Natalia Izquierdo student of Theatre and Performance BA.

Natalia Izquierdo

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

My love and passion for theatre has been growing for the past 7 years, and it is the subject I enjoy studying the most. I learn best when working practically and hands-on, and theatre to me is all about practical exploration, and applying theory to practice.

I decided to study theatre at university because I am unsure of what I want to specialise in and think that taking this course will give me a lot of opportunities to practice and gain experience in the field. I chose to study this specific programme because of its wide range of options for study within theatre.

I am looking to explore and develop my skills in all areas of theatre; performing, managing, writing, directing, designing, working backstage, etc. In terms of theory there is also a variety of modules that specify on different fields of theatre. I really like the balance between theory and practice developed throughout the course, and that the modules allow for consistent collaboration (which most courses do not have).

The thing that interests me the most about the subject is the ability of theatre and performance to change people’s views, to move them, to have an emotional and physical impact on them. There are so many ways of performing nowadays, each with its unique relationship between audience and performer, that together with other elements can create a captivating experience for the audience.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy the most?

The aspects of my course that I enjoy the most are being introduced to the variety of perspectives available in creating and analysing a performance. This has been a key aspect explored throughout the course, building on it each week with a new idea.

Studying here has opened up my views to so many other possibilities that I had not considered before. I also have a chance to explore these ideas in practice or have critical discussions and experiences with classmates that further reinforce the real-life essence of performance.

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

The learning facilities are excellent at the University. There are some slight inconveniences, but these are only noticeable because everything else works coherently and impeccably. The learning facilities encourage learning and provide optimal comfort.

The rehearsals spaces available for practical exploration within my school allow us to work in an environment where we feel safe and have enough space to work, as well as the necessary equipment whenever we want to incorporate technology to our explorations. The lecture theatres and seminar rooms as also well equipped to facilitate multimedia projections and use of resources.

Tell us about your involvement in the Undergraduate Research Experience and your project.

I decided to apply for the Undergraduate Research Experience, despite not having done much research at university because I thought it would be a great opportunity to practice research and presentation skills. After I was told I got a slot to present, I was having a hard time consolidating the information I had and providing it to the audience in an engaging and meaningful manner.

My research topic was interactive performance, and how audience experiences are enhanced through the use of interactivity. I talked about the audience being actively engaged in the content, and their power to change the outcome of their performance, thereby forming their own experience. There were parts I left out of the presentation, and instead did an interactive activity with the audience, allowing them to engage on a personal level with the content. This was really effective as I received positive feedback from the audience of having been impacted by the activity.

What would you say to anyone waiting on their exam results in order to join the University in September?

Trust in yourself, and do not panic when the results are in. Consider what they mean, and what you really want to be doing in the next year. If you decide to come study at the University, then I wish you the best of luck in your degree!