In Spring of 2018, the Royal Exchange Theatre will be the regional partner of ALT. (Actors Learning Training). ALT. is a free nation-wide programme supporting a group of 10 young people from low-income and with a priority given to BAME ethnicity, to experience actor training in a risk-free and supportive environment for the first time.
The programme is completely free to remove the barriers of cost and pressures of money many young people face to gain access to high quality training and industry exposure.
Across 8 weeks starting in March 2018, participants will work with Director and Acting Coach and Founder of ALT., Toby Clarke. They will develop acting skills and improve their technique for both stage and screen. In the past, the participants have had the opportunity to work with some of the UK’s leading playwrights including Somalia Seaton, Luke Barnes, and Isley Lynn.
The programme will culminate in a sharing in the Royal Exchange Theatre’s Studio in May 2018, in front of some of London and Manchester’s leading casting and acting agents, producers and artistic directors. This sharing, whilst vital for the participants, also gives the industry the opportunity to see and experience young actors they would not ordinarily have been exposed to. It’s first programme was a major success with participants going immediately in to work, including Olivia Nakintu who was offered the lead in Les Enfants’ Alice’s Adventures Underground. Nabhaan Rizwan signed with Troika Talent and will appear as the lead in a new BBC 1 Drama in 2018. Finally, Rebekah Murrell will be performing in a Roy Alexander Weise production at the National Theatre in March 2018. Alumni participants have also go on to sign with Agents including Curtis Brown, Scott Marshall and Lucy Middleweek.
“ALT. would not only provide an immediate advantage to young actors but, in time, the profession as a whole would reap its benefits.” Sam Stevenson, NT Casting Director
“I love the idea of what is being done here and the objective of making our TV screens and stages more diverse.” Andy Morgan, Casting Director
Of BAME ethnicity
Aged between 16 and 25 years
Have never received actor training due to low income or low arts engagement
Living in Greater Manchester
Are able to attend training sessions taking place on Fridays, 9am – 6pm:
March 9, 16, 23, 30,
April 6, 20, 27
Sharing Showcase on 15 May 2018, 2.30pm-5pm in the Studio (date TBC)
Auditions were completed on Monday 19 Feb 2018
Toby is a National Youth Theatre Associate and for 2 years co-managed and taught their Playing Up 10 month Access Course, a programme aimed at providing opportunities and mentorship to young people with emotional and financial needs. He continues to work with the NYT as a Director, Tutor and Auditioning new intake. He was Head Acting Coach at Identity School of Acting.
He currently works for the Lyric Hammersmith, The Young Vic and The Southwark Playhouse. With the Lyric, he is working in both their open access and within their inclusivity work, including their REWIND programme, working with young people at risk of exclusion from school.
Toby has most recently run a Masterclass at the Young Vic, alongside Simon Stephens and Gbolahan Obisesan. This led to the theatre offering their support of Alt. and regular Masterclasses with their Taking Part department throughout 2017.
Before the NYT, Toby was Head of Youth Arts at Ovalhouse 2010 – 2013.
ALT. has been generously supported by Arts Council England, Stage Directors UK, Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation