Through the Looking Glass: A week in the life of a Theatre student

Monday, Happy Days!

10:30 – 12:30: Lectures… It’s a chill start to the week in terms of timetable, with just two one-hour lectures. We get to choose an optional module in the first term of second year. It took me ages to decide but I finally settled on Design & Production – I’ve never done it before and wanted to challenge myself! (Also, what’s awesome about TFTV is that we get to start every half past the hour. That extra half an hour in bed makes a difference.)

13:30 – 15:30: Group Rehearsal… For our other module this term, Performance Styles and Traditions, we’re given a research question each week to apply to a play. We then use our findings to perform a short extract. This week, we’re looking at the presentation of gender in Cloud Nine by Caryl Churchill. So we’ve decided to have a cheeky rehearsal since we’ve all been here for lectures anyway.

I’d better crack on with some reading.

15:30 – 17:30: Independent study… It wouldn’t be uni without reading. So whilst I’m in the mood to work, it’s time to go off on my own to get my head around some of the week’s super academic stuff! I try and mix up where I study so don’t get bored (and don’t have the distraction of the TV) so I either go to the library or one of the campus venues. Glasshouse on Campus East is a personal favourite of mine.

Two for Tuesday

9:30 – 12:30: Workshop… It’s one of those infamous 9:30am starts I’m afraid. Once I’ve got a coffee in my hand it’s on the way to my Design & Production workshop with professional costume designer Anna Gooch. Design & Production is filled with lectures and workshops from professionals working in the industry – confirmation that there are definitely jobs after uni!

1:30 – 16:30: Workshop 2… It’s an action-packed day at TFTV today. A group lunch in the Ron Cooke Hub followed by a three-hour lighting design workshop. Frav and Rob, the TFTV techies, are on point, delivering an informative yet hilarious session, complete with gobos and gags alike.

19:00 – 20.30: YSTV (York Student Television) Meetings… There are so many societies and media committees to join at York: from Dungeons and Dragons to BAME, there really is a society for everyone. This year I decided that I’m really interested in making television, so I thought I’d give YSTV a go. Even in meetings, we don’t stop having a laugh and our weekly trips to the Courtyard (Bar on Campus West) after the meetings are not ones to miss.

Wednesday Already?

Afternoon: Day off… This term I have Wednesday’s off – yay! Not having timetabled classes means I can chill at home and get some more of my week’s reading done, complete with a cup of tea, of course.

19:30 – 22:00: Theatre trip… It’s time for a Design & Production visit to York Theatre Royal this evening to see Gecko’s Missing, complete with a Q&A after the show. I’m a massive fan of Gecko so I’m super excited to see them!

22:00 – 00:00: Fundraiser… I’m following up the (amazing) evening of theatre by attending a fundraiser for Central Hall Music Society’s production of Legally Blonde. It’s always good to support your fellow students, and there are always opportunities to get involved in fundraisers for all sorts of things, whatever you’re interested in.

Theatre Thursday

9:30 – 12:30: Workshop… Back in at 9:30am for a seminar/ workshop for Performance Styles and Traditions. This week we’re focusing on two different texts: one academic journal by Judith Butler and a little more light-hearted chapter written by Emer O’Toole. It’s always really interesting to see what everybody thinks about the reading. Sometimes they can be tough to follow but the debates that come out of our conversations are always useful.

The workshop portion of the session means showtime! Every group’s performance is different and it’s impressive to see what we’re capable of putting together in only a couple of rehearsals.

14:00 – 20:00: Filming… Shockingly, being part of YSTV means… you guessed it… making TV! Today I’ve got back to back recordings. The first means just helping with general odd jobs for a documentary. The second is a bit more full-on as I’m creating a VT for a show I’m producing, called Tea Time Chat. As well as producing, I’m also presenting it; but if you can’t try your hand at everything you want to at uni, where can you?

‘Ooh, fwends!’ Friday

Time for a break!

Afternoon: Break time…It’s been a long and busy week of work so far, so I think it’s time for a well-deserved break! My friends think so too, which means we’re going for a coffee in one of York’s cute independent coffee shops, before scouring the shops for a bargain. It’s always nice to spend some time taking in the beautiful city, and with just a short bus journey from uni to get there, it’s even better.

Evening: Karaoke… Friday night can only mean one thing – Karaoke at Glasshouse! One of the best things about doing Theatre is that we have quite a small cohort, so we’re all friends. After singing our hearts out at karaoke, it’s off to town for a night out.

Saturday Kitchen

12:00 – 21:00: Work… It’s no secret that living independently needs money, so if you’re like me and need a bit of extra cash to get you through the weeks then I have good news! There are tons of places in York that are always hiring, including the University. The Students’ Union bars offer great positions, even if you only want to work in term time.

Sunday Funday

2:00 – 3:00: Beginner ballet… The dance society offers loads of classes at a range of skill levels, from beginner contemporary to advanced jazz. I’ve always wanted to learn ballet and the beginner ballet classes, taught by friendly fellow students, are a great place to start. I’m not going to lie, I kind of just bumble around at the back – but it’s a laugh and a healthy way to end the week.

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Hayley

Hi! I’m Hayley and I’m a second year Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance student here at York. Having lived off-campus even from my first year, my university experience has been a little unconventional – but that hasn’t stopped me from making incredible friends, trying out societies and, of course, jumping headfirst into my degree!