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performance (16)

Make sure you vote. Who you choose, is up to you and if you’re not sure who to vote for, at least find out which political parties support the arts. We want more people being given the opportunity to shout the words of Shakespeare from the banks of the Thames.
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Our BA (honours) degree in Performance for Stage and Screen at Sheffield Hallam University has scored an impressive 100% for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) for the second year running!

This year, the course, which provides undergraduate training in a broad range of acting and performance skills, also scored 100% in the NSS for teaching. These excellent results put the course in the top ten in the University for overall student satisfaction. When you consider that Sheffield Hallam has just been awarded University of the Year for Teaching Quality in the Times and Sunday Times' Good University Guide 2020, it's clear that this is a great time to be joining us. 

Our exciting performer training provision is based in our new studio theatre facilities, the Performance Lab, on Arundel Gate in the city centre. Students study a range of practical and theoretical modules, including Performance for the Stage, International Actor Training, Acting for the Screen, and Broadcast Performance.

"I learnt such a vast pool of skills, tailored by a huge range of practitioners, all of which I have now brought together, cutting and pasting the best bits from every single one to create the method I approach projects with today. It’s something that is continuously evolving… I’m really happy with everything I achieved whilst training at SHU Performance, I feel that I took every opportunity by the horns and I wouldn’t change a thing.” Amy Blake, recent graduate and professional actor.

In recent years, Stage and Screen students have performed at the Venice Biennale, and in Paris and Berlin as part of the major international arts project Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. For two years running our level five students have travelled to Czech Republic for the Prague Fringe Festival. And they’ve been really busy here in Sheffield too. In the Autumn of 2018 students from all years of the degree performed in a brand-new play Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein by the award-winning playwright Hattie Naylor as part of the Off the Shelf Festival of Words. And a group of final year students took part in TREEFXXXERS by the international performance company Doppelgangster in response to the Sheffield street tree controversy.

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“We want to provide young people in Sheffield and the north of England with an alternative to the London universities and drama schools. We passionately believe in the value of the theatre and performance to make change, and we’re working hard to produce graduates who can contribute in a meaningful way to their communities as well as the creative industries here in the north and elsewhere.”– Ashley Barnes, Head of Stage and Screen.

The significant contribution that the course makes to the development of its students – from entry qualifications to final award - is evidenced by its rating as joint 2nd in the UK for ‘value added’ in The Guardian’s university league table for drama and dance 2019. This 'value added' is evidenced by the diverse range of careers that our students enter into upon graduation. Many are working full time as professional actors, other graduates have set up their own film and theatre companies, others have trained as teachers, while some are even working in journalism.

"The course is so broad and varied so what I was doing, it never felt "wrong.” My career path still felt 100% valid, even though I was studying a performance degree. If anything, it made me care more, it made empathise with people in a way that I might not have been able to had I studied something else”.Elizabeth Pennington, recent graduate and journalist.

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For those who want to train as actors and performers this course offers a great option to study in Sheffield and be part of the vibrant theatre and arts scene in the city. This autumn students and graduates are participating in Off the Shelf again with September in the Rain by John Godber and Choke Me by Doppelgangster. Visit the Off the Shelf website for details and show times. 

Performance for Stage and Screen at Sheffield Hallam University is looking forward to meeting its new intake this September. Applications for September 2020 are open! For more information about the course visit https://www.shuperformance.co.uk.

Photograph 1: Level 6 students at the Performance Lab, image by Becky Payne.

Photograph 2: TREEFXXXERS by Doppelgangster, image by Becky Payne.

Photograph 3: Mary Shelley and Her Frankenstein by Hattie Naylor, image by Becky Payne.

Do you want to be a performer for stage & screen?

Find out about opportunities at SHU Performance.

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Doppelgangster's "COLD WAR" SHU Review

 
"COLD WAR"; a brilliantly fitting title for the invigorating experimental piece, Doppelgangster's newest eco-aware performance project.
 
If you don't know Doppelgangster, you are surely out of the performance art circuit. Doppelgangster is a two man force of nature compromising of the commanding and zealous Tobias Manderson-Galvin (a native Aussie) and Dr Tom Payne, a witty and charismatic man with a voice as soft as the ocean's waves.
 
The pair have a lot of great chemistry, something you can tell as soon as you see them interact. They even each other out perfectly and these guys know that climate change is no joke. The aim of their projects... to confront and challenge the world's environmental issues, and to quote them: "[...] the show is like whatever the opposite of a car chase is."
 
The performance immediately radiated with seriousness as I stepped down into the dark performance space and reached out to touch my seat on the first row. The only light coming from the corner of the room where both of the performers stood, warmly lit with hues of green and pink lights, facing us as we entered. It wasn't an invasive feeling, more of an awareness, they were patiently waiting, as were we. Was this a metaphor in itself? You come to question everything an artist does in an experimental performance piece.
 
I picked up on a lot of references that both of the cultivated performers mentioned and I think that was the most important part of the performance; to know exactly what they were talking about, understanding each individual thought on it and changing the meaning of what we once thought, challenging our conceptions. References such as conspiracy theories ( a nod to the farce in one of their written songs; "Titanic was an inside job"), ISIS beheading videos, starving polar bears, etc. Things that myself and other children of the internet would immediately click with knowing. One person I spoke to said the songs spoke to him as a Brechtian-style influence.
 
A particular moment that stuck in my mind was from Dr Payne in which he mentioned that a beheading video he saw online stuck with him because he and the victim both shared similarities aesthetically. I think this is a very important point. Do we only truly care about the tragedies and issues that we can relate to? I'm thinking now that this may have been a hidden reference to the recent Notre Dame incident where French billionaires pledged their fortunes to save the historically rich Western architecture. Yet, where is this generosity and kindness with many other horrific tragedies happening all around the world?
 
Their stream of consciousness dialogue with quick-fire exchanges keep audiences attentions on their message. When one performer went on to mention something reflecting a very interesting idea he was interrupted by the other's memory of a personal story, symbolising that right now in our political climate it's hard to know who to listen to.
 
We were handed a piece of ice to hold, many would think a symbol of the melting ice caps. I noticed a lot of people put their ice on the floor, something I knew would be a rookie error if you wanted to truly understand and be open to the performance's communication that climate change is everyone's responsibility. As it numbed my hands and my jeans began to soak, I thought: "These guys are geniuses".
 
I thought they perfectly handled the audience, alienating with structured bits of live and originally written/adapted song with on stage costume changes. Yet, made sure that they were never being intrusive or patronising, instead bringing together the contemporary issues and making them, in a lot of ways, more relatable. Gently saying we should be reminding ourselves of said issues and firmly reinforcing that we need to take responsibility with tactics like giving us cubes of ice to hold.
 
To say I don't see a lot of this style of theatre, I really enjoyed what I saw and would like to see more in the future. The musical score was fabulous and complimented the piece so well. (Thanks Jules Pascoe!) And I cannot wait to hear the reviews when they take this to the Prague Fringe Festival in late May 2019. Best of luck to you!
 
Media enquiries: Tom Payne on mobile 07875 708 575 or email tom@doppelgangster.com
Booking: doppelgangster.com 
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1 MONTH TO GO!

1 MONTH TO GO!

 

We are extremely excited about our OFFICIAL poster for our upcoming show THE TEMPEST, which starts a month TODAY! 

Our cast have been working hard in rehearsals to create a stunning performance!

 

SHOW DATES:

Monday 29th April - Friday 3rd May

 

LOCATION:

Performance Lab, Sheffield Hallam University

 

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-tempest-tickets-55658251328

 

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HAPPY WORLD THEATRE DAY!

Happy #WorldTheatreDay!

THE TEMPEST opens in a month and 2 days so get your tickets to celebrate such a wonderful day!

Theatre may seem like a doss subject, but it is very important to have in the world. It inspires audiences and entertains you when you're bored. Theatre is everywhere, changing lives as we speak.

DON'T FORGET TO BUY YOUR TICKETS!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-tempest-tickets-55978924470

 

GREEN PRODUCTIONS

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Further details and apply

Find out more about SHU Performance

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Elizabeth Pennington is a twenty-two year-old journalist in the early stages of her career. Her work focuses mainly on conflict, refugee and human rights issues. SHU Performance caught up with Elizabeth to find out what she has been upto since graduating with a degree in Performance for Stage and Screen in 2018.

SHU Performance: Hello Elizabeth! Before we talk about your work, tell our readers a bit about yourself.

Elizabeth: Hi, I love to learn new languages. I speak Spanish pretty well already and I am learning, or trying to learn, Arabic and improve my French some more. I love film and theatre. Travel. Yoga. Toast... It's really the simple things in life that keep me happy.

SHU Performance: What is it that you are doing for work?

Elizabeth: I'm working on a voluntary basis as the Communications Manager for a newly established Non-Profit Organisation (NGO) called YTT Association. It's based on an art/research project called Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow (YTT) by Paris-based Irish artist Bryan McCormack. Bryan invites refugees living in camps across Europe and Africa to draw their past, present and future lives. The drawings were exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2017.

Refugee Drawing Title: Yesterday. By a 22 years old Syrian Woman. Currently living in Samos Refugee Camp, Samos Island, Greece.

SHU Performance: You’ve been involved in the project for some time now. How did that come about?

Elizabeth: It started when I was at Sheffield Hallam University in 2016. I got involved in some performances and installation pieces. I also did some work as a photographer. Now I’m part of a small team that travels internationally to the camps and centres in places like Serbia and Morocco. I feel very passionately that if we weren't there, then the people we meet might never have their voices heard or their stories told.

SHU Performance: Are you doing anything else?

Elizabeth: Other than YTT, I'm a contributing writer to Nations Media in the US, which is a wonderful organisation and the team there have really championed my passion for profiling causes in the world that aren't often discussed.

SHU Performance: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced since leaving SHU Performance?

Elizabeth: It can be difficult to really know how what you want to do for a career, translates into "a job." I'm still learning that and I'm still exploring what that means and how my skills and interests can fit together. But I can safely say that through working on the YTT project, I have found my calling.

SHU Performance: What advice would you give to other SHU Performance students who are about to graduate?

Elizabeth: We all have our own path. Regardless of whether you want to be an actor, a director, a film-maker, a teacher or a journalist. Or even if you aren't quite sure, own it! Enjoy the process of "figuring it all out" because while it is scary at times, it's so exciting to explore different options.

SHU Performance: That’s good advice. The work you are doing involves working with some pretty high profile partners and projects. How do you manage to make those relationships?

Elizabeth: Networking is really important, regardless of the industry you want to go into. In my final year of study, we had placements and because I wanted to be a journalist, I networked and established a contact with the Senior Foreign Correspondent at ABC News in London. There, I had a two-week internship which was insanely amazing and inspiring. Then, six weeks later, I found myself working as an assistant for ABC News at the Royal Wedding. I was suddenly living in Windsor! You NEVER know what opportunities could come from reaching out and making contact.

SHU Performance: What's your best memory from your time at SHU?

Elizabeth: So many! The course is so varied - it encourages you to explore new things and think outside the box. In my second year, I studied a brilliant module called Applied Theatre. It made us think about using theatre for a social cause. My group created a performance for the Sheffield Institute for the Blind, which was wonderful and hugely inspiring. And it was in that module, we were introduced to YTT.

Refugee Drawing Title: Today. By a 14 years old Afghan Girl. Currently attending the P.I.N. Refugee Centre, Belgrade, Serbia.

SHU Performance: It sounds like that module has had a profound effect on you.

Elizabeth: Yes, that and the SHU Performance tutors, the friends I made, they all really encouraged me - not just in what I wanted to do, but personally through my time at university, which wasn't always rosy because there were a number of things going on in my life, which made it difficult to be away from my loved ones. Everyone at SHU supported me and helped me through and I’m so grateful or that.

SHU Performance: And I hear that you won an award from SHU for your work on YTT?

Elizabeth: It was so humbling to have my contribution to YTT recognised, and Graduation was amazing too because I never thought I’d get there, truly!

SHU Performance: What is the number one thing that you learned from your time studying with us?

Elizabeth: I've learnt to not be afraid of changing my mind. That's OK, you know? When I first came to university, the goal was a pursue a career in the West End or Broadway, working on gritty, contemporary plays and using Stanislavski, maybe Artaud or working on installation pieces. Then when I studied the Applied Theatre module, that changed everything for me. It inspired me in many ways. It led me to work abroad in Uganda, Moldova and Bosnia, during my summers away from university, and I would come back home and friends of mine and family would say "Gosh, I had no idea that was happening there..."

SHU Performance: And is that what led you to want to pursue a career in media/journalism?

Elizabeth: Yes. The course is so broad and varied so what I was doing, it never felt "wrong.” My career path still felt 100% valid, even though I was studying a performance degree. If anything, it made me care more, it made empathise with people in a way that I might not have been able to had I studied something else.

SHU Performance: What do you hope to achieve in the years ahead?

Elizabeth: I'm planning on studying a Masters in Human Rights later this year. It's an online course so that I can continue my studies from anywhere in the world if I want to. I’d also love to continue my work with YTT and help develop our international projects.

Refugee Drawing Title: Tomorrow. By a 9 years old Iranian Girl. Currently living in Principovac Refugee Camp, Sid, Serbia.

SHU Performance: Is there anyone else that you’d like to work with?

Elizabeth: I would love to work alongside Amnesty International or similar organisations. I see myself as a bit of a nomad - working internationally and learning so much about the world as I go.

SHU Performance: If you could study Performance for Stage and Screen again what would you do differently?

Elizabeth: I wouldn't change anything - honestly. Over my three years studying Performance for Stage and Screen, I learnt so much. Not just about theatre and performance, but about myself. It's cliche but it's true. I would not want to change anything about my university experience because it's made me the person that I am now.

SHU Performance: What are you going to do next?

Elizabeth: I have a few more international projects coming up in Europe. I hope to go and spend some time working in the refugee camps in Greece and maybe in Lebanon as a field researcher, but that's mainly for my Masters. Towards the end of the year, I'm travelling to Central Turkey to work on a story about female refugees for Nations Media. Then, I'm hoping to work on a documentary film project close to the Turkish/Armenian border.

SHU Performance: It sounds like you’re going to be super busy!

Elizabeth: You could say that. This work can be emotionally taxing at times - but I have a strong support network which I am so grateful for. It seems I'm going to live on a plane for the foreseeable future! Joking aside, it's amazing and I am very lucky to have had the opportunities I have had.

SHU Performance: Thanks for talking to us Elizabeth and all the best with the future!

Elizabeth Pennington will soon be returning to Bosnia and Herzegovina where she will be continuing her work with Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow.

Follow Elizabeth of social media:

Twitter: @E_Pennington_

Website: epennington.com

YTT Association: yttassociation.org

Main picture: Elizabeth Pennington volunteering with IVHQ in Mutungo, Uganda in 2015.

 

Do you want to be a performer for stage & screen?

Find out about opportunities at SHU Performance.

 
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As the great teacher of Shakespeare, Rex Gibson wrote, 'Forget 'Shakespeare', and think of 'Shakespeares' is salutary advice. The plays are capable of and invite diverse interpretations. They resist the notion of definite performance.'
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Photo credit: Anthony Farrimond Photography

Amy Blake is a twenty-three year-old Sheffield based actor, currently working in theatre, film, TV, radio, circus and voice over. She graduated with a first class honours degree in Performance for Stage and Screen in 2018 and is now working full-time in the theatre industry. SHU Performance caught up with Amy to find out about what she’s been doing since leaving Sheffield Hallam University.

SHU Performance: Hi Amy, great to see you! Perhaps you could begin by telling our readers a bit about yourself.

Amy: Aside from acting, my interests include animal rights activism, live music and travel. My favourite pastime is seeing theatre, I usually attend two or more shows in a given week; I think this is absolutely imperative for anyone who wants to work in the industry, and I’m an expert at finding affordable tickets! My favourite show of 2018 was Christopher York’s Build a Rocket, which I caught on a whim at The Pleasance in September. In 2019, I aim to improve my piano/keyboard skills to a standard where I can be subbed for actor-muso castings and to continue evolving my career.

SHU Performance: We hear you’ve been working full time as a professional actor since graduating in 2018. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Amy: Yes, I’m a full time actor working in all related fields (except for musical theatre). This entails stage, screen, commercials, tours, roleplay, R&D, immersive, corporate, workshops and audio amongst other disciplines. This generally means a lot of plate spinning (sometimes literally).

SHU Performance: Your work sounds really varied and interesting, what does it involve day-to-day?

Amy: My main duties include corresponding with my agent regarding castings, preparing audition speeches and sides (or whatever has been requested by the Casting Director), recording and submitting self tapes, attending auditions and callbacks, and all of this comes before the actual rehearsals and performances/shoots.

SHU Performance: There is clearly a lot more to working in the industry than just acting. What advice would you give to other aspiring performers?

Amy: To be an actor you really do have to live and breathe it. It sounds ridiculously cringe, but I’ve never heard anything more true. The motivation and drive required to keep pushing through one of the most competitive industries in the world is draining, and the only way that can ever be worth it is if you are 100% confident that there’s nothing else in the world you would rather be doing. Nothing can be more important.

SHU Performance: It sounds more like a calling than a job. What’s the one thing you’d recommend that other actors in training do in order to succeed?  

Amy: You have to set yourself apart from others; always be the hardest worker in the room, always be early, always be prepared (know your lines backwards, but be ready to change at the drop of a hat). Don’t waste your student loan on nights out or holidays; buy good, professional headshots, get Spotlight and Equity, get a showreel. You need to be ready to work professionally when you graduate otherwise you’ll need to pay for all of these things later which will require a separate income, and then you risk being unavailable for auditions.

SHU Performance: What’s the number one thing that you learned during your time studying Performance for Stage and Screen here at Sheffield Hallam University?

Amy: SHU Performance taught me that Performance isn’t just proscenium arch, Stanislavski theatre. I learnt such a vast pool of skills, tailored by a huge range of practitioners, all of which I have now brought together, cutting and pasting the best bits from every single one to create the method I approach projects with today. It’s something that is continuously evolving.

SHU Performance: It’s good to know that you’re time with us has been such a big part of your professional development. If you could come back and study with us again, what would you do differently?

Amy: I’m really happy with everything I achieved whilst training at SHU Performance, I feel that I took every opportunity by the horns and I wouldn’t change a thing... Except, I would take advantage of theatre tickets earlier (through Ignite at Sheffield Theatres).

SHU Performance: What has been the biggest challenge that you’ve faced since graduating?

Amy: The ongoing challenge in this industry is always having to juggle work and hustle to ensure that the bills are paid without ever having to work in any other field. Of course, lots of actors do work in other fields, they call them “muggle jobs”, or day jobs, and I’m sure different things work for different people. For me personally, muggle work is a no-go. Knowing that I need to book a job and don’t have a back up plan is the best motivation ever and hasn’t steered me wrong yet - but again, everyone has different opinions and experiences of this. You’ve got to do what’s right for you!

SHU Performance: It sounds like always being on the lookout for the next job is a big part of what you have to do in order to make it as a professional actor. What do you have lined up in the coming months?

Amy: At the moment I’m working on a TV comedy and a children’s radio play. I’m also auditioning regularly for new projects and am hoping to work on some Shakespeare this year as well as some working class-representative regional theatre.

It sounds like you’re going to be incredibly busy. We’ll be watching out for you on the TV!  What are you ambitions for the future?

All I really hope for is that I will continue to work and be fortunate enough to avoid working in any other field.

Thanks for talking to us Amy. Best of luck with the upcoming shows!

Amy Blake is finishing off the 2018/19 tour of Average Joe in March. Her most recent film wrapped last month, My Life in UK, and is being released later this year. Her most recent theatre piece, Wish Upon a Star with The Bakehouse Factory Theatre ran throughout November and December 2018.

Follow Amy on social media:

Twitter: @Amy_Blake_

Facebook: @AmyBlakeActor

Instagram: @amyrebeccablake

Spotlight: https://www.spotlight.com/3811-6753-1783

Do you want to be a performer for stage & screen?

Find out about training opportunities at SHU Performance.

 

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Check out the SHU Performance website.

 Check out the new Performance for Stage and Screen website! 

It's full of pictures, videos and information about what we do here at Sheffield Hallam University. You can:

- find out about us.

- learn about our team of innovative academics and experienced practitioners.

- see some of our exciting staff and student projects.

- look around our state of the art facilities, which are located in the heart of Sheffield.

- find out how to apply to study for one of our BA, MA or PhD qualifications in performance. 

- access our vibrant student learning community where you can read news and find out about upcoming events.

CLICK HERE TO A TAKE A LOOK FOR YOURSELF

 

 

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Social Learning Space on Owen 11

 

The countdown for the Owen 11 opening is on... 

We are expecting this space to be launched on 20th February this year!

So we need some suggestions for a new name for it, as well as the potential uses for it. 

Please use the link below to submit your suggestions as soon as possible:

https://goo.gl/forms/Fhy59Ze7h97lCs4u1

 

Get in touch with The Humanities Team if you have any further questions J

 

 

 

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Marie Roget at The Winter Gardens

Rehearsal photograph by Elizabeth Pennington. Performers left to right, Clarke Bannerman, Amy Blake and Amelia-Daisy Phair.

On Saturday 21 October a small group of SHU Performance students will present a performed reading of a new version of The Mystery of Marie Roget by Edgar Allen Poe especially for the Off The Shelf Festival. This 45 minute version of the text, entitled Marie Roget, has been adapted by UK/Australian performance company Doppelgangster as part of a Research and Development project.

The performance begins at 1pm and the audience may come and go as they please. For more information please visit the Off The Shelf Festival website.

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This October, Josh Schofield and Emily Kitteringham performed in John Godber’s highly regarded play September in the Rain. The Performance was directed by our very own Neil Sissons and it took place at the Performance Lab as part…

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