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Stage One Youth is a multi-award winning amateur theatre group aimed at ages 14 - 21

Welcome... this latest edition of the NODA London electronic newsletter.

Stage One Youth...

...what motivates them?

Stage One Youth, based in Maidenhead, Berkshire, have been a recipient of the London Region’s Youngstars Award three times since they were founded in 2010 and were delighted to perform at the 2017 NODA London AGM. Catering for an age group between 14 and 21 they have staged shows such as Les Miserables, West Side Story and Miss Saigon, and this September they will be taking on Phantom Of The Opera!

So it's evident they don't shy away from a challenge but we want to know what motivates them to take on these huge challenges? Their co-founder, Julian Fox, told us this:

“The first and most important thing is we have a great circle of passionate adults who believe in the ethos that our rewards come from what the youth achieve. We don't need or look for personal glory. Watching the young people rise to challenges and regularly exceed their own expectations is a true delight and very rewarding experience. Who needs glory outside that? Of course then we have to be a bit crazy to want to develop this outside of busy careers and lives outside the theatre. Having acknowledged we secretly kind of thrive on crazy, we crack on!

“We work hard to direct, choreograph and conduct a youth show that strives to meet the standards that we would expect from an adult group. Part of this is backing them with the same production values in staging, lighting, sound and costume. The NODA awards are something we use to motivate the youth to set themselves high standards and the constructive observations we receive as part of NODA reports are always welcomed and used to help us improve.

“For those looking to progress to Drama Schools and University Courses we provide a valuable opportunity to develop their skills with other like minded young people and encourage them to learn further by joining the many local adult theatre groups in our area. However, whilst our method is through a stage production, we believe in providing skills that young people will benefit from in all walks of life:

Growing in confidence

Learning teamwork

Focus and discipline

Challenging themselves

Committing massive effort and then deservedly relishing their achievements.

“It's very easy to set goals that fall within a 'comfort zone' but we know through the work we do that young people haven't set those zones yet. We challenge them to expand the perceptions they have of their own limits, push past them and realise that they should re-think those limits continually.

“When it's all over they leave saying "Wow, we did that" and hopefully audiences leave saying "Wow, how did they do that?" We know how, it's simply because they can and have put in the required effort to prove it to themselves. We just steer them and help them believe.

“Will all of our young people grow to be stars of stage or screen?

Almost certainly no.

Will all of our young people grow to use what they've learnt, all the time, in whatever future career they choose?

Almost certainly yes.

“The members, past and present, call it their 'Stage One Family'. The fact that they have chosen to call it a 'family' we think says everything about what it means to them... and that means the world to us!

“What was the question? Oh yes, what motivates us?

Easy... They do!”

Julian Fox

Stage One Youth

Acticle from the summer 2017 NODA London electronic newsletter