The Stage2 BlogThese are real kids, with real words
We are absolutely bursting with pride at the news that ex-member, Yolanda Kettle, has been announced in the casting for Netflix’s Jane Austen Movie Persuasion. We can’t wait until it hits our screen and we can see Yolanda gracing Netflix with her incredible talents once more. We’ve always loved seeing Yolanda both on stage and screen over the years in projects such as Marcella (Netflix/ITV), The Crown (Netflix), Oil (Almeida Theatre), Love Nina (BBC) and The Deep Blue Sea (National Theatre) – just to name a few!
We are seven weeks into the Summer Term and wow has it been fantastic! Stage2 is currently devising a piece of multi-media theatre to be recorded on Zoom, as a young people’s response to the events of the past year and a half. Our members have written monologues, devised Mike Leigh style duologues, created hillarious sketches such as ‘Toilet Paper Frenzy’ and developed some beautiful group scenes that depict the loneliness so many have faced.
The next few weeks will be a lot of polishing, tightening and recording before we showcase the premiere on the 11th July. Stay tuned for more information on that coming soon!
We had such a wonderful day on 3rd June with our first Social Event in over a year (at least the first one face-to-face). Our members had a great time catching up, playing with the parachute and ‘sussing’ each other out in a good game of Town of Salem. It was truly a brilliant day and luckily the weather held out for the most part! We can’t wait to host more in the future and get back to our termly parties…!
We are thrilled to be able to announce that one of our ex-members, Laura Dowsett, is off to East-15 to study Physical Theatre. Laura also got into several other drama schools, and we couldn’t be prouder of her. Laura was a member of Stage2 from 2008-2018, starting at the age of 6 and being the first to receive an Attendance Award of 30 Terms (an award which is now named after her). Huge congratulations, Laura, we wish you all the very best on this next chapter of your journey!
We are so proud to be seeing ex-member Khalid Daley on our screens in Doctors. Khalid was a member of Stage2 from 2008-2014 before training at the Birmingham School of Acting.
“Stage2 is the foundation that gave me the drive, discipline and determination to be the actor and creative individual I always wanted to become. It’s a place where I made friends, gained confidence, learned about acting, attained invaluable skills, made incredible memories from the shows I performed in and was supported through the subsidy fund.
I have to say my top shows at Stage2 that I had the privilege of performing in were Shakers, Our Day Out, Shockheaded Peter and Towerblock Trio but my favourite show and role to play was ‘James’ in James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. Playing that role essentially certified the idea that if you have a dream, no matter how big or small it is, you can achieve it. I remember watching that movie so many times when I was younger and thinking, “I’d love to do that” and I did, which was a real blessing.
My advice would be to turn up, try hard and be nice. It’s something I always remind myself and now that I’m older, I understand even more how important that mantra is, especially when you’re wanting to be in an enjoyable working environment. It’s something that I feel can just be applied to life. Also, take advantage of the opportunities that come your way and HAVE FUN!” – Khalid Daley
To watch Khalid in action, please visit BBC iPlayer.
Here at Stage2, as a charity committed to the betterment and welfare of young people on and off the stage, we often avoid posting political statements to ensure that we remain non-biased and true to our aims that any young person, regardless of background, ability, ethnicity, gender or belief feels safe, feels comfortable, feels included.
But right now – organisations, like us, need to stand up and actively work to protect the lives, the opportunities and the safety of young people of colour. It’s not enough to just post a black square. It’s not enough to just donate a sum of money. The BLM movement is more than just politics or a cause that will simply go away when you stop talking about it. The BLM movement is a proponent of change and recognising that yes every life matters – but across the world, black lives matter less – and this needs to change.
It’s very easy for us here in the UK to distance ourselves from what is happening in the US but what’s important to recognise is that this is a global problem. The UK is not innocent in the consistently unfair treatment of BAME individuals and it’s time for us all to own up to the fact that we need to do something about it.
Silence, in nearly every racist/discriminatory period of time, from the Holocaust to the Silence = Death Movement, has been the characterising factor that has allowed atrocities to happen. It is not enough to be silent or neutral, it’s time to be actively anti-racist.
If you are reading this and like us are asking yourself what you can do to help, here are some ideas to consider:
Avoid asking your BAME friends and colleagues what you can do
Do your research, there is a multitude of information about the movement that anyone can readily access. Bombarding your BAME friends and colleagues with “how they feel”, or “what can I do?” is unhelpful and places the burden of representation squarely on their shoulders. Do your research. Also, please understand that they may not be responding as quickly as they normally do – this is going to be a difficult time for your BAME friends and replying to messages and texts may not be in their top priorities.
Here’s a link to a document that’s a little old now but has lots of suggestions for valuable reading on the subject:
Write to your MP
Did you know that companies based in the UK are exporting tear gas and rubber bullets to the US which are being used to forcefully stop protests? Amnesty International is urging UK residents to write to our local MP’s in order to put pressure on these companies to stop exporting. You can find your local MP via writetothem.com
Sign the enquiry campaign into the number of BAME deaths during the Covid-19 epidemic
Are you aware that BAME individuals make up one third of the current Covid-19 patients in intensive care? Or that BAME families make up double the average of households who have lost their jobs? You can read more and sign the petition here:
Share and Sign Petitions
There are a large number of other petitions to sign, and each one can usually be filled out within a minute – learn about their stories and sign to support below; you can make an even bigger contribution by sharing them as well, or donating to fund visibility campaigns!
Justice for George Floyd
(This one requires a US Postal Code, but if you can sign, then do)
Justice for Belly Mujinga
Talk about, follow, share and spread Anti-Racist Content
One of your greatest contributions could be the sharing of information pertinent to the movement – organisations that are Anti-Racist like CRER, Race on the Agenda, Show Racism the Red Card are excellent UK based organisations and charities who actively spread such information. Help them in spreading this information and help educate others.
It’s important that any information you share is meaningful, informative and that you fully understand what you’re sharing and how it might impact the movement – whilst #blackouttuesday was a good way to show your solidarity it quickly backfired when people also used the tag black lives matter as it clogged up social feeds being used by protestors and activities who were reliant on information being spread. This follows our first point – do your research!
Support/donate to/volunteer for a cause or charity
Good organisations to support during this period (and always) are charities that are actively engaging in an anti-racist mission statement. If you have money or time, please consider giving your support to some of these worthwhile charities:
Whatever you decide to do, whether it’s protesting, posting or reading – please join us in showing the world that #BlackLivesMatter