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Drama St Mary’s Directors’ Festival Opens to Critical Acclaim

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Drama St Mary’s Directors’ Festival Opens to Critical Acclaim

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This week five MA Theatre Directing students from St Mary’s University, Twickenham have made their directing debuts at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, receiving critical acclaim.

Part of a Directors’ Festival at the theatre, productions have been named by leading industry paper The Stage as one of its critics’ top picks for the week.

With five plays, five directors, playing in repertoire over 10 days, the action-packed programme features: Albert’s Boy by James Graham, directed by Kate Campbell: Even Stillness Breathes Softly Against a Brick Wall by Brad Birch, directed by Hannah de Ville; The End of Hope by David Ireland, directed by Max Elton; Misterman by Enda Walsh, directed by Grace Vaughan: and Wasted by Kate Tempest, directed by Jamie Woods.

Albert's Boy by James Graham (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond)
Image: Albert's Boy by James Graham (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond)
Even Stillness Breathes Softly Against a Brick Wall by Brad Birch (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond)
Image: Even Stillness Breathes Softly Against a Brick Wall by Brad Birch (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond)
The End of Hope by David Ireland (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond)
Image: The End of Hope by David Ireland (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond)
Misterman by Enda Walsh (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond)
Image: Misterman by Enda Walsh (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond)
Wasted by Kate Tempest (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond)
Image: Wasted by Kate Tempest (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond)

Drama St Mary’s launched its Masters Programme, in collaboration with the Orange Tree Theatre, as the only one of its kind in the UK, being predominantly housed in a producing theatre, students spend a year exploring the art and techniques of theatre directing within the context of contemporary theatre making.

Patsy Gilbert, Academic Director for Drama at St Mary’s commented,

 “We are proud to be part of this new and exciting collaboration with Orange Tree Theatre and the delivery of this, our inaugural year. 

We’re delighted by the achievements of Kate, Grace, Max, Jamie and Hannah in the last week and throughout the programme and the team at Drama St Mary’s feels certain that they have successful futures as theatre directors ahead of them.”

Patsy Gilbert - Drama St Mary's
Image: Patsy Gilbert - Drama St Mary's

Patsy Gilbert also commented on Drama St Mary’s ongoing relationship with the theatre,

“We have had links with the Orange Tree Theatre for many years and a shared social purpose - involving community, young people and encouraging new talent.

“The success of this programme creates a future legacy for this relationship. Our directors have chosen vital and relevant works that give the audience a particular view on society and opportunities to explore, through theatre, different versions of our reality.”

We have had links with the Orange Tree Theatre for many years and a shared social purpose - involving community, young people and encouraging new talent. Patsy Gilbert
MA Theatre Directing - Gala Evening
Image: MA Theatre Directing - Gala Evening
MA Theatre Directing - Gala Evening
Image: MA Theatre Directing - Gala Evening

MA Theatre Directing is taught by both academics and theatre directors with the assistance of professional actors in the practical classes and is both academic and vocational. It aims to provide an advanced understanding of theatre production processes within a context of both contemporary theatre making and the dramatic tradition.

The programme is aimed both at graduates who wish to advance their understanding of theatre practice in order to develop their work to a professional standard and at theatre professionals who wish to formalise their experience with a course of study and a qualification.

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