Why Up-Stage?

I recently had a long conversation with a friend who asked me what was the difference between Up-Stage and other Youth theatre providers.  It's a difficult question to answer for many reasons.  I always make sure that we get across to our parents that we are independent.  This is not to criticise the big franchises that offer a similar service.  They have their place as much as we do.  I just pride myself that we know every child very well.  We know what they are confident about, what they are not confident about, and quite importantly, what they are not yet capable of.  Larger franchises tend to have their content chosen for them, and their techniques dictated.  This, of course, provides continuity, but I think our children deserve more than that.  We have recently said goodbye to one of our students who joined us when she was 8 years old.  We saw a small, shy child, flower into a confident performer, who is now pursuing a career in the performing arts.  We don't take the credit for that, she does.  What we do take the credit for is providing a caring, nurturing environment for young people to discover themselves.  The sessions are precious to them.  They want new people to feel welcome, but also want them to understand that the sessions are precious to them.  I am so very proud of the sense of pride that they have in their groups.  They create small families.  As a result of this, I tend to write a lot of the plays that we perform.  From comedy to tragedy, we ensure that the performers are given opportunities to think, create and develop within a framework specifically written for them.  We do perform others work of course, and the variety also helps, but I believe that we are unique on the offer we have.