My first degree was in English, and on finishing I went to drama school. Having worked as a professional actor over many years as well as teaching acting skills and community drama I recently realised that I would like to study again. As I have two young children I felt it was necessary to wait until they were both at school, so it is with enormous pleasure that I handed them over to their teachers this September and was finally able to return to education myself.
Why I chose Leeds?
Quite simply the MA in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries got me the most excited of all the MA performance and theatre courses that I considered because it proposed to challenge my perspectives on my performance practice. As I felt my work had become stale I very much felt the need for re-assessing my approach. It was also an invitation to engage with the different cultural ideas and contexts that performance evolves from and relate them to my own.
Areas of research
I am very interested in performance composition and the lineage of practices and systems that can be drawn on when creating a performance. Since beginning the course I have developed an interest in researching the ways that live and recorded performance can be integrated through the use of technology and the opportunities this opens up to a solo performer.
My experience so far…
…..has been intensely stimulating and interesting. I have recently completed a module in Contemporary Performance Practices which shook up my approach to my practice substantially and connected me to new ideas and perspectives on my creative direction. In my final presentation for this module I compared through two simple performances the ways in which my practice has evolved since beginning the course and was very satisfied with the results. I have found the tutors to be very knowledgeable and supportive and have hugely enjoyed my first term of study.
At the moment I’m working on…
I am very excited about a proposal I am currently researching which explores the ways that cultural concepts of masculinity and femininity in the performance of established classical texts might be approached from a Jungian perspective through the use of cross gender acting. I am therefore also researching how to create an acting system that enables an actor to embody this new way of understanding masculinity and femininity separate from performing biological gender.
I am currently in the process of preparing a piece of devised performance for the Little Leeds Fringe in February. The Fringe is a great opportunity for me to try out ideas that I have conceived since starting the course and to put them into practice. It also provides me with access to professional resources and space. A definite bonus to being at the PCI.
To develop my own system to use as a director and consequently set up my own theatre company and make work. It is also very possible that I may wish to continue my studies. I feel at the moment that the challenges to my practice and the invitation to experiment that the course offers me will continue to shape my aspirations and my direction as I progress through my MA.