Students on the BA Drama and Applied Theatre programme at St Mary's University, Twickenham have teamed up with Balance CIC to create a production based around the themes of Hopes, Dreams and Ambitions.
The production saw students and staff from the University’s drama school, and the University’s No Ordinary Society work with the Community Interest Company (Balance CIC) who aim to work with disabled and vulnerable people in the borough of Kingston, offering community activities and employment support.
During the three-month project, students collaborated with the members of Balance to create the material for a short play, which then worked together to direct and act in a performance involving both groups at the Drama St Mary's Theatre on its Strawberry Hill campus.
Academic Director Patsy Gilbert commented, "Drama St Mary's has strong roots in theatre as a tool for social change. Not only does working outside our University community create unique learning opportunities for our students, it also has a real transformative impact on the communities we work with."
"Not only does working outside our University community create unique learning opportunities for our students, it also has a real transformative impact on the communities we work with."
- Patsy Gilbert
“Last year, we also worked with Balance on a play centered on Anxiety. This year’s performance allowed us to explore a new theme which evoked a huge range of experiences and allowed the Balance and No Ordinary Society group explore how challenging it can be in a society obsessed with success and progression. The result is extremely ambitious theatrically - a variety of short scenes either taken verbatim from the groups’ accounts or inspired by them."
Balance is a not for profit Community Interest Company (CIC) based in South West London with more than ten years experience providing employment and support services to a range of disabled and vulnerable people.
Balance’s mission is to become a sustainable deliverer of high quality support to enable people to become less reliant on services and reach their potential.
St Mary’s, offers a variety of undergraduate programmes through its drama school, 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.
The University underpins its academic courses with a particular focus on technical skill and theatre as a tool for social change, all driven by a strong - and growing - team of experts in all aspects of theatre.
St Mary’s No Ordinary Society is an inclusive society celebrating the uniqueness and individuality of the St. Mary’s student population. The society aims to promote an awareness of disabilities, challenge stereotypes and remove any stigma associated with disability.