Theatre Studies Personal Statement
I've always found there to be something special about the theatre, the smell of it, the coldb before a rehearsal or performance, the heat during, that sparkling possibility of building a whole world on top of bare boards. A space inside which an audience can be immediately transported to anywhere, anytime and introduced to a plethora of people and emotions, be made to laugh, cry, hate, to be disgusted and angered, lifted and dumped, to think; to feel. The power that these spaces can wield, the possibilities, are endless.
I have always felt an affinity for the theatre, though it wasn't until I met my Drama and Theatre Studies tutor, Jon Aldridge, at Penwith College that my taste for theatre became more of an addiction. At first it was everything about acting that fascinated me, I spent hours studying scripts, practitioners and actors in a quest to improve myself and as my scope widened I began to focus on the processes involved in staging a production, the direction of a piece, understanding of a text and also the scripting itself. Everything about the art began to consume me and this was given an outlet during my second year when we were handed the task of devising and performing an original piece of theatre. I relished the challenge and whilst everyone in the group contributed I took on the responsibility of writing, directing and scoring the piece, which dropped only six points from a possible one hundred and forty, across the seven group members involved.
Over the four years I worked with Jon and IMAGO I was introduced to and performed in an expansive range of productions encompassing many different writing and performance styles, giving me a real insight into the different methods used to produce theatre, from stylised expressionism to Russian naturalism, 'in-yer-face' theatre and avant-garde theatre to the 'theatre of the absurd'.
These roles and productions include Dan in 'Closer', Krogstad in 'A Doll's House', Trofimov in 'The Cherry Orchard', Mr.Samsa in 'Metamorphosis', Agamemnon in 'Agamemnon', Various in 'A Letter for Queen Victoria', Dan in 'Sexual Perversity in Chicago', Vladimir in 'Waiting for Godot', Hamm in 'Endgame', Aston in 'The Caretaker' and Josef K in 'The Trial'. The latter we took on a four week tour of the U.S.A.
The range of roles that I have been given during this time has taught me a great deal about myself. These rich and vivid characters teach the actor so much, not only about the psychology of a character but also about the historical, political and social contexts surrounding the play in question, making every production a learning curve. My time working alongside a professional director as experienced and committed as Jon on so many productions has also paid dividends to the way I approach theatre, his meticulous approach and organisation can only act as a model for any future production I am involved in.
I've decided to pursue a degree in Drama and Theatre rather than an Acting degree because the range of skills gained are better suited for a career in the profession. After my degree I wish to take on further training, an Acting or Directing MA perhaps. Ultimately I'd love to be involved in a specialised area of the theatre industry, or teaching in higher education.
Away from the theatre I am a passionate musician and give private tuition in my spare time. I read a lot, which is never enough. I love socialising and all the normal past times that go with it: films, the beach, drinking, dancing and playing football.
This personal statement was written by fwatkins2 for application in 2000.