Centre Stage Theatre School, Telegraph Hill

Telegraph Hill theatre school Centre Stage is celebrating its 10 birthday at Haberdashers Askes with the start of the new term this month. Principal Andrea Rose says:


“We feel so lucky that we’ve had the support of the local community for so many years. We are one of the only theatre schools that remains accessible to those who would prefer to pay-as-they-go. Our shows and our community ethos are what have kept us going!”

“We’ll be celebrating 10 years of song, dance and drama with a performance called “On the Move” – and we hope to continue to inspire and allow young people in the area to express themselves through the performing arts.”

8 comments:

Tamsin said...

Don't want to be unduly churlish but I've been closely involved with the Telegraph Hill Festival for about as long, happening right on their doorstep if they've been at Askes' all this while, and have never heard of them, nor, so far as I am aware, have they approached to be involved in outreaching to the local community through the Festival. So, I'm sorry, but what "community ethos"?

However, if this is changing, or if I'm totally wrong - do note the first planning meeting for the Festival is on Thursday 3rd November in the Hill Station and anyone, and anyone from Centre Stage, is welcome to come along.

Andrea said...

Hi Tamsin
I suspect we possibly serve a different sector of the community to yourselves, hence a lack of cross-over. But our signs have been outside Haberdashers Askes for 10 years and we have around 90 children who come every Saturday in the morning or afternoon. Thanks for the invitation to your meeting - we did extend a hand to your organisation some time back but there was little interest. But thanks for passing on the information. And do feel welcome to pop across the road some time.

Anonymous said...

The Telegraph Hill Festival seems to be open to all sectors of the community, including having a community play, so which sector do you serve?

Or is this Theatre School another Haberdashers' Aske thing which is nominally in Telegraph Hill but actually hasn't had anything to do with it for years?

Andrea said...

Centre Stage is not run by Haberdashers Askes, nor are we in any way exclusive. The children that come along are from Telegraph Hill, Brockley, Lewisham, Peckham, Deptford and further afield. And as for community spirit, what a shame people are so negative about a service that is serving young people well and is so positive in their lives. I believe there is room for all sorts of activities/ events that serve the Telegraph Hill community.

Anonymous said...

Neither Tamsin or I said you were exclusive and no one was being negative about what you did. Tamsin said she had never heard of you and I asked what sector you served.

You said that the School had a "community ethos" and that you "served a different sector of the community" to the (very all-inclusive) Telegraph Hill Festival. It is only reasonable therefore for people to enquire what community you served with your community ethos.

In fact I would guess you serve the same demographic sector but that, judging by your statement that it covers "Telegraph Hill, Brockley, Lewisham, Peckham, Deptford and further afield" its geographic sector is much wider and, previously, not well publicised with local outreach.

Certainly, I've lived in the area for years and walk past the school every day (including today) and not seen your signs.

Hopefully however now having publically declared yourselves again (and good on you) you can turn up to Tamsin's Festival meeting on 3rd November and we can all see what you have achieved with a performance by the Centre Stage Theatre School at the Telegraph Hill Festival. I look forward to it.

Tamsin said...

Hi, Andrea,

As the Anon. said, I did not intend to be particularly negative nor detract from what you do. And I'm sorry if a hand extended to the Festival in the past did not get a response.

It might be worth clarifying, though, for you and others who may be interested, how the Festival works. We do not get, nor look for, public funding and there is limited private sponsorship - mainly from estate agents. Therefore the Festival is not in a position to buy in acts nor pay performers or facilitators.

If someone local or with local connections wants to raise their profile by performing or if they have other funding for a workshop or activity that needs publicising, this can be put in the programme. Five thousand copies of the printed version are distributed to all households in the immediate area, with others being put in outlets like cafes and church halls in Brockley, Hatcham and Nunhead etc. and in the libraries. The web version of the programme has been dramatically expanded and last year we experimented for the first time with on-line ticket sales.

What some regular hirers of the Telegraph Hill Centre (Tai Chi, Boppin' Bunnies, etc.) sometimes do is run their regular class as a free "taster" sessions in the Festival week - rents are usually waived because of the general disruption - to attract potential customers.

Ticket sales go to the Festival coffers, but out of pocket expenses, e.g. performing rights licensing or workshop materials, are covered, provided they have been agreed in advance so sensible ticket prices have been set to at least break even.

Bridget McKenzie said...

Not a direct continuation of the conversation, but a request for more information about Centre Stage. Sorry to use this thread but I've tried over a few weeks to Google for information but only found a broken link, plus this blog post. I'd like to know if there is a place on the Saturday class at Askes for an 11 year old, what time and how much sessions cost. My contact details are Bridget McKenzie bridgetmcknz@gmail.com

Tamsin said...

Putting a post on this in case Andrea's watching the thread to remind her (and others) about the Festival 2012 planning meeting tonight in the Hill Station at 8pm.

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