Priestley makes moves to encourage male actors

PRIESTLEY College is looking to encourage more boys to study performing arts by taking an all-male cast out into Warrington schools.

Tutor Helen Lowe said the College hoped to show drama, dance and performing arts could be rewarding for anyone.

“There is still a perception that performing arts is more for girls, but we want to show that is not the case,” said Helen. “Boys from Priestley have gone on to become actors or used performing arts to boost their confidence, which has helped them achieve in other areas.”

In the summer 10 male students took their own piece – based on the London riots – into Sir Thomas Boteler and St Gregory’s to show Year 8s and 9s what they were capable of achieving on the stage.

They used the events of last year to provide a moral tale about the dangers of peer pressure, using physical theatre as their chosen style. 

Their physical, boisterous performance did not include any swearing or mock fighting but did demonstrate the strength and commitment required in such a demanding piece of theatre.

Stevie Stewart, 17 and from Windmill Hill in Runcorn, was among the young actors who also carried out a Q&A and workshop with the pupils.

“Working with them made me realise I would like to do some teaching of drama in future because it just felt right to show them what I have learnt,” said Stevie, who is studying drama and a Production Arts BTEC at Priestley.

After the performances 16 boys showed a further interest in studying drama at Priestley, none of them had considered it as an option before.

Helen Lowe said she hoped further all-male casts would perform at Sir Thomas Boteler and St Greg’s as well as any other high school that was interested in welcoming the performers.

“It was supposed to be a one-off, but it was so successful we have to do it again,” she said.

“The part that had the most impact was actually the lads talking about what they do. It was the passion with which they spoke about the subject that really made a difference.”

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