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Open Door free audition scheme expands into the East Midlands and launches backstage offering

Participants in the Open Door scheme at the Pleasance Theatre. Photo: Helen Murray
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An organisation that helps young people from low-income backgrounds gain places at leading drama schools is to expand its offering to the East Midlands, its first scheme outside of London.

Up until now, Open Door has supported young people from London to secure drama school places, with a year-long programme of training and mentoring in preparation for drama school applications.

It will now roll this out into the East Midlands, with aspiring actors offered 15 hours of one-to-one sessions, lessons to help with singing auditions, free travel to any drama school outside of the region and seven free auditions at UK drama schools, including RADA and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

In addition, Open Door is teaming up with theatres including the Nottingham Playhouse, Curve in Leicester and Derby Theatre, to build a regional network that will work with it on the scheme.

Separately, Open Door is to launch Open Door Backstage, which will help people interested in backstage roles, such as set design and lighting.

On this scheme participants will benefit from free interviews at schools including RADA, alongside mentoring from industry leaders and free theatre trips.

Open Door founder David Mumeni said: “I’m really excited about us expanding to the East Midlands – a place, I believe, that has a wealth of talent but many barriers that stand in young people’s way. Open Door’s move into backstage and production is something we’re equally excited about. We have to make sure young people know there are jobs in the industry other than acting – skilled, creative jobs that you can make a living from, with high employment prospects.”

Open Door has Arts Council funding for the schemes, as well as money from private backers.

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