mtda was established during the COVID Lockdown by Claire Morley and Alex Dengate in 2020 as a means of bringing professional Masterclass experiences to a wide range of performers in training in the Midlands area. Professional performers, masters of their craft imparting their wisdom and knowledge to performers in training in an encouraging, supportive and safe environment.
mtda Masterclasses will help develop and train performers in the following areas:
mt = Musical Theatre; Masterclasses that enhance singing, dance and acting skills, their integration thus developing 'triple threat' performers in training.
d = Dance; Masterclasses to aid in the critical development of practical performance skills required for dancers in training to possess as they advance their careers.
a = Acting; Masterclasses to develop and explore within a wide range of styles, genres and techniques for actors in training, utilising all their physical and vocal skills.
The inspiration for MTDA came during lockdown. Suddenly in an overnight change of circumstances I, like many found myself not organising, not planning, not being creative and after a couple of weeks this became really alien to me! I continued to teach online but there was something missing?
I was also fully aware that theatre and live performances had stopped and over the weeks news that these would not restart again until 2021 was devastating. Having taught Performing Arts for 18 years at Stratford-upon-Avon College I knew there were lots of ex-students and alumni out there completely out of work and it all happened over night.
It was during a video call with Al that ideas began to flow, the video call wasn’t supposed to be about anything like this but there was definitely a light bulb moment and mtda was conceived!
The lockdown of 2020 would be something that shapes the next generation of young people and performers. As someone who has worked both as a professional and in education (within the Performing Arts sector) when the news broke about the lockdown I knew that the Arts was going to be hit hard, if not hardest of all the sectors in the UK economy.
The Arts pervade every area of our lives whether that be through Theatre, Dance, Music, Television, Netflix or even Graffiti at the train station. I felt something needed to be done to help keep the Arts alive at a time when you could be forgiven for perceiving it had almost been completely forgotten.
I too recall one evening on a video call with Morley where after the usual banter and discussion around work, life and frogs in the living room (!) we struck a chord, a resounding resolution that the very people we taught, encouraged and nurtured were in need of work at this difficult time, not to mention all those in training needing to continue to develop and enhance their skills - and so mtda came into the light!