Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance is delighted to welcome the first accredited cohort of students onto the GRAEAE Ensemble training programme.

The 2020 ensemble have been announced and consists of Jamie Green, James Greenhalgh, Jamie Hale, Jennifer Gambles, Katie Watson, Sophie Tennison and Stephen Reeder.

From February 2020, the seven artists will further their professional development with training in both on and off stage roles. From May onwards they will be devising their showcase for public performances at Rose Bruford College in July 2020.

The Ensemble Programme is now in it’s third year and Graeae’s Creative Learning Director, Jodi-Alissa Bickerton is proud that the programme is paving the way for a new generation of theatre makers and future leaders:

‘Nothing yet exists like Ensemble. It is an utter dream to train a new generation of talent who in turn drive our ambition and learning as a company. With a talented alumni underpinning its success, Ensemble only gets stronger with every new cohort and growing artistic and social investment from drama schools.’

Graeae and Rose Bruford College have designed the Ensemble course into a 120 credit delivered across the 4 modules:

  • The Skills of the Theatre Maker
  • Approaches to Performance
  • Think, Share, Reflect
  • Platform (a showcase of the work developed over the course)

Clarie Middleton, Principal and Chief Executive of Rose Bruford College is proud to be collaborating with Graeae on the 2020 iteration of Ensemble:

‘We passionately believe that all talented young artists should have the possibility of high-quality accredited training to equip them to enter the theatre and performance industries. It is just not acceptable that young deaf and disabled artists experience barriers to drama training and we are delighted to be accrediting this unique Certificate of Higher Education (level 4) in Theatre Making and Leadership. We look forward to welcoming Ensemble 2020 to the Bruford campus.’

Graeae is a force of change in world-class theatre – breaking down barriers, challenging preconceptions and boldly placing Deaf and disabled artists centre stage. Artistically led by Rose bruford College Honorary Fellow Jenny Sealey, Graeae’s signature characteristic is the compelling creative integration of captioning, sign language and audio description, which engages brilliantly with both disabled and non-disabled audiences.

Championing accessibility and providing a platform for new generations of artists, Graeae leads the way in pioneering, trail-blazing theatre.

Graeae Patron, Mat Fraser said:

This exciting new phase strengthens the mission towards full inclusion across UK drama schools and theatrical training. Ensemble offers many of the required skills to young artists who have not previously accessed drama school training. It’s time for change, and Graeae once again, along with Rose Bruford College and partners, are leading the way.’

Ensemble 2020 is supported by Arts Council England, The Stage, The Backstage Trust and The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.

In addition to working with Rose Bruford College The Ensemble continues on its path of mutual learning, shared resources and an inclusive approach with other committed partners and drama schools; London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD) and Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

The Ensemble alumni have gone onto professional careers in theatre making with examples such as:

  • Jamal Ajala debuting as the first Deaf actor at the Royal Court Theatre, London in ear for eye by Debbie Tucker Green and won Best Actor for this role at The Stage Debut Awards 2019
  • Kellan Frankland having a leading role opposite Kathryn Hunter in The House of Bernarda Alba at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and was nominated for a Stage Debut Award 2017
  • Terri Donovan getting a part in Graeae’s Midwich Cuckoos, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January 2018
  • Hana Pascal Keegan being Assistant Director for Jellyfish (Bush Theatre, National Theatre), All My Sons (The Old Vic) and in spring 2020, will be Assistant Director for All of Us (National Theatre)
  • Dave Young aka The Shouting Mute touring his piece Grow Up and Just Love Chocolate