Due to the Covid – 19 pandemic, this year has been exceptionally challenging. How do we deliver a meaningful actor training when no one student can be in the same room as another? How do we work collaboratively, without ensemble? With no face to face teaching, our teachers have had to invent new ways of training actors. This term, I have watched live animal studies and movement classes, character and accent projects, a scene study of plays from Strindberg and Ibsen as well as contemporary work for camera, and all of it conducted from gardens, living rooms and bedrooms.
All our students have proved themselves to be resourceful, creative and pioneering in their approach to the work. All of them have worked tirelessly to generate meaning and work collectively from the remote corners of the country.
No less so, for our remarkable and highly talented final year students who have been outstanding in their response to events this year. Fortunately, they were able to perform live in two of their three productions this year as well as in their Showcase in London and Manchester. However, their final production was cancelled due to the lockdown and we are currently working on devising character monologues to support their individual showreels. In the meantime, a number of industry professionals have conducted masterclasses with them including Rupert Goold, Indhu Rubisingham, Roger Michell, Ginny Schiller and many others, to whom we are exceedingly grateful.
This graduating cohort of 2020 are not simply stepping out into a profession. They are going to forge and shape that profession and help to rebuild things as we move from a pre to a post Covid world. We are exceptionally proud of all our graduating students this year and wish them every success for the future.
Programme Leader, BA Acting (Hons)
Since It Happened is a series of northern ruminations for the Manchester School of Art Digital Show 2020 – In Progress. Weaving together separate stories connected by a similar feeling, it explores the anxieties and complex developments of our time as we emerge from a pandemic into an uncertain future. Since It Happened has been directed, filmed, produced and performed by graduating BA Acting students from Manchester School of Theatre and has offered an exciting opportunity for them to explore an original piece of writing by Manchester Writing School BA Creative Writing student, Kane Martin. Since It Happened has been created in accordance with government guidelines.