Traditionally, the six-week summer holiday has provided a chance for children and their families to take a break from the routine. With the closure of schools and the disruptions to everyday life, the six-week break is leaving many parents feeling concerned about a further lack of structure.
When schools closed, Razzamataz Theatre Schools responded with a well-considered and researched strategy to take all their classes online, with small groups enabling the students to interact with their teachers and other classmates. Not only have there been regular classes, there’s been a host of special events including masterclasses with performers from West End shows, talks given by Felicity French, casting director for Cameron Mackintosh and former students who are appearing in shows such as &Juliet as well as former Razzamataz Barnet student Tamara Smart who is a young actress with leading roles in many TV shows and films including Artemis Fowl, which is soon to be shown on Disney+.
In usual times, during the long six-week summer holiday, finding things to keep children entertained day in and day out is not easy. During the pandemic, finding things to keep children active and also interactive with others has been even more challenging, which is why Razzamataz has announced that schools throughout the UK will be offering summer holiday online classes.
“We have had so many testimonials from parents thanking us for continuing to provide classes, which has helped create a structure for family life,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “We have proved that through our small, interactive classes, we can keep the students having fun and maintain a high standard of performing arts training.”
There are almost 50 Razzamataz schools throughout the UK with summer school classes that will welcome both current and non-Razzamataz students. Some of the typical testimonials from parents include: “Razzamataz Online meant that my daughter was able to interact with her teachers she knows and loves. She was so motivated knowing that they were watching her movement and the fact she was able to ask questions about specific moves was really beneficial. The high Razzamataz standard was maintained throughout.”
During the summer schools, students between the ages of 4-18, will be split into small age appropriate groups to work on either a musical theatre or commercial piece to create a short presentation that is performed at the end of the course. With more and more casting agents looking for performers to create ‘self-tape auditions’ this is a great way of understanding and preparing for the changes in the industry.
As well as the performance side, students will also get to participate in some of the backstage aspects of theatre and the arts. This will include prop making and set and costume design, all created with everyday objects that can be found in the home.
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“Although COVID-19 has changed the way we do things, it doesn’t have to stop us from being creative and engaging young people in a new and exciting way,” explains Denise. “Of course, this is new to us all but the power of our network means that we can collaborate and find the best ways of continuing to provide exciting opportunities for students. We know that parents are also exhausted and although everyone’s situation is unique, many are still reaching out to find activities for their children.”
Even during the pandemic, Razzamataz continues to expand and has recently welcomed five new franchisee Principals who have just completed a week-long training conducted via Zoom. To understand more about the flexible nature of running a Razzamataz Theatre School and learn more about franchising in general, the company are running a number of online Discovery Dens where you can meet the Head Office team and hear from franchise Principals.