Cara, a Theatre student at the University of Bolton and Octagon Theatre, shares her experience of the course
After a thorough investigation into the digital marketing world of the Octagon Theatre, I am contributing to promoting the core content of the theatre and how they are integral to the success of the BA Theatre course at the University of Bolton.
In 2015 I attended a workshop lead by David Thacker, the Associate Artistic Director of the Octagon, in which he discussed his process and practice as a director. I was in the process of trying to find courses that would facilitate my ambition of becoming a director and creating theatre.
After an insightful workshop, a new Theatre course was brought to my attention. After careful thought and consideration I applied, as Thacker’s approach to teaching theatre was something I believed I could benefit from.
During my studies I have had access to a range of tutors, lecturers and practitioners whose vast industry knowledge and experience has been highly valuable.
The rare partnership with the Octagon Theatre means I also have a unique privilege to observe the rehearsals of the main stage productions, as well as placement opportunities with the Theatre’s young companies.
I have been the Assistant Director for the past two shows with the National Youth Theatre Connections group; and I am so grateful for the warm welcome I have received, and the opportunity to collaborate with the young company and facilitators. My favourite experience in the rehearsals room has to be when I observed the musical rehearsals for The Winter Tale. I was very lucky to be able to witness a cast of actors and musicians collaborating together to create the free-spirited Bohemia. This was an incredibly joyful and awe-inspiring experience.
The tutors are encouraging and vital to building confidence among the students to produce and create our own theatre. For example, since starting the course I have also had the opportunity to be Assistant Director for Joyce Branagh.
I started the Theatre and Creative Arts Society, in which students across the School of the Arts at the University developed, directed and performed original writing for an evening of theatre last May. I have also had the privilege of directing an Opera for a new Bolton based company, Outreach Opera.
I was recently encouraged and supported through the Octagon’s Reveal festival, as I am directing some Pop-up Opera with Outreach Opera. The course also offers the opportunity to experience a variety of roles within the theatre so that students have ability to develop their career focus throughout the duration of the course.
One of the benefits of having a regional producing theatre so involved in the progression of your course and studies, is that their mission and teaching inspires your development as a student and a young individual.
I am not just influenced by an educational institution, I am also enthused by an organisation that strives to support local talent and strengthen a community
As a student under the Octagon’s guidance, I strive to be the best I can be, and share opportunities to create and make theatre with equally passionate communities of people. I consider myself very lucky to be able to share these experiences with the amazing people have met on my course, and secure relationships with some of the kindest and talented people.