West End Musical Theatre Training Program: My Experience
Courtney Widgerson participated in the West End Musical Theatre Training Program in the Summer of 2015.
A few weeks ago I got back from London, I was there for 3 weeks, participating in the West End Musical Theatre Training Program. Before leaving for this trip I was already excited because I had always wanted to go to London and experience what West End has to offer compared to Broadway. I am so glad that I got to go, it was one of the BEST experiences I have ever had (and I’ve done a lot of pretty cool things).
First thing is, if you have interests in theatre and want to learn something new and improve your skills, this program is for you. Why? Because you are surrounded by so many different people you can learn from. From the other participants to the teachers, there is no shortage of talent. Every person brings something different to the table that you can learn from, and the able to be versatile is a very good skill to have in theatre.
The classes were pretty awesome. We would have 2 classes in the morning, a lunch break (when almost everyone would sit and have lunch together), and then a workshop with a cast member from a West End show.
Just a few highlights from classes: The 3rd week we did a puppeteering workshop (not as easy as I thought it would be). Also the 3rd week we did a Fosse workshop. We did a workshop on one of the Saturdays where we performed a song for an agent, then the other Saturday we did an audition technique workshop. We did much much more, that’s just a tiny little glimpse.
We had some scheduled events that were a lot of fun. We went on the London Eye (so cool!!! And got some amazing pictures!)
a West End Haunted walking tour, got to see backstage and go on the Les Mis stage, and more. As part of what you pay for the program you get to see a show once a week (3 for me since I was there for 3 weeks). We saw Wicked (and did a workshop the 2 days before seeing the show so that was pretty awesome), The 39 Steps (a play), and Sunny Afternoon (the Olivier Best New Musical Award Winner). And besides those 3 shows I saw 6 others. Theatre is so much cheaper (despite the sucky exchange rate) then in New York I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to see the shows I wanted to see.
A few last words. If you do end up doing this program (or happen to be in London) go see a show at Shakespeare’s Globe (and stand, it’s worth it) and don’t wait till the last few days to go to the museums. This program was better than I had expected it to be and I would definitely recommend doing it. It doesn’t matter where you are with your training it will help and you will grow as an artist immensely. The person in London who runs the program (Rachel) is pretty awesome! I could not have imagined spending my summer (before heading off to college) any other way!!