Preston College’s ATA Learners to Star Exclusively in New Production at The Dukes Theatre

This year, our talented ATA (Actors Training Academy) learners are set to take the stage in an
exclusive production at The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster in a piece called “THE SCIENCE OF SHRINKING
STUDENTS,” a piece of new writing, to be shown for the first time this April, with our learners at the
forefront of the pieces development and debut. In this imaginative piece, a school resorts to
shrinking its students to accommodate the current cost of living rises, providing a unique and
engaging narrative aimed at primary school-age children.

Following the success of the College’s previous productions such as The 39 Steps and Jekyll and
Hyde, The Dukes Theatre representatives were captivated by the calibre of our ATA learners and the
ethos of their training programme. Impressed by their talent and dedication, the writer, involved in
The Dukes festival, approached the College with the opportunity to cast this show exclusively with
ATA learners.

John-Mark Reid, Lead Lecturer of Acting for Stage and Screen at Preston College says: “Auditions
were held last Friday with the intention of selecting a cast of four. However, the exceptional quality
of the auditions prompted the Writer & Director to expand the cast to five, as they were unable to
separate the candidates in terms of talent. This decision reflects the commitment of The Dukes to
create opportunities to nurture emerging talent and provide opportunities for young actors.”

During the Easter Holidays and the week following, these five learners will have the invaluable
experience of working as professionals. They will collaborate directly with the project playwright,
perform in a prestigious venue, and have the opportunity to showcase their talents to a paying
public audience. Adding to the excitement, the learners will be under the direction of Lucas Button,
a rising star whose recent projects include acting alongside Tom Hanks in Apple TV’s Masters of the
Air, directed by Steven Spielberg.

John-Mark adds: “ATA is so proud of these learners as they embark on this exciting journey. We wish
them the very best of luck in what I’m sure will be something to remember!”
The showcase of show extracts, including “THE SCIENCE OF SHRINKING STUDENTS,” will take place in
Lancaster on Friday, 19 April.


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