SDTN nominated students will travel to Rio

SDTN nominated students will travel to Rio as part of the British Council’s Backstage to the Future programme.

The Scottish Drama Training Network (SDTN) are proud to announce that four students, selected from a network of 17 colleges and higher education institutions in Scotland, will be traveling to Rio to participate in the British Council’s Backstage to the Future programme.

James Gaffney (HND Technical Theatre, Ayrshire College), Riona Gilliand (BA Production and Technology Management, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and Emma Corfield and Ben Davies-Coleman (HND Technical Theatre, Perth College) have been invited, through SDTN, to be Apprentice Theatre Technicians in the British Council’s Backstage to the Future programme as part of the Rio 2016 Olympics. The four students from Scotland will work with a group of technical theatre apprentices from Brazil, they will work for Walk the Plank Productions and Scottish Dance Theatre on two unique productions that will take place in Rio during August and September.

Last month, the group met for the first time at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Learning more about their upcoming trip, the students were excited about what opportunities the programme will bring. Emma said;

I’m really interested in working on big productions, like festivals and live music events, so this opportunity is perfect for me. I’ve always loved the thought of travelling and working all over the world too.’

James and Ben are hoping this will be a head start for their careers:

‘This is such unique opportunity, something that is rarely available to college students. I didn’t expect that when I started my course I would be doing an international event like this!’

SDTN submitted a training proposal for the apprenticeships as part of the British Council’s competitive tendering process for the Backstage to the Future programme. SDTN Director, Lucy Vaughan, said:

‘We are delighted to have had the opportunity to identify four Technical Theatre students from the Scottish Drama Training Network’s Colleges and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to join the British Council’s Backstage to the Future training programme at the Rio Olympics 2016. SDTN is an organisation that develops practice based drama training in Scotland with the 17 colleges and universities in the Network. Through their participation in the Backstage to the Future programme, these four students will not only build on their learning, while sharing their skills and knowledge with the Brazilian apprentices, but also have the opportunity to share their learning with other students in Scotland following the completion of the programme.’

To find out more about the programme visit

Photo credit: John Johnston

Photo credit: John Johnston

Pictured: Ben, Emma and James with Sarah MacShane (British Council), Alexis Johnson (Walk the Plank), Abigail McMillan (SDTN)  and Liam Sinclair (Scottish Dance Theatre).

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