Last month, Stagecoach Performing Arts held its first Education Advisory Panel at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in Peckham, London. The in-person panel comprised of Stagecoach Head Office representatives and those from the performing arts and education worlds. Its aim was to spark a conversation and share ideas to ensure Stagecoach and the industry as a whole maintain a visionary approach to providing creative opportunities for young people of all backgrounds.
Chase Demmers, Educational Partnerships and Programme Development Manager at Stagecoach, was one of the members from across the creative sector who joined the panel.
“We are always keen to stay relevant and inclusive, so we wanted to look at our education framework to ensure we are keeping up with industry demand in terms of opportunities for our students and their skills development,” said Chase.
Joining Chase on the panel was teacher and West End performer Colin Charles, performing arts business consultant Tomorr Kokona, producer, writer and actor Nina Kristofferson, producers Ben Johnson and Jak O’Kody and principal of Mountview Sally Ann Gritton.
“The aim was to find areas for development and if there were things we as a business were not addressing,” continued Chase. “We felt it was important to hear what people think of our educational framework from the outside looking in. We received fantastic feedback and suggestions for celebrating our inclusivity as a brand.”
Stagecoach hopes that this panel will be the first of many to ensure that the educational framework they pride themselves on continues to be constructively reviewed by professionals in the industry from outside of the business.
“This was our first panel, but we are looking to come together every six months as we really value the guidance of the panellists to keep us moving in the right direction,” explained Chase. “We are almost 35 years old as a business and have always gone from strength to strength. As a market leader, we recognise how important it is to be current and inclusive, and it’s refreshing to be challenged and hear the point of view of others in the industry.”