The latest from our series of blogs from people across the country about what theatre has done for them and their community.
Freya is a pupil at Fulford School, our Lead Associate School in York and joined the Youth Advisory Board in 2020.
I can’t imagine my life without theatre. I have so many wonderful memories that I shall cherish forever.
I first got into acting from age five, because my older sister was at York Theatre Royal’s Youth Theatre, and she was loving it. She went on Saturday mornings, and I would tag along at drop off and pick up. But I never wanted to leave, I’d watch them all playing the warm up games at the start of the sessions, and longed to join in. Occasionally, a ball they were playing with rolled out into the corridor, and I’d eagerly run to fetch it for them. I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to be an actual member myself.
When I finally was able to join, I fell in love with theatre and since made so many amazing memories. I've learnt lots about acting, what happens behind the stage and the different themes and messages within the plays we performed. I’ve also learnt many useful qualities which will stay with me for life: confidence, resilience, creativity, observation, communication, discipline. I’ve made lots of brilliant friends along the way and had endless fun!
I’ve watched tons of things at the theatre - not all plays. I’ve seen pantomimes, dance performances, musicals, Shakespeare plays, lectures, magic acts, gigs, talent shows, poetry readings, and much more. Some people assume that the theatre is “all the same thing”, but it isn’t. There is something for everyone to enjoy.
Due to the coronavirus, theatres have been closed and I no longer have any rehearsals for the production I had a role in. I was actually running through the dress rehearsal for my Youth Theatre show the day when the government announced the doors of the theatres will close. I was gutted, and being in lockdown felt like having endless post-show blues.
However, I was born in an era with great technology, so I have been able to do virtual meetings with members of the RSC’s ‘Youth Advisory Board’ and my musical theatre classes also moved online. I have still been able to stay in contact and learn, whilst staying safe. I’ve also loved watching more free theatre online than I would in a year. I think it's great that this has been granted to many people while theatres have been closed.
Theatre is a precious gift. It’s magical; whether you're watching, participating or are behind the magic. But right now that magic has disappeared for a bit. I can’t wait to get back to rehearsals and I’m also excited to see how theatres will adapt and bounce back from this very strange time.