Mar 6 2013 By Jen Buchanan
Two people from Ayr have been picked to start a pioneering deaf theatre skills apprenticeship.
EJ Raymond, 32, and 18-year-old Ciaran Stewart are two of just three people who have been appointed to the first programme in the UK.
EJ, who is a former Ayr College student, explained: “This is very exciting and such a big challenge for me.
“I’m looking forward to the experiences ahead and building on my studies so far.”
And Ciaran, who is a former Belmont Academy and Ayr College student, added: “I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead of me.
“I’m excited by this opportunity and hopefully this apprenticeship will help deaf actors to have a career in the arts.”
The apprenticeship scheme, funded through Creative Scotland’s Talent Hub fund, will start in April and run for 16 months.
The three apprentices were selected from students enrolled in the deaf theatre skills course run by the Royal Conservatoire Scotland (RCS) and Solar Bear, a company that works to extend the opportunities and participation of deaf people in theatre.
The course is designed to offer formal routes into the field for deaf actors.
And the apprenticeship scheme will help lay the foundations for the UK’s first BA acting degree for deaf students, which will start in 2015 at the RCS.
Maggie Kinloch, vice-chair at RCS, is thrilled with the apprenticeship.
She said: “The RCS is delighted with this next development in its partnership with Solar Bear.
“The opportunity to offer our three apprentices a real-life experience in our conservatoire alongside all of our students will be hugely developmental for them.
“For us it is an essential opportunity to play our part in the development of the talent pool from within the deaf community.”