Please note, Acting Out was replaced by Belgrade LifeStage in September 2016. Click here for more information
Acting Out is the Belgrade’s groundbreaking, work-related learning programme that works with young people who are not achieving their full potential within the mainstream education system. It provides them with an opportunity to participate in drama, dance and performing arts business activities based at the theatre
Acting Out takes referrals from schools across Coventry and the young people involved attend two sessions a week over a period of two years. The programme contributes to raising their confidence levels, their communication skills and their performance skills. It also develops their personal skills, building their self-esteem and improving their performance back at school.
Crucially, the programme provides students with an opportunity to study for a BTEC Level 2 Extended Certificate in Performing Arts, a qualification which is equivalent to four GCSEs.
The project has been rolled out very successfully in both Cardiff and Birmingham, and has twice been held up as a model of best practice in the Government White Paper on 14-19 Education and Skills, keeping the Belgrade Theatre firmly at the forefront of pioneering community arts work.
Students also have the opportunity to continue their work with the Theatre through the graduate company Acting Up, which offers them the opportunity to continue to meet each other and develop their theatre arts skills in a supported context through workshops and new productions.
On Monday 9 November 2015, a major new documentary, which followed the lives of nine Coventry teenagers filmed on location at the Belgrade Theatre was broadcast on BBC as part of a special season of programmes celebrating British Theatre across the UK.
The documentary, which formed part of a season of programmes running across television, radio and online, explored the work of Acting Out. The one-off, half hour special features TV impressionist, actor and stand-up comic Alistair McGowan and follows the 2015 Acting Out class on their journey towards bringing a fully-realized theatre production to the stage. You can watch an excerpt from the show here: