I joined TRY theatre back in 2012, then left for a brief period and finally rejoined last year. I really enjoy acting at TRY theatre and I think it’s a great way to connect with friends, practice your English and do lots of fun activities. I feel like there are lots and lots of good times in front of me, and I can’t wait for next year to start. Peace out!
– Juraj Kolmanić
The Rijeka Youth Theatre is the first international drama school for children and youth in Croatia. Working in classes of 8-10 students, the focus is placed on each individual allowing them to discover and materialize their talents. Our curriculum encourages the development of creativity and confidence by exploring different modes of expression. The ability to publicly perform in English is an essential trait in modern society and a gateway to international careers.
With their identities not yet fully formed, children are in an excellent position to explore the manifold viewpoints on life that the dramatic art presents. Our approach purposefully guides students through a selection of roles and scenes catered for their individual talents and systematically develops their understanding of acting and its foundation—life. Typically the challenge with children is teaching that people do not do acting, rather, acting is presenting what other people do. Making sure that the young student grasps this is very rewarding for the teacher and an excellent indication of the student’s future success.
Beyond the superficial representation of acting- and the fame associated with actors- in media worldwide, acting is an unparalleled tool in developing children’s psychology and inducing a comprehensive understanding of life. Children are asked to not only see everyday situations from multiple perspectives, but to assume different roles and live them out. Being “in someone else’s skin,” if only for a little while, broadens a person’s understanding of various situations and positions thus encouraging empathy and open-mindedness as his or his individual personality develops.
In an increasingly unified world, English is the primary language of social interaction. Learning how to publicly perform in English at an early age empowers children to proactively step into the future and assume the role that is destined for them. It introduces practical, idiomatic English to all students, leading them to them feel confident when addressing international audiences. Additionally, this knowledge serves as a foundation for potential opportunities and careers around the world.
I have been a TRY student for 5 years. When I first joined it in 2010, pressured by my English teacher, I thought it would be a regular boring drama class with overly dramatic people forcing you to do something you feel uncomfortable with. I was very happy when I saw for myself that TRY is exactly the opposite: a fun after curricular activity with cool people doing something they enjoy.
About Our Process
As in any other profession, the most important thing for a young theatre professional is to get sound fundamental knowledge of the dramatic art.
Being an actor is a tough job. There are no machines, contraptions or technological inventions that can help you tackle a role or deliver a speech. The only thing an actor has is him/herself. The body, the voice, the mind. That is why it is extremely important to teach young actors the aspects of the dramatic art that make the difference between schooled actors and accidental actors. Our curriculum is thorough and comprehensive, focusing on three main categories:
Movement. Probably the subtlest part of an act, a performer’s movement can be the most natural or the most awkward element on the stage. From nervous pacing across the planks to the subtlest twitch of the eye, all movements need to be in tune with the play and perfectly logical considering the character’s state of mind. In order to achieve this, a young performer must be patient, focused and relaxed.
Body Control. Tom Cruise’s success with the trilogy Mission Impossible largely depended on his ability to move or stop his body with almost surgical precision and timeliness. Learning how to be in complete control of your bodily motions is a physical and mental process that can be trained through a series of relevant exercises.
Make-up, Costumes and Scenography. Getting ready for the show is sometimes more important than delivering the lines. Making sure that everybody and everything looks the part helps everybody to feel the part and have a great performance. Efficiently using make-up, wigs, costumes and the scene helps any production immensely and undeniably pushes the performers to act, move and speak in the desired way.
Diction. There is an old maxim that says: “It is not WHAT you say; it is HOW you say it”, and this is particularly true of acting. Learning how to read, pronounce and interpret written words is one of the key qualities that a young performer must assume, and it is also very useful for any other future career or task. Each word is beautiful, and best dramatists know how to string them into wonderful plays. It is an actor’s duty to do these words justice and deliver them beautifully.
Singing. Singing, rhythm and musicality are all an integral part of the dramatic art. Actors are of course not professional singers, but they all need to feel comfortable singing – however badly – if the script asks them to do so. Although not a key part of the course, all performers are asked to participate in informal exercises.
Articulation. English is a specific language, especially for non-native speakers. There are many words that come from various sources, and it is sometimes difficult to know exactly how to articulate them. Working in a dynamic, non-classroom environment brings English to an everyday level where all words are pronounced fully and fluently.
Understanding Texts and Characters. “Getting into the role” is the prerequisite for a successful performance, and in order for performers to “get into” their characters, they need to understand the role they are given. Looking for the best angle to approach a role and trying to get into someone else’s shoes and mind is the key to becoming a good actor who will be ready to assume a number of different roles.
Writing and Directing. All dramatic works begin with a pen and a piece of paper. Learning how to see things from multiple points of view, how to feel interpersonal and social dynamics, and developing an instinct for what people say or don’t say is just as valuable as interpreting and delivering it in the correct way. All participants are invited to develop their creativity and ideas by writing scenes of their own, then helping others to understand the meaning behind their work.
Improvisation. Not all theatre is scripted. Perhaps the most creative (and often most humorous) part of drama is improvisation – the celebration of the liveness and unpredictability of people on stage. Catching someone else’s drift and seeing where the atmosphere takes you can create powerful scenes and real drama, and we encourage young performers to develop their own style and art through non-scripted, instinctive art.
I’ve been a part of TRY theatre for five years now and I must say I enjoyed every second of it. The classes and the plays have undoubtedly made my growing up more fun and now I have a lot of memories about amazing experiences.
At first I saw it as a great opportunity to improve my English but I realized pretty soon that TRY also has something that made me fall absolutely in love with acting. Must be the friendly atmosphere and exciting scripts.
– Marina Bonov