BRIGHT FUTURE: From left Norpa artistic director and CEO Julian Louis, front future student Tobhiyah Louis and Ben Franklin MLC.
BRIGHT FUTURE: From left Norpa artistic director and CEO Julian Louis, front future student Tobhiyah Louis and Ben Franklin MLC.

Incredible training on offer for young performers

YOUNG people will now have increased access to professional training and performance opportunities from a leading regional-based theatre company thanks to new grant funding.

The Northern Rivers Performing Arts Inc theatre company, or Norpa, announced it would benefit from a NSW Government grant of $106,282 for their Youth Theatre Hub.

The funding is aimed to support professionally led weekly theatre classes, specific skills-building master classes, a youth theatre ensemble and an annual theatre production and youth theatre forum.

Norpa CEO and artistic director Julian Louis said the funding will allow the theatre company to offer "a significant youth theatre program that engages young people in the process of theatre making including performance, production and design".

"This is an important new initiative for young people in our region to provide experiences that develop confidence, a sense of connection and practical skills that can be applied not only in theatre but also in broader life," he said.

"The projects that we'll stage with our young people will become central to our annual season and creative program in the future."

He said the hub will help create professional pathways and training for young people to pursue careers in the performing arts across performance, technical production and stage design.

Since its establishment Norpa offers bespoke programs of theatre and workshops for school students, facilitates cultural exchange, research, art-form development, training and exploration for local and international artists, provides employment opportunities for the region's creative sector and provides opening space for local indigenous artists to develop and perform work.

Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts Ben Franklin MLC said Lismore-based Norpa is a "fantastic example of successful regional theatre".

"Young people will now have increased access to professional training and performance opportunities from one of Australia's leading regional-based theatre companies," he said.

Mr Franklin said due to the ongoing Public Health Order, Norpa has been forced to suspend their public operations, meaning funding for the youth theatre hub is "incredibly important to help them get back on their feet when the theatre can reopen".



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