The end of 2016 has brought with it a flurry of activity from Drama St Mary’s students. Third-year students have been working with experts across the industry as part of the Project 10 initiative, designed by Head of Drama for the University, Patsy Gilbert, whilst second-year students have completed their Autumn term with well-received performances on and off campus.
Patsy Gilbert commented, “We’ve rounded off 2016 in style, as our final year students prepare for successful careers in the industry, our second year Drama and Applied Theatre students have taken on the challenge of creating site-specific productions with a community outreach with tenacity and talent.
“That’s not to say we’re slowing down in 2017 – we’re building on these great projects with more second-year production work and the new year will see our third-year students producing Showcases in Central London venues for public and invited industry audiences in addition to a host of end of year productions.”
The second year production Once Upon a Time in Europe, looked at a charitable but eccentric millionairess, who returned to her hometown after a long absence and was an adaptation of Friedrich Durrenmatt's 'The Visit', devised by Drama & Physical Theatre students, directed byKasia Zaremba-Byrne in November.
In addition, Mind the Gap, which was performed in Replay Nightclub, Kingston-upon-Thames, explored being a young woman in society today and was based on the stories of real women. The show, produced by The Creative Brain and directed by Andy Currums, Director of the Kingston International Youth Arts Festival, was developed from interviews with women of all ages and from across the London area.
Project 10 has begun to introduce third-year students to ten contacts that could support them beyond graduation. Most recently, students have worked with Graeme Danby, Principal Bass for the English National Opera on singing and audition techniques. He commented: "Receptive, engaged and open to news ideas - these were great students to work with. They displayed an enthusiasm and focus for learning about the industry and of the professional world. Project 10 is something to be immensely proud of at Drama St Mary's and l look forward to seeing this grow and develop."
The University, which offers a variety of undergraduate programmes, including BA Acting and BA Technical Theatre, also offers a flagship MA Theatre Directing in collaboration with Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, unique to any institution in the UK. St Mary’s underpins its academic courses with a particular focus on technical skill, all driven by a strong - and growing - team of experts in all aspects of theatre.