Young actors to get free training in Birmingham

Published: 10 September 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

Enabling young people to follow their dreams: Corey Weekes

Actors aged between 16 and 30 who are from a background of financial hardship are to get free classes at an actor training centre which is “the first of its kind in Birmingham”.

Vision Centre for Actors will take in a cohort of 32 actors and will “address the disparity in class within the theatre and television industry by providing young people with the tools they need but may not be able to afford to pursue a career in the arts”.

Students will have access to free auditions and workshops with industry professionals such as casting directors, agents and production company representatives. Auditions for the 2021–22 cohort will be held on Saturday 2, Sunday 3 and Tuesday 5 October at Birmingham Hippodrome.

Vision was founded by actor and writer Corey Weekes who said, "this was made possible only thanks to public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England. We’re so grateful as this year research has found that only 27% of actors come from a working-class background.

“It's time for young people who come from underprivileged backgrounds to be able to follow their dreams. Financial strain shouldn’t make anyone's aspirations feel unreachable and that's what we look to change here at Vision.”

Chris Sudworth, the Hippodrome’s director of artistic programme, commented, "working with Corey and his team gives us a way to make sure the Hippodrome is open for anyone who wants to push themselves forward and that money isn't a barrier to do that."