2018 with a performance by the apprentices of a full-length Shakespeare play.
“We have been very inspired in recent by the passion and the talent of the students that attend our Battle of the Bard and each time we have visited the state’s Governor’s schools,” said Young. “I think this apprentice program is a natural progression for the Mechanicals and is very much in keeping with the mission of The VTC Academy.”
Auditions for the apprentice program will be held on Sunday, August 20 at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at The Vintage Theatre Company located at 305 Washington Avenue in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Students interested in auditioning should email VintageTheatreCo@gmail.com to reserve an audition spot.
It is recommended that students prepare a 10-line Shakespeare monologue for the auditions; however, it is not required. At the auditions students will be asked to read from excerpts of Shakespeare plays and to participate in movement activities.
“It is our goal to select seven to thirteen apprentices for this first go-around,” said Young. “Once we assemble the troupe of students, we will then select the show they will be performing.”
Though the program will span over ten months, the time commitment is distributed so that the participating students may remain involved in all the other activities they have throughout the school year.
Beginning in September, apprentices will be asked to commit one weekend day per month to the program. These Saturdays or Sundays will be full days that include actor training as well as some rehearsals of the chosen script. Workshops will focus specifically on the actor’s voice and body and text analysis.
Once the nine workshop sessions are completed in mid-May, the students will begin rehearsals in earnest for their early summer performance. Those rehearsals and the performance dates will be determined by the individual schedules of the apprentice troupe members.
“We wanted to make sure that any students who are interested in this new program don’t have to eliminate other activities that they may have in their schedules already,” said Young. “Also, in our effort to make this program as statewide as possible, we need to spread things out and use our weekends effectively.”
In addition to the monthly workshops and rehearsals, apprentices will be expected to participate in The Mechanicals’ annual Battle of the Bard competition. They will also be assigned a mentor from the professional troupe and will be invited to attend select Rustic Mechanicals rehearsals and preview performances.
The apprentices will be charged a tuition of $300 total, to be paid quarterly, for their participation in the program.