Useful resources for Year 11 students

Professional Performance Programme (PPP)

The Professional Performance Programme at Runshaw College is a high-quality alternative to A Levels for those students who want to follow careers in the performing arts. It offers hands-on, practical classes that allow students to develop and improve their performance skills as well as their theoretical understanding of this field. Because of our continued focus on excellence in performance, many of our learners progress to the most prestigious drama schools, dance schools and conservatoires, making us the most successful course in the country for this.

INFORMATION ABOUT 2020 AUDITIONS WILL BE RELEASED SOON

The PPP is split into three pathways – Acting, Dance, and Musical Theatre – and every student must pick one of these as their area of specialism. In order to prepare for the course, there are some activities that you can be doing between now and September. By now, you should have a good idea of which pathway you are applying for, so please refer to the information below for recommended preparation work. If you have any questions about the course or the audition process, please email the PPP Course Leader Andy Newman at this address: newman.a@runshaw.ac.uk.

PPP Acting

In preparation for PPP Acting, here are some of the things you can be doing. Read some significant plays and research their context online so that you understand why they are significant. Here are some suggestions: A DOLL’S HOUSE by Henrik Ibsen

WAITING FOR GODOT by Samuel Beckett

THE CARETAKER by Harold Pinter

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE by Tennessee Williams

DEATH OF A SALESMAN by Arthur Miller

LOOK BACK IN ANGER by John Osborne

A TASTE OF HONEY by Shelagh Delaney Read some modern plays, such as: THE PILLOWMAN by Martin McDonagh

SPUR OF THE MOMENT by Anya Reiss

HENNA NIGHT by Amy Rosenthal

DNA by Dennis Kelly

PUNK ROCK by Simon Stephens

FLEABAG by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

LOVE STEALS US FROM LONELINESS by Gary Owen

BLACKBIRD by David Harrower

CLOSER by Patrick Marber

VINCENT RIVER by Phillip Ridley

JERUSALEM by Jez Butterworth

KINDERTRANSPORT by Diane Samuels

GIRLS LIKE THAT by Evan Placey

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Mark Haddon

THE EFFECT by Lucy Prebble

TORN by Nathaniel Martello-White

POMONA by Alastair McDowall

As well as reading plays, there are a number of shows that you can watch online. The National Theatre is providing recordings of several performances that you can watch for free here.

As well as plays, you can also start learning more about theatre practitioners. Use the internet to find out more information about the following theatre practitioners:

  • Constantin Stanislavski
  • Bertolt Brecht
  • Antonin Artaud
  • Steven Berkoff

Also, on YouTube, there are a number of videos about acting skills and how to improve them.

If you search for ‘acting’ or ‘acting skills’ or ‘acting lessons’ then you will find many more.

PPP Dance

To prepare for the Dance course, watching as much dance as you can is always useful. So You Think You Can Dance has some exceptional performances.

YouTube is an excellent resource for dance performances, so take some time to browse and find pieces like this.

Another thing that you can be doing is broadening your repertoire of dance moves. If you see a particular movement that you like in one of the pieces that you watch, then see if you can learn it. There is a lot of opportunity on the course for you to create your own dances and so having more moves and sequences already learned is like a painter having more colours in their palette.

Use the free time that you have in lockdown to develop your flexibility. Again, there are many useful videos available online, such as this one.

Remember to warm-up before you stretch. There’s a good technical warm-up routine here.

You can also prepare for the PPP Dance course by starting to research some of the choreographers that we study on the course. Go online and find out the background of these practitioners as well as what was their approach to creating dance:

  • Bob Fosse
  • Christopher Bruce
  • Akram Khan
  • Richard Alston
  • Matthew Bourne

PPP Musical Theatre

As a Musical Theatre performer, you will need to develop your skills in acting, singing and dance. Use the free time that you have in lockdown to develop your flexibility. Again, there are many useful videos available online, such as this one.

Remember to warm-up before you stretch. There’s a good technical warm-up routine here.

Also, on YouTube, there are a number of videos about acting skills and how to improve them, such as this one.

If you search for ‘acting’ or ‘acting skills’ or ‘acting lessons’ then you will find many more.

Similarly, have a look for videos that will help you to develop your technical singing skills, such as this one.

You can also prepare for the PPP Dance course by starting to research some of the choreographers. You can also prepare for the PPP Musical Theatre course by starting to research some of the practitioners that we study on the course:

  • Steven Berkoff
  • Constantin Stanislavski
  • Bob Fosse
  • Christopher Bruce

Along with significant figures in the development of Musical Theatre:

  • Stephen Sondheim
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein
  • George and Ira Gershwin
  • Jerome Kern

There are a lot of performances that have been made available during lockdown, so take the opportunity to watch as many of these as you can. There is a list of Broadway shows here.

You can also view our First Year PPP Musical Theatre students opening project of 2020 video below: