28 July 2020

Wakefield’s prestigious CAPA College will host its inaugural Performing and Creatives Arts festival with eight short films premiered nightly from 3-6 August 2020

With a global pandemic, nationwide lockdown and a new-found reliance on video calling, this academic year has been one of the most remarkable in CAPA College’s history. The Wakefield-based Creative and Performing Arts College shut its doors on Friday 20 March and moved to an exclusively online programme of study. Before long its 250-strong student body swapped ballet bars for breakfast bars, ensemble singing for zoom tutorials and drama warm ups for online devising workshops.

As always CAPA College staff and governors rose to the challenge to ensure that their talented young students were not disadvantaged in these uncertain times. From guest masterclasses with nationally and internationally renowned artists (including West End stars, Britain’s Got Talent champions and National Theatre directors) to live-streamed classes, interactive lessons and virtual tutorials, students were provided with ample opportunities to hone their skills and pick up the training, knowledge and experience they need to flourish in their chosen careers.

While graduating students accepted offers from such prestigious institutions as ArtsEd, Mountview, the Guildford School of Acting, Rambert, The Place and Laine Theatre Arts, CAPA College’s first year students brought a spectacular end to their year by working alongside renowned professional artists to devise, perform and shoot their own creative short films. Now, a selection of these films will be aired to the public for the very first time.

From 3-6 August CAPA College and Momentum (the college’s multi award-winning, in-house Performing and Creative Arts Company) will present their inaugural Digital Arts summer festival. Showcasing the extraordinary talents of CAPA College students, Digital Arts will present eight short films created over the last year which will premiere on the College’s YouTube channel over four consecutive nights from 7pm.

Students at CAPA College study across a broad spectrum of creative and performing arts and the College’s inaugural digital festival is as varied as its syllabus. Whether you’re a fan of dance, drama, musical theatre or spoken word, Digital Arts has plenty to delight.

On Monday 3 August The College, a satirical mockumentary about day-to-day life in a post 16 educational establishment, will be shown alongside Life In Isolation, a surreal and theatrical exploration of the hysteria surrounding lockdown which was choreographed by BBC Young Dancer finalist John-William Watson and generously funded by Wakefield Council as part of the Creative Challenge 2020.

Tuesday 4 August offers Pledge, a powerful short film which collates students’ creative responses to current debates about Black Lives Matter and race inequality, and Angel Face Devil Thoughts, an explosive celebration to Nineties youth club culture.

Wednesday 5 August introduces Dreaming Wide Awake, a devised musical set to the music of Scott Alan and The Bored Room, a dynamic piece of choreography which gives an insight in the ‘boredom’ endured during the age of Coronavirus which was funded by Wakefield Council as part of the Creative Challenge 2020.

Finally on Thursday 6 August viewers will be treated to Have Mercy, an astounding new and original version of Eryn Allen Kane’s hit song with stunning vocals, beautiful aesthetics and flawless movement and, Tonight The Streets Are Ours, a montage film that offers multiple perspectives on life in lockdown and was funded by Wakefield Council as part of the Creative Challenge 2020.

All of these works were devised, written, filmed, produced and edited by current CAPA College students alongside an extended creative team which included John-William Watson (Sadler’s Wells), Joe Hancock (National Theatre), Jonny Dixon (Coronation Street), Alex Bowen (Dusty the Musical) and Sean Selby (Fame).

A moment of triumph in a year that has been otherwise bleak for performing arts, Digital Arts is a spectacular celebration of uniqueness, creativity and young talent. Tune in from 3-6 August to support these phenomenal young students and get a glimpse of the UK’s next leading actors, singers, dancers, creatives, designers, directors and filmmakers.

All of the Digital Arts films will be aired on CAPA College’s YouTube channel (subscribe for full access) and a full programme with links to the premieres can be found here.