West Yorkshire to the West End
CAPA College (Creative and Performing Arts College) is one of the most exciting and innovative education providers in the North of England. Every year students from across Yorkshire and beyond flock to our corner of Wakefield to pursue their dreams of becoming the next Hollywood star, Oscar-winning filmmaker, director, choreographer, entrepreneur or creative.
Over two years of full-time study students (aged 16-19) achieve the equivalent of four A Levels, a portfolio packed with transferrable skills and all of the performance experience they need to progress to higher education and their chosen professional careers in Dance, Drama, Musical Theatre, Production Arts or Media.
With an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rating (Jan 2022), an alumnus in every major West End show, consistent 99% A*-C results, a ranking in the top 1% of all post-16 providers nationally for student progress, awards and accolades from the National Theatre, BBC, Sky TV and Arts Council England and almost 6 applicants for every place, CAPA College is a tour de force in Arts Education.
CAPA College started in the corner of a Wakefield secondary school. After a long and tempestuous journey (marked by closure, redundancy and rally in the Houses in the Parliament), the newly invigorated College opened as Wakefield’s first (and still only) Department for Education funded Free School within Enhance Academy Trust in September 2018.
CAPA College is the only non-fee-paying, specialist Creative and Performing Arts College of its kind in Yorkshire or the North East.
The Future of CAPA College
After renting temporary accommodation for the last four years, we begin an exciting new chapter in our history as we open the doors to our brand-new, purpose-built premises in the heart of Wakefield.
Located on Mulberry Way (opposite Wakefield Westgate train station), this state-of-the-art facility will be unprecedented in the North of England. Equipped with the latest technology, industry-standard equipment and the finest rehearsal and performance spaces, it will enable us to double our student intake (500 students over two year groups) and expand on our legacy of providing free-access, full-time Arts training and education.
The Gateway to Wakefield
CAPA College is much more than just a post-16 provider. Home to the incredible Mulberry Playhouse (a 150-seat theatre), a studio theatre, an outdoor amphitheatre, the eagerly anticipated Yorkshire Picture House (a bespoke arthouse cinema) and The Green Room (a public café/bar/restaurant), CAPA College will bring visitors from far and wide to socialise, celebrate and participate in the Arts.
With community classes and projects; touring companies; space hire for private and commercial use; as well as a jam-packed programme of live performances, festivals and special events; this building will become a new centre for performance and creativity in West Yorkshire.
With generous support from Enhance Academy Trust and the Department for Education, our building work is complete. We have an incredible flagship Arts centre with some amazing internal spaces. It is, however, an empty shell.
What makes CAPA College innovative is the quality of the education and outreach that we offer. We want to ensure that our students and participants have access to the BEST: the best teaching, the best equipment, the best technology and the best opportunities.
We are therefore seeking funds to equip the building with the specialist teaching equipment we need to truly become a beacon for Arts education.
In our temporary accommodation we adapted a small space, previously used as a dressing room, into ‘The Redbrick Studio’. With the aid of basic recording devices this enabled our students to record their own vocal arrangements to share on our social media channels. This was a primitive setup and, until now, we have been unable to develop this further.
With support from this campaign, we want to purchase the industry-standard equipment required to turn this into a professional operation. We would love to give our students the opportunity to showcase their skills as recording artists and vocalists, explore new creative industries through sound producing and recording and be in a position to support the community and local emerging artists.
In the wake of the pandemic, the move towards digital arts has become an integral part of the performance and creative industries and we think being able to offer access to a professional recording studio will futureproof CAPA College for years to come.
Sitting alongside 5 rehearsal studios for solo, ensemble singing and instrumental practice, the newly-equipped Redbrick Studio will:
- Inspire the next generation of recording artists
- Enable the recording and dissemination of professional tracks
- Support new and emerging artists
- Welcome professional recording artists
- Facilitate the creation of audition tapes, showreels and music videos
- Advance the study of music production
- Produce live broadcasts of Redbrick Studio sessions
- Be an invaluable resource for artistic communities in the North
The following equipment will provide the initial kit-out of The Redbrick Studio and enrich Wakefield’s growing cultural community at a pivotal point in the regeneration of the city. Should we surpass our target, we will be able to obtain more equipment with cutting-edge digital capabilities.
- Mac Studio computer - £3,999
- Lewitt LCT 1040 microphone with shock mount - £2,999
- Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 camera - £3,015
- Blackmagic URSE Studio viewfinder G2 - £1,305
We are incredibly proud of our alumni success. Last year we achieved 99% A*-C results with 99% of our students progressing to Higher Education institutions including Arts Educational School, Rambert School, LAMDA, Guildford School of Acting, The Place, LABAN, Urdang, Mountview, RADA and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Our graduates go on to notable careers in the industry from Hollywood actors to TV stars, West End performers, directors, screenwriters, leading lighting and sound engineers, musical directors and entrepreneurs.
CAPA College alumni Billy Bullivant, went on to become a Musical Director, Pianist, Arranger and Musician. Billy is currently Keys 1 and Cover Conductor for the Les Miserable UK & Ireland tour.
Reece McMahon graduated from CAPA College in 2014. Reece progressed on to the BA Hons Dance course at London Contemporary Dance School. Reece was appointed as an Assistant Producer at The Place, London before recently being announced as Producer at New Diorama Theatre.
Emily Mae Walker graduated from CAPA College in 2014. Emily then continued her training at Arts Educational School on the BA Hons Musical Theatre course. Emily successfully gained the role of one of the Dynamites and cover for Motormouth in the Hairspray UK Tour of 2017/2018. She was also cast in the title role of the new Pippi Longstocking musical alongside starring in City of Angels (West End) and Frozen (West End).
CAPA College alumni Kennedy Muntanga went on to graduate in Ballet and Contemporary Dance at the Rambert School in 2019. Kennedy is currently working with the Akram Khan Company but has also worked for companies such as Phoenix Dance Theatre, Humanhood, Robert Cohan, Michael Keegan-Dolan, Alesandra Seutin & Raman Schlemmer. He is now the Artistic Director of his own company, Kennedy Muntanga Dance Theatre.