A PRESTIGIOUS Wigan drama school is launching a new free online TV station.
The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) is putting the final touches to its new station before launching at the end of March.
ALRA:TV will feature short films, written, directed and acted out by its students – and is believed to be the first such project in the country.
Anthony Critchley, web services manager said: “As far as I know, no other drama school in the country has its own television station.
“This is quite a unique thing for us, and for the Wigan borough too.
“All the films that will be uploaded are acted out by all the students at ALRA – they have been written and directed by them, and any new ones that we film will be shot in Wigan.
“So it’s a chance to get Wigan on the map in terms of its acting ability, and it is also a little bit of promotion for the area.
“Casting agents and viewers who might not be from Wigan will be able to see the films and see what’s happening here.”
ALRA is based in Turner Street, Wigan, and offers degree level courses in the arts.
Anthony added: “Students will soon also start to add video blogs to the online TV channel.
“We have overseas students who attend the school, so it would be interesting for them to blog about their time in Wigan.
“This new channel will also show casting agents what is going on in the North.
“Many just go straight to London to look for actors, we can show them what we do here by just going online.
“It’s also another form of entertainment for the people of Wigan.”
The centre opened in 2010 – a second base for the successful acting school which was established in London by Sorrel Carson and Caryll Ziegler in 1979.
Shortly after opening, ALRA was nominated for a TMA Award for Special Achievement in Regional Theatre for its inception.