The well-known power of drama to develop communication and interpersonal skills is being harnessed in a new initiative by an established local theatre school to help adults with additional needs in Hull and East Yorkshire. 
Northern Lights Drama Theatre School has announced that it will launch the new acting class next Monday 3 September with a free taster session at Hessle Town Hall from 6.00 – 7.00pm. 
“We have received a number of enquiries over the last year from adults with additional needs and their carers who are eager to find an acting class that is right for them,” explained Tilly Oakshott, Director of Northern Lights Drama Theatre School. “Drama is a powerful way to help develop confidence and is not only about acting skills but also brings many additional benefits to the hundreds of children and adults we now teach across the region.” 
Northern Lights Drama was established as an independent theatre school in 2013 by local actors Hannah Levy and Tilly Oakshott. Over the past five years they have built a trusted team who use their professional training and experience to provide high quality teaching and support to local talent across the region. 
The new class for adults (18+yrs) with additional needs will be delivered by professional actor Jessica Duffield who joined Northern Lights Drama in May this year to lead the theatre school’s acting classes for children and adults in Cottingham and Hessle. Jessica also has a breadth of experience working with children and adults with additional needs, delivering drama workshops in special schools in London, York, Hull and the East Riding. 
“Jessica is a valued member of the team” said Hannah Levy, Director of Northern Lights Drama Theatre School. “She is a very talented actor, writer and teacher who read Drama and French with Spanish at Hull University, trained professionally as an actor at Drama Studio London and then went on to gain her PGCE from the University of York. 
“When Jessica came on board as a teacher for Northern Lights Drama, we started to discuss the need and demand for an acting class for adults with additional needs in the local community and we are just thrilled to see our plans become a reality.” 
Within the new Monday evening session at Hessle Town Hall, pupils will be introduced to new skills and acting techniques in a safe environment that applauds all achievements and encourages play, expression and performance. Accompanying carers are also welcome to attend the classes to ensure the sessions are accessible to all. 
“Drama is a powerful tool that can ignite imagination and encourage independent thinking,” said Jessica. “I will lead a professional acting class that will allow pupils to make new friends, build self-confidence and ultimately have lots of fun! I am delighted Hannah and Tilly have introduced this new class to Northern Lights Drama; it reflects their awareness of how this will help adults with additional needs and the commitment of the theatre school to the local community.” 
The weekly acting classes for adults (18+yrs) with additional needs will run on a Monday evening 6.00 – 7.00pm at Hessle Town Hall, launching Monday 3rd September 2018. First class is FREE! To book please email or call 01482 641690.

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