Leap towards professional theatre with Spectacle Arts

Musical, American Idiot, devised by the founders of Spectacle Arts. (s)
Musical, American Idiot, devised by the founders of Spectacle Arts. (s)

The founders of a new theatre company know all too well that rejection – blinding, like thickets of woodland – can weigh people down to a halt.

It’s why actors Jack Herbert, Katie Fry and Adam Calvert are cutting back the overgrowth of tradition to carve a new path for aspiring performers prevented from studying at drama school.


Spectacle Arts offers projects bridging the gap between amateur dramatics and the professionals, showing people of all ages how to enter the industry across various areas, from performance and tech to teaching.


“When I auditioned for drama school, I didn’t get in,” said Katie. “But there are other routes. Many of my professionally acting friends have learnt by experience, taking 10 years to learn the craft and discover the pitfalls.


“When you’re 18 and have been rejected from drama school, it feels like your whole world caves in. It’s usually nothing to do with the individual, however, as schools receive so many applications.


“When you’re 18, you don’t know that, so we help people to develop a thick skin.


“Those who don’t get in have to learn from the real world. There’s something organic about their process – it makes their performances rawer and more passionate.”


Given the transformative power of the arts, the company also tailors projects to those interested in theatre for personal reasons.


“The arts are like therapy. People without confidence find a home in theatre and a way to express themselves. This confidence then feeds back into their identity.”


And so, the true “spectacle” is the empowerment of people through creativity.


“We’re passionate about helping people get to where they want to be. It’s brilliant to see them doing something they love to do. We want to see the arts flourish in Burnley and bring them back into communities.”


To find out more, visit www.spectaclearts.org or find the Facebook page.