Portrait of Lily craig

Lily Craig

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a theatre enthusiast who truly believes in the transformative powers of the arts. I’m originally from Manchester but moved here to study BA Theatre and Performance at the University of Leeds. I have a strong interest in using the arts within community settings to offer a safe context in which to explore a whole range of themes and ideas with the potential to bring about some form of social change.

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

During my undergraduate course I studied abroad for a year, which changed my perspective of my own interests and practice. Knowing the passion and knowledge on offer from the lecturers here at Leeds, and seeing that my Masters was the perfect course for me, there was no doubt in my mind about where I wanted to continue my studies.

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

I am passionate about how powerful the arts can be. During my Masters I undertook a four-month placement with an organisation that uses the arts to engage socially isolated or lonely elder adults across Leeds. During this time I met a range of older people who had never come into contact with the arts before and were amazed of the impact taking part had on their lives. After my placement was over I was taken on as a paid staff member, allowing me to continue working with the isolated elderly in an arts context.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?

I thoroughly enjoyed the practical sessions embedded within the course, which gave me a taster of a whole host of contexts that fall under the bracket of ‘Applied Theatre’. This allowed me to explore various approaches and techniques under the guidance of an experienced practitioner in a safe environment and alongside my fellow classmates.

What would you say about Leeds as a city?

Leeds is amazing – it is such a vibrant, current and versatile city. The University is only a short walk from the city centre, but still has a sense of community and the feel of a student hub. In relation to the arts, there is always something to see or be a part of; I have encountered so many people who have moved here to access the arts scene. I love Leeds so much that I have decided to stay here after finishing my studies!

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

The School is a fantastic place to study. Everyone who works in the department is passionate, interested, and dedicated to setting you up for life following your studies. The staff and lecturers believe in you, and instil in you the confidence to pursue your ambitions after graduating.

What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?

Leeds University Union is a great asset to the University, and did influence my decision to study at Leeds. It has such a buzz around it and is full of creative and friendly people who are proud to be students here. Naturally, I joined predominantly theatre-related societies, such as Open Theatre.

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

Just do it! You would be making a very wise decision, and I genuinely believe it will be the making of you.

What do you plan to do now 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 am currently working freelance as a theatre practitioner and building on connections that were made during my studies. Leeds has taught me to never give up and to accept that things don’t always come straight away; work hard and be passionate and success will come eventually.