- Course: BA Theatre and Performance
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I’m from a little seaside town on the east coast of Yorkshire so I obviously love fish and chips, walks on the beach and make a mean Yorkshire pudding! The Arts defines a large part of my personality; I’ve always prided myself on being an approachable and confident person who thrives on the energy of others. In general I’m a big musical theatre lover, I enjoying painting, drawing, music - anything creative!
What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?
When I arrived for my visit day I instantly knew I wanted to come to Leeds, I’d been to look round other universities but the course was never right and it was only when speaking to the staff and students in the School that I knew I had found what I had been looking for, something that would allow me to develop the practical work I enjoyed but integrated the theory to broaden my knowledge of the wider world of theatre.
What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?
I’m passionate about human connections, how performance allows us to understand and empathise with others by stepping into the mind of another, it has always fascinated me.
What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?
The vast array of modules available, the theatre and performance modules were far more expansive than I could have imagined, taking ones that covered everything from comedy to politics, covering subjects that have influenced my day to day thinking as well aiding my academic thinking all the way to my final year.
What has been the most surprising thing about coming to Leeds?
How much it has allowed me to grow not just in my academic abilities but as an all rounded person. As I am from Yorkshire, living only an hour or so away from Leeds I was surprised how different I felt than I did at home, I expected to feel relatively comfortable throughout my time at university but I faced just as many challenges as my fellow students that had come from miles and miles away. I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone but now I can confidently say that Leeds is somewhere I call home; it’s a vibrant, busy and beautiful city!
What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?
Leeds has a plethora of facilities for you to take advantage of, libraries, places to work and take part in activities. Arguably the most important being the Student Union is the hub of student life at Leeds and where I spend maybe too much of my time! With rooms you can book out upstairs for society commitments and lots of places to grab lunch and do work, it’s been somewhere that hold many memories of my time at Leeds. The School specifically is home to two brilliant theatre spaces that you get to work in throughout your degree, along with a technical team that can show you the ropes if you’re interested in anything from lighting, set or sound design. All you have to do is ask and it’s there at your fingertips!
What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?
As a theatre student it was important for me to be involved in productions outside of my degree in order to add to the practical work I was already doing, I’ve been involved with the Music Theatre society since my first year and I’m now a member of the committee, I’ve also been part of Theatre group productions in the past, both have truly enriched my experience at Leeds. These experiences were a massive part of my time at Leeds and where I met some of my closest friends, it’s so important to build these close connections to support you through your journey at university.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?
Throw yourself into everything! You only have this opportunity once, it’s an opportunity to explore new avenues of your life; meeting people from new places or trying something new via a society. I became a student ambassador and a course rep and that has greatly enriched my time as a student knowing I might have a lasting impact on my school.
What do you plan to do once you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?
I want to use the interpersonal skills I’ve gained throughout my degree to go on and do a masters in Psychotherapy and Counselling in order to become a qualified therapist, throughout my time as a theatre student the thing I’ve been drawn to is getting into the mind of an actor, this insight into the human psyche is one I now wish to turn into a career. I’ve only been able to reach this point due to the amazing support from the staff and the technical team in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries; whom have always led with confidence but allow you to develop confidence in your independent learning skills.
Often when you take up a degree in the arts it can seem such broad field of knowledge but for me that has been the beauty of it; I’ve been able to explore a subject I love with the flexibility to explore so many different avenues. Without this degree I wouldn’t be the person I am today and for that I am so grateful and would highly recommend it to any considering taking up Theatre and Performance or to study at Leeds, it will be a decision you won’t regret.