Backstage to the Future is our flagship youth focused backstage skills training programme delivered for the first time in Brazil during the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games, giving UK and Brazilian participants the chance to access hands on training in the areas of sound, light, stage management and digital communications, with UK and Brazilian experts. Giving attendees the opportunity to work on live shows with a particular focus on disability, participants also had the chance to access digital mentoring, and learn technical English language for the sector. 

It was carried out in partnership with Celebra (the culture programme of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games), and our training partners Walk The Plank, a Salford-UK based arts organisation, and also formed a part of the legacy of the Transform Program.

Also supporting this innovative programme and the 30+ young people participating were four UK apprentices from Perth College UHI, Ayrshire College, and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (part of Scottish Drama Training Network) who worked in partnership with Brazilian trainers from IATEC, and with the producers of Graeae and Scottish Dance Theatre, who’s performances ‘The Garden’, and ‘Miann’ were invited to perform with us in Rio.

The programme enhances and complements Scene Change, our first technical skills project initiated in Brazil in 2014. We designed Backstage to the Future to meet the demands we discovered through our researchhighlighting skills gaps, and focusing on two key areas – the technical skills needed to create and uphold the work, from lighting and sound engineering to stage management, and the soft skills to help people to share their vision and collaborate, from communication skills and planning, to team working. Our goal is to inspire knowledge sharing, grow cultural networks, and build capacity in the events and performing arts infrastructure in country.

Backstage to the Future continues - this year it ran in the Caribbean (Colombia) in 2017, and there’ll be additional iterations coming up in 2018 in Jamaica & Colombia.

You can read more about the programme in our dual language booklet, or why not check out how the programme went through Storify.