Alice Hautvast, BA English Literature with Theatre Studies student

Alice Hautvast

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I moved to Leeds after graduating from sixth form in Dubai, where I attended an international school and completed the IB Diploma. I’ve lived abroad almost my whole life, and I’ve enjoyed experiencing a number of different cultures.   

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

Leeds is one of the few places that offers both English and Theatre as a single programme, and I was excited by the large number of different modules that were available. Additionally, I was intrigued by the prospect of taking discovery modules, as well as by the vast range of societies that I could partake in. 

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

I’ve always loved to read, and when I learned English, at age seven, books contributed a great deal. I could lose myself in a different world, and by experiencing the power of literature I became adamant that I wanted to further my knowledge of it by studying it at university. I love every aspect of theatre: whether it is as an audience member, an actor or a part of the production team, it is an art form that I don’t think I could live without.  

What aspects of the course do you enjoy the most?   

I enjoy the practical workshops the most, as they introduce me to new aspects of theatre each time and take me out of my comfort zone. Having the opportunity to work practically and having performance projects as a part of my assessment has been my favourite part of the course. 

Have you worked closely with a particular tutor or member of the University’s academic staff?

At the Workshop Theatre, Lee is the technician for lights and sound. I’ve worked with him on numerous projects, and his vast knowledge of all technical elements of performance is incredible, and has helped me to understand this aspect of theatre much more extensively. He’s great to work with and always ready to help, which creates an atmosphere of enthusiasm that helps to take each project to a new level. 

Are you involved in any activities outside of your studies?

There are two theatre societies at the University, both of which I’ve been a part of. With both of these, you have the opportunity to act, write, direct and produce, and there are shadow schemes that allow you to learn about the latter of these options. Over this last summer, I had the incredible experience of performing in one of the shows that went to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and this has been a highlight of my time at university. 

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

I’m not quite sure what I’ll be pursuing yet, but I’ve developed interests in possibly working in publishing or in theatre. I’ve learned so much at Leeds, both academically and beyond. The course equips you with a range of knowledge and skills, from essay writing and analysis to how to work well with others and overcoming unforeseen obstacles under pressure.  

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

For those who love both English and Theatre and can’t choose between the two, this course provides the perfect blend and allows you to explore your own interests within these fields of study. The opportunities both within the course and at the university are incredible, and taking advantage of these will let you have an incredible university experience.