Manchester’s Hope Mill Theatre announced today that they are launching a Community Hub and small studio theatre that will host local groups, rehearsals and studio size productions in addition to their main space. The venue will also launch the Hope Mill Theatre School which will work and train young people in the community.
The community space is based on Pollard Street, situated right next to Hope Mill Theatre. It will include a large studio space for community gatherings, dance classes, rehearsals and will also double as a 40-50 seat studio space at certain times of the year focusing on hosting new work including the development of new musicals. A smaller studio space will also be created for auditions and singing lessons.
Alongside the space Hope Mill Theatre School will launch in June 2021 with its first Summer term, two free trial weekends arranged during the May half-term. Due to current ongoing COVID restrictions, the theatre school will initially launch at half capacity and operate this way until safe to do so. The school will provide training for young people aged 7 to 18 as well as offer an early learning class for children aged 4 to 6.
Next month Hope Mill Theatre will also launch Clever Cogs, online classes for those ages 2-4 years old and their grown ups. Weekly sessions will focus on song, storytelling and movement. Sessions will be weekly in term time, initially starting on Zoom until safe to meet up in person. Tickets will be available to book via www.hopemilltheatre.co.uk. The first session will be on 8th March 10-10.30 and will be a space adventure.
As part of the theatre school programme they will also be launching a Play Reading Club for teens aged 13-18 years. This will be an extension of their already established adult group and will launch on Sunday 28th March and then the last Sunday of every month and will offer an opportunity for teenagers to come together to read a variety of plays and discuss themes and issues. Available on zoom.
Hope Mill Theatre have managed to secure some vital funding from The Sports & Arts Trust to be able to launch the theatre school, as well as a private donation meaning that 50% of the overall training spaces will be funded and completely free to attend.
Hope Mill Theatre are delighted to announce performers Marcus Collins and Hayley Tamaddon as patrons of Hope Mill Theatre School.
The space will become the new home for Hope Mill Theatre’s monthly Play Reading Group which was established in 2016 and sees locals come together to read a different play a month and is open to professionals and non-professionals.
Further information on Hope Mill Theatre School and the Community Hub can be found on www.hopemilltheatre.co.uk.
Hope Mill Theatre’s Executive Director William Whelton said:
“Hope Mill Theatre became a charitable organisation just before the start of 2020 and it was our ambition to open and establish a community hub as well as a youth theatre school. It has been such a difficult time for our organisation and there is still a lot of uncertainty around the immediate future, but the importance of such a space for our community has never been more vital. In a time of isolation across all ages and backgrounds of communities, especially young people, we are thrilled to announce the creation of Hope Mill Theatre School. Our aim is to provide a safe and inclusive space for all of our community to feel valued, inspired and safe, nurturing young talent and providing opportunities within the creative and arts industry.”
Patrons of Hope Mill Theatre School said:
“Becoming a patron of Hope Mill Theatre School is up there with my proudest career moments. I’m so excited to be a part of this venture to give back and create bespoke opportunities for performers like myself who are often overlooked from contributing to the industry due to socioeconomic challenges. It is our intention to engage and to nurture raw talent in the community and provide Hope, opportunity and to share our industry expertise with focus on the intricate details and lessons BAME performers will likely face on the journey to meeting their full potential. We must admire and encourage imagination of the future generations, not allowing them to become cynical in regards to what is achievable. There is nothing sadder than a young cynic because they go from knowing nothing to believing nothing and that must be avoided at all costs. Let them dare to dream.”
Hayley Tamaddon said:
“I’m thrilled to be a patron for the new brilliant Hope Mill Theatre School. We need to nurture the new and emerging talent in this city and I’m looking forward to teaching and handing over my knowledge I’ve learnt over the past 25 years.”
Alongside this exciting announcement of our new space: The Hope Mill Theatre Community Hub, home of Hope Mill Theatre School, are also launching a Crowdfunding campaign.
To bring the space to life, making it accessible and fit for purpose, we want our supporters to be a part of the journey. Funds raised will be put towards the renovation of the Community Hub, with much needed work taking place before the first intake of the summer term.
Donations of any size will be gratefully received as we strive to make a new home for the members of our community to access and engage with the arts, with rewards offered for more generous donors.
Our target of £5,000 will cover essential building and accessibility work on the space and ensure we can provide an inclusive and welcoming home for our weekly classes, community activities and studio performances.