Hello! How have your studies been going?! I hope you’re well and have been having a great Easter!
It’s almost the start of a new term for me, so I thought I’d share with you what I’ve got coming up in the next term, how I’ve prepared for it, and what else will be coming up after Summer! Hopefully it should give you more of an insight into what a Writing, Directing and Performance student gets up to – and what sorts of other opportunities there are in the Department!
I can’t believe I’m almost a third year; nearly only one year left at University before I’m sent out into the real world! It’s pretty scary, I know. I’d imagine most of you readers are getting ready to start revising for your AS and A2 exams. It can be pretty tough in the run up to and during those exams, as there’s a lot of pressure and stuff to do, and everything can get quite stressful and chaotic! But just do the best you can to take your time with your studies and, dare I say it, enjoy them, and before you know it, you’ll be waiting up all night watching UCAS to see if you’ve gotten your place at Uni! (Sounds incredibly fun, I know…it isn’t! But it’s all part of the experience…).
Anyway, this term is shaping up to be one of my most exciting yet, with loads of projects on the go and things to be doing at York. In just about a week, I’ll be back in York getting busy with the Verbatim Theatre Project, which is the first time that our group get to work together as a company to create a piece of theatre from the ground up in about four weeks. Our stimulus is ‘migration’ and over the Easter break, myself and the other members of the Writing Team, and other members of the company, have been going out to interview various people on the subject. When we get back to York shortly, we’ll be putting together everything we’ve gathered to come up with a script, which we’ll then devise from and rehearse with until we have a fully operational thirty minute piece of theatre, to be shown in the Black Box alongside the other two groups that make up our year. The third years have all been telling us that the Project is very stressful, but it’s one of the most exciting we do here, and it sets us up nicely for the Modern and Early Modern productions we’ll be doing in Third Year after the Summer!
As well as the Verbatim Theatre Project, we also have a module called Scriptwriting II, which expands on the scriptwriting skills we learnt in first year, so I’m looking forward to that too! This term is actually quite short, as York have an ‘Assessment Season’ policy that means no teaching can occur after Week Four. So once Verbatim is done, that’s pretty much it; we’ll have a self-reflective essay to hand in and it’s all done for another year!
However, many people like to stay in York for the rest of term to pursue other projects and extracurricular stuff. For instance, one of my lecturers is a Holocaust theatre researcher, and after searching for a script from the Terezín Ghetto for a number of years, it’s finally come to light. Now, with this new script in hand, she’s employed the assistance of another of my directing lecturers and a guest director from the USA to bring together a small group of students to perform in a production of the script, as well as devise new material based on the context the piece was written in. I’m one of the performers in this, too, so we’ll be getting together after Verbatim in Week Five or so to start rehearsing.
It’s a script written in the Ghetto by a young Jew, designed as a way of entertaining fellow inhabitants of the Ghetto under Nazi rule. Believe it or not, it’s actually a comedy, which seems a bit unbelievable at first when you consider the conditions it was written in, but it’s nothing to do with the Nazis, and is instead a comment on different political spectrums. It may not sound it, but it’s pretty funny, based on the traditional Commedia Dell’arte style of comedy, so it’ll be an exciting opportunity for us to learn some new performance skills and get more experience! The production will also be in the Black Box, and will be filmed for the Jewish Archive and screened in Leeds and abroad, too!
There’s lots of opportunities like this popping up throughout the year, and especially at summer, with all of this free time! The opportunities are there to be taken hold of, so if you’re keen to get lots more experience then you certainly won’t be short of chances to do so!
Alongside this, I’ll be at various Open Days and Interview Days in the Department over the next term, so if you’ve been reading my blogs for this project and see me milling about (probably giving a tour of the facilities in the Department) then come and say hello! I’m always keen to talk to prospective students about pretty much anything, so ask me any questions in person on an Open/Interview Day, or just pop something in the comments below. If there’s something you want to know in the next post, then post away and I’ll do my best to address it!
See you in the next post!