While studying, I have taken part in a wide variety of industry opportunities for theatre at York.
These have included:
- Seeing lots of theatrical performances
- Masterclasses with industry professionals
- Watching guest speakers
- Extracurricular workshops and talks
Seeing theatrical performances
Often, if a production relates to our studies, the course will hold a subsidised trip to see it. These are a great way to see how professional productions interpret a theme you’re studying. They’re also great fun!
In my first few weeks at university, we were taken to see Wuthering Heights at the York Theatre Royal. It was an amazing and innovative production. The icing on the cake was attending a Q&A with Emma Rice, the director, after the performance. This gave us an invaluable insight into Rice’s directorial and group devising method. I’ve since been able to apply ideas from this to my own work.
We were also taken to see Bluebelle by Theatre Re at The Lowry in Salford. This was particularly exciting as our very own Dr Katherine Graham designed the lighting! Again, we were treated to a Q&A with the cast and creatives of Theatre Re after the performance. This allowed us to gain further knowledge of the company’s intentions and processes behind the production.
We also have professional productions come in to perform in the course. Earlier this year, Holly Beasley-Garrigan performed her play Opal Fruits in the Black Box Theatre on campus. This was a great opportunity to see a performance on campus, and have a relaxed Q&A with the performer.
This is just a selection of the fantastic theatre that I have seen as a part of my course. But there is always more! York has many theatres with a variety of different types of productions, so you can always find something interesting to go and see outside of your course. I have!
Masterclasses with industry professionals
Relevant masterclasses with industry professionals are often incorporated into our teaching sessions, allowing us to see how the theory and practice we are learning about in our workshops can be used within a professional setting.
After seeing Theatre Re’s Bluebelle, Director Guillaume Pigé came in to offer a masterclass. This taught us how the production we had seen had been created, as well as providing us with a new range of techniques that we could apply to our own devising work. It also allowed us to experience what it is like in a professional rehearsal room, working with a practising director.
In the Theatre Design and Production module, I have also had the opportunity to attend workshops with a wide variety of professionals working in different areas of the industry. From set designers and costume designers, to sound designers and producers. These were incredibly helpful in learning the processes of professionals within the theatre industry. I also found these workshops to be very inspirational, as I was able to more fully understand the demands of different roles and envisage myself doing those jobs after I graduate.
We have also had a variety of guest speakers give lectures which, although less practical than the masterclasses, give us a great deal of insight and inspiration into how to be a practising theatre practitioner.
These guest masterclasses and lectures are also amazing networking opportunities, allowing you to meet and chat with industry professionals!
Extracurricular workshops and talks
The course offers a huge variety of workshops and talks by industry professionals for us to take part in outside of our studies! These have included workshops with performers, directors, writers and much more, as well as talks on topics like diversification and decolonisation with a panel of fascinating industry professionals of different backgrounds, to offer their insights on the industry as a whole.
The course is also always open to hearing suggestions as to the types of guest speakers we would like to hear from, so it is great to have a say in the types of industry opportunities it engages with.
There are always industry opportunities for Theatre you can get involved in, either within the course, the wider University or in York as a whole, so don’t hesitate to take part!