Where it all began...
The Viva Youth Theatre (originally founded in 1997) was the catalyst for the whole Viva Arts and Community Group. It was the brainchild of Dan Schumann from Soham, back then a 16-year-old drama student who went on to study at The Central School of Speech and Drama in London.
Having been inspired by theatre himself Dan felt there was the need for more opportunities for people to take part in the arts, regardless of their situation, abilities or circumstances – and so started Viva to give more people that chance.
From a small production of ‘Bugsy Malone’, staged in Soham Village College back in 1997, with a cast and crew of just 50, Viva has grown now tackling huge productions to audiences of thousands. For the last 15 years Viva has been a regular producer for The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in 2012 were lucky enough to perform at the Playgroup Theatre in New York City! Yes the BIG APPLE! The group worked with professional choreographers, voice and acting coaches to help polish and shape the musical before taking to the broadway stage! Viva is always finding new ways to push their members and flying to New York City was a once in a life time opportunity that could not be missed!
The Youth Theatre welcomes young people from age 5 to 25 from Soham and the surrounding area and our Theatre Company welcomes anyone aged 18 upwards. Theatre experience is not necessary, just commitment and drive to put on a great show. Viva aims to encourage people in all areas of theatre – not just on stage but in set and costume design, lighting and sound, choreography and direction.
Viva usually auditions for between five and seven productions a year.
Students of the youth theatre and members of our theatre company have also been lucky enough to benefit from training and master classes from some of the West End’s finest actors, directors and choreographers; so it’s no surprise a Viva show is a show of the highest quality.