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Guernsey's Premier Dance and Theatre school

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Introducing The AEC Theatre Project

Lots of you have been asking about the work that's underway in the Lesley Blondel studio, so we thought we'd give you a little update on what we're trying to achieve and how we're getting on.

What exactly are we trying to do?

Our plan is to develop the Lesley Blondel studio into a multi-purpose teaching and performance space that can be used for more than just regular lessons.

 

Why are we doing this?

The enhanced facilities will provide a huge range of benefits.

 

We will be able to provide more performance opportunities for students - hiring a venue is a very costly undertaking and has to be planned months, if not a year, in advance. Our new space will allow us to schedule more performances and at times that work best for the cast and teachers, rather than at the times the venue can offer.

 

We will also be able to rehearse and perform in the same space. This will mean the cast and production team won't have to contend with the logistics and upheaval of moving to a separate performance venue.

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Does this mean we won't be using other venues at all?

No, not at all. There will still be lots of occasions when our students will perform at either Beau Sejour, the Performing Arts Centre or off-island. Under these circumstances the new performance space will allow the pupils to rehearse in the same size space and be properly lit, thereby more closely simulating what they will experience when performing. This should make the transition to another venue less intimidating.

 

We will also continue to stage our Musical Theatre Summer School at the Performing Arts Centre. While it will be great having our own theatre space available to us, we still believe it's important for the students to gain experience and feel comfortable working in lots of difference performance environments.

 

We will however be using the Lesley Blondel studio theatre space for our Easter workshops. It proved to be a great home for our Chitty Chitty Bang Bang course this year and we feel it's ideal for smaller workshops like this. 

What will the space offer in terms of facilities?

Phase 1 will see the installation of a theatre lighting rig.

 

Phase 2 will include the addition of removable wing spaces, a proper proscenium arch and side lighting pods. Many of these elements will be removable so that the space can still be used for lessons and to allow us to change and reconfigure the stage area to suit the production.

 

We already have a great sound system in the studio, but we plan to invest in more sound equipment such as a proper live sound mixing desk, our own radiomics and dressing room monitor speakers.

 

We will also need to address our seating arrangements. This will involve the purchase of our own chairs and finding a removable raked seating solution so that everyone gets a great view of the performance.

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