Top honour for Production Artist

A TALENTED production artist has been made a member of the National Youth Theatre – the world’s leading youth arts charity.

Rae Atkin, who studied Production Arts and Performing Arts at Priestley College, completed a three-week course with the NYT over summer and can now apply for jobs within the organisation.

The former Culcheth High pupil said studying BTEC Production Arts at Priestley had shone a light on a new future.

“I always thought I wanted to perform, but then I came here and got the opportunity to look after the lighting for a production of Sister Act,” said Rae.

“I fell in love with it, more than I thought was possible. I had an epiphany and realised this is what I wanted to do.”

Once she had made the decision that her career lay behind the scenes, she started looking at what to do after completing her BTECs.

Rae spotted an advert for auditions at the National Youth Theatre, but they were just a few days away so she applied without high hopes.

However, the 17-year-old got her big break when she was offered a latecomers’ spot and was invited to London to prove her talent in person.

After taking part in a three-hour workshop, one-to-one interview and showing off her portfolio of work from Priestley, Rae was offered a membership.

“I am very proud of myself,” she said. “I think I was one of only 100 people to be given a place on the summer course – and that includes all the actors as well.”

NYT has been inspiring young people and audiences alike in the importance of live theatre for more than 60 years.

It seeks out the most diverse and talented members and, since 1956, has reached an audience of more than two billion people from stadiums to studios at national and international events.

During her summer course Rae went over the basics of production arts, with a specialism in lighting, as well as learnt more about the youth theatre’s approach and methods.

Those who have taken the course are now perfectly placed to apply for roles within National Youth Theatre productions.“Rae’s talent on stage on behind the scenes is easy for everyone to see,” said Priestley’s Production Arts Tutor Mark Edington.

“She thoroughly deserves this prestigious opportunity and I am sure she will make the most of everything that comes her way as a result of it.”

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