Theatre and Performance students secure Berkofsky Arts Award

Third year Theatre and Performance students have been awarded the £2000 Berkofsky Arts Award for their Performance project ‘SHE’.

The award, available to final year undergraduate students studying within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures is just one of the awards funded by the generous legacy from the late Hugh Berkofsky. They are intended for the creation or dissemination of artwork that will benefit the development of a student’s career in painting, sculpture, drama (including photography or film that has a narrative content) or music. The successful application was submitted by finalist Lucy Johnson who worked initially on the project as a performer, writer and dramaturg. 

‘SHE’ explores the stories of inspiring women who forged their careers in the fields of engineering and science. It was supervised by Dr George Rodosthenous, Course leader of BA Theatre and Performance. In association with the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Electrifying Women project (led by Professor Graeme Gooday), SHE breaks down societal conventions through fascinating stories that exude femininity, intelligence and integrity. These tales of female empowerment highlight issues prevalent within the current cultural and political climate. 

The show was not only a sell-out at the University’s publicly licensed theatre, stage@leeds, but was also an educational project that has been shared within our own institution and to local secondary schools. The students were aiming to take their production of SHE to this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Since this has now cancelled, the award-winning students have been given permission to carry the funds over to next year. 

With ongoing support from the Electrifying Women project and funding from the Berkofsky Arts Award, they hope to continue the nationwide ambition to encourage women to pursue a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). 

An audience member commented: "Young girls who watch this show will learn that they too can venture into the world of science and engineering, knowing that there were powerful women who did so before them”. 

Watch a short trailer of SHE.

Watch the full performance of SHE.