New York, New York

ASPIRING performers from Warrington headed to one of the world’s greatest stages to pick up some tips on the acting profession.

Priestley College took a group of students to Broadway where they watched two shows and attended a workshop with fight director Brad Lemons.

During their studio time with the stage combat choreographer, who has taught at Juilliard, New York Film Academy and is currently at the city’s Metropolitan Opera, they learned how to create empathy for a character involved in a fight.

Former St Gregory’s RC High School pupil James Newton, who studies BTEC Performing Arts at Priestley, said: “The chance to work with a Broadway professional with amazing experience in stage combat was incredible.

“I learnt so much that I know I will be able to use in my career.”

After the workshop Priestley’s cohort spoke to Lemons about his career, audition tips and how to progress into choreography.

Joining the discussion was Broadway actress Nicole van Giesen, who appears in Dear Evan Hansen, which the students also watched during the trip.

Other highlights were Times Square, World Trade Centre, Hard Rock Café, Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Centre, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

However, the focus was on performance and another stop was Ellen’s Stardust Diner where the stars of tomorrow work and perform.

For former Penketh High pupil Gemma Clarke, who studies A-Level Drama and BTEC Performing Arts, watching a preview of Be More Chill off Broadway was the highlight.

“It was a dream come true because I fell in love with the musical the first time I heard it,” she said.

Tutor Abbie Rippon, who travelled with the students to New York, said: “They were a credit to the college and the town during the trip. All the students showed their passion for the subject and I’ve no doubt they will have taken a lot from the experience.”

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