RCS & the Dundee Rep
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland joins forces with Dundee Rep
To stage annual musical theatre production
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will join forces with one of the UK’s leading theatre companies for its 2018 musical theatre production — the first to be staged in association with a professional company. Scotland’s national conservatoire, one of the world’s top three performing arts institutions, will partner with the award-winning Dundee Rep to bring the Broadway hit, Spring Awakening, to audiences in Glasgow and Dundee in March 2018. The venture will create a unique educational experience for Royal Conservatoire students who will work alongside and learn from the only permanent acting ensemble in Scotland and the theatre’s design and creative team.
As a cross-Conservatoire production, Spring Awakening will bring together students from the Musical Theatre, Music, Production Arts and Design and Production Technology Management programmes. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is ranked in the world top three for performing arts education and is number one in Scotland for graduate employability (97%). Scotland’s national conservatoire offers the only arts education of its kind in Europe, with specialised teaching across music, drama, dance, production and film.
Hugh Hodgart, Director of Drama, Dance, Production and Film at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, told the Mumble; ‘The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has had a very warm and collaborative relationship with the Rep for many years and past interactions have proved to be mutually beneficial to both organisations and our audiences — BA Acting students’ involvement in minor roles in the award-winning 2007 production of Peer Gynt being a shining example. That was an invaluable learning opportunity, not only for our students but for the members of the ensemble who seized the opportunity to act informally as mentors as well as welcome the students into the company as equals. This new joint venture is not merely a continuation but a step change in our relationship, being the first Royal Conservatoire of Scotland production to be staged in Scotland in association with a professional company, and with their actors playing key roles. There is an equally strong partnership planned for our production students who will be fulfilling key roles behind the scenes. I am absolutely delighted and most grateful to our friends at the Rep for joining us in this exciting venture. I hope it will be the first of many.’
Spring Awakening opens in Glasgow on March 13 2018 for four nights which includes an exclusive gala performance on March 16. It will transfer to Dundee Rep Theatre on March 22 for three nights. Both venues will include matinee performances. Students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s BA Production Arts and Design and BA Production Technology and Management programmes will create, build and operate the spectacular sets, costumes and stage effects that have become a signature of the Royal Conservatoire’s musical theatre productions. Around 20 first and third year technical and stage management students on the BA Production Technology and Management programme will work on Spring Awakening. There will also be input from around 30 students from all years of the BA Production Arts and Design programme during the construction period, who will work on set, props, costume and scenic painting.
Winner of eight Tony awards, four Oliviers and a Grammy for best original cast album, Spring Awakening redefined the boundaries between music and theatre when it debuted on Broadway in 2006. It’s a raw portrayal of adolescents on the brink of adulthood, who are trying to make sense of their strong new feelings. Desires, emotions and hormones rush to the surface in this hard hitting punk-rock musical. Professor Andrew Panton, Artistic Director of Musical Theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the newly-appointed Artistic Director of Dundee Rep, told the Mumble: ‘We took our 2017 production of Chess to a new city for the first time, to Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, and we wanted to build on that as the students loved transferring to the professional stage.Working with Dundee Rep will give our students phenomenal industry experience. Our musical theatre students and musicians will share the stage with some of Scotland’s leading actors while our production and technical students will hone their skills not only in their ‘home’ theatre, the New Athenaeum in Glasgow, but in one of the country’s leading arts venues. Our students will perform in two great, creative, Scottish cities where audiences have the chance to support the next generation of Scottish, UK and International performance and production artists.’