Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Performance and Cultural Industries

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Kate Barkley

Image of Kate Barkley.

Course: MA Applied Theatre and Intervention

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up near Brighton studying arts-related subjects through school. I love to travel and meet new people, and have visited places such as Nepal, Japan and Peru.

What made you want to apply to your MA course and to Leeds?

I studied BA Theatre and Performance at Leeds, so I was aware of the extensive contacts the University has with professional partners and external companies. This proved particularly useful during my Masters course and contributed to me securing a job before I graduated.

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

Before coming to university I had always been passionate about volunteering and getting involved with the community. Studying at Leeds enabled me to combine this with my passion for drama, allowing me to mix with a wide range of community groups while also developing my own skillset and knowledge base.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?

Several external companies visited the School to give taster sessions of their workshop techniques, which was invaluable for developing my skills and understanding the different ways in which these companies operate. Work placements also provided a fantastic way to immerse myself in the creative industries and practise my own methods in a professional setting.

What would you say about Leeds as a city?

With regard to the arts, Leeds is a fantastic city to be in. It has a brilliant music scene, as well as a variety of artistic and theatrical venues. Leeds also has fantastic nightlife, with a range of bars, pubs and clubs, and the beautiful architecture and exciting atmosphere create a buzz around the city. It’s such a great place to be I couldn’t imagine leaving!

What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?

The University has several different theatre spaces on campus, which is great for organising performances. The facilities are constantly developing and improving, especially the Library and the Students’ Union. It has a good balance between social and study spaces and is accessible for everyone.

What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?

There are an immense amount of societies to get involved with. I’ve been involved with Open Theatre, who produce plays, and the Yoga, Ballet, and Netball Societies. There is also Leeds RAG (Raise and Give), which offers a chance to raise money and take trips like climbing Kilimanjaro and cycling to Berlin.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

It’s a fabulous course for getting a thorough insight into the theory behind applied theatre. The University’s external partnerships also means it can offer opportunities to do placements and work experience during your studies.

What do you plan to do now you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?

Thanks to my Masters I have already started working for a company called Purple Patch Arts. We run programmes for adults with learning disabilities and use drama, music and visual arts as a vehicle to teach the curriculum. The skills and experience I have gained throughout both my degrees at Leeds really have shaped me as a person and set me up for this line of work. My confidence has also grown a huge amount since the beginning of my studies and I definitely have my tutors to thank for that!

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