The Arts Centre Box Office- Theatre Galore!

Hello all, hope you’re having a good end to February.

I wanted to make sure you knew about one of- in my opinion at least- the best things about Edge Hill… The Arts Centre, Edge Hill’s own working theatre! Although the Arts Centre building is also a host for the Performing Arts courses, there are two wonderful theatres that offer shows galore: the Rose Theatre and the Studio Theatre.

The Rose Theatre

I spoke with lovely Celia Wardle-Robinson and Gemma Roberts from the Arts Centre’s Box Office about what is on offer a short while ago so that you can get a better idea of just the kind of eclectic things are on offer for all students at Edge Hill- yes, all students! You don’t have to be on a Performing Arts course to take part in any of the events and shows put on at the Arts Centre!

 

The Arts Centre Box Office- the whos and the whats

The Box Office- the place where all the good stuff happens in the Arts Centre. This is the main port of call for anyone who wants tickets, brochures or a membership (click here for the post where I talk about this!). This is where you’ll be welcomed by Celia and Gemma, who have always been the most helpful people when I had any queries or wanted to book tickets. The Box Office staff are also the ones who ensure everyone is updated on shows that will be shown at Edge Hill, and coordinate with people such as the Campus Life crew to bring events such as the Open Mics, Talent Shows and Student Cook-Offs.

 

Open Mic Nights/Talent Shows

These are free events that take place within the Arts Centre Red Bar- the place pictured in-between the two posters above. Students are invited to show off their musical and non-musical talents at these nights in front of a great crowd of their friends. The atmosphere is always great, which makes it both fun to be in the audience and less nerve-wracking for those who want to perform.

 

What kind of shows are performed?

If you’re a fan of any type of theatre, you’ll find something you’ll enjoy!

Just a few of the tickets I’ve collected since September!

Edge Hill has two student dance companies that often perform at the Arts Centre, and they’ll be performing before the James Wilton Dance company as their curtain-raiser for the show Leviathan on the 28th February. Leviathan is James Wilton’s re-imagining of the novel Moby Dick and features “a cast of seven, Wilton’s trademark blend of athletic dance, martial arts, capoeira and partner-work…”.

Another show that has just been performed by the company Reckless Sleepers was Negative Space- a humorous, and slightly strange 50 minute performance revolving around a very interesting set:

A picture from the performance of Negative Space

The set began as this perfect plasterboard box, with only the actress in the blue dress onstage, but ended battered, holey and with 6 very dusty looking performers onstage. I saw this show, and although there wasn’t a single word spoken, it was a brilliant performance! The slapstick elements of the ridiculous that occurred throughout kept the audience laughing, and the things that the performers did in destroying the set- such as pushing performers through the plasterboard or jumping through it themselves- kept shocking the audience too.

On the 6th February we were lucky enough to host an evening with Julie Atherton- if you are a fan of Musical Theatre, you might have heard her name before! Julie has performed in musicals such as Fame and Mamma Mia and was even a member of the company Avenue Q who make puppet shows with an adult twist.

She performed songs from her career and shared some of her favourite stories from along the way. Click the link below if you want to check out one of her songs:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTheArtsCentreEHU%2Fvideos%2F1198241540212680%2F&show_text=0&width=560

If you’re just into music rather than theatre, we have nights for you too!

Above is the poster for the music event that was hosted last Saturday, which allowed students to see some really amazing bands! The line-up included Sex Swing- a band tipped to be one of the top 50 bands of this year-, Cavalier Song and Agathe Max.

 

So those are just some of the wonderful things that go on in the Arts Centre and within the Box Office! I’ve uploaded a blog post that I linked above on the FREE Arts Membership I’ll be uploading a post on other events such as the Free Film Friday the Arts Centre put on just for students and theatre and film screenings!

Most of the shows are open to the local public, but are priced at £5 for Edge Hill Students, one of the best things about the Arts Centre in my opinion, as I used to never attend theatre shows due to the prices at the bigger theatres around my area! If you have a membership, it’s free for you too! But more on that later… For now, here’s a link to the Arts Centre’s website and the online brochure so you can have a look at what else is on through to Summer- hey, if you live close, you could even come along to one of the shows!

The Arts Centre

Performing Arts Audition Days

Hello all!

It’s around this time of year when the University holds any interviews and auditions for courses. If you have applied for a course within the Performing Arts (click here to see my post on all things Performing Arts!), you will have been asked to attend an audition. I was in this position a year ago, so I thought I’d share my knowledge and experience of the audition days!

The auditions take place so that the teachers can see what skills you have as a performer before making any offers, since the courses are so practical. Although they are looking at skill, if you have never studied a Performing Arts course within your past educational establishments, don’t worry! They understand that people are coming from all sorts of backgrounds and they are mainly looking for people who are eager and participate in the auditions with enthusiasm.

One of the best things about the Performing Arts auditions is that they are very laid back. We all know that auditions and interviews can seem daunting in a place you’re not used to with teachers that you don’t know, and the teachers also know this, so they make sure to keep the pressure off you during the audition. This helps you ease into the audition so that you can do your thing and impress!

There are both current students and staff at the audition days to take you to and from your audition rooms so that you don’t have to worry about getting lost, and they are also there to ensure any questions you may have about the courses or the University itself are answered. If you haven’t managed to make it to an open day for any reason or just didn’t get the chance to do this at any events you’ve attended, there is also the offer of Accommodation, Arts Centre and Campus tours if you or your parents wish to see the facilities! I didn’t manage to make it to an open day because I was busy with college work and didn’t have transport there and back, so I used the audition as an opportunity to speak to current students about Ormskirk, the University and ask for an accommodation tour, which they were perfectly happy to help with.

The general vibe on the audition days is very positive, so once you arrive you can focus on your performance and your performance alone! Depending on which courses you have applied for, you will be sent information on what you need to bring to the audition, what to wear and if you need to learn any songs or monologues. As I was auditioning for the Performing Arts course, when I auditioned I did not have to prepare anything, as the audition was in the form of a workshop rather than everyone taking turn to carry out a monologue, something which I found less nerve-wracking! After my workshop, I was directed to a room where I did a small writing task- something which might sound daunting, but they don’t ask you questions that are hard to answer and they’re mostly just looking for your opinion on the subjects of the questions, so don’t stress about “getting the right answer”! The audition process and workshop for the BA (Hons) Performing Arts course might have changed slightly this year, but that is the kind of thing you can expect to be doing at your audition! If you are doing a course such as the BA (Hons) Musical Theatre course, you will probably have to prepare a song to sing and will be expected to take part in some form of dance workshop. Each course has a different method of auditioning, but whichever course you are doing, you’ll feel relaxed and laid back once you get there, just do the best you can and don’t be scared to take risks and join in with the activities set to you!

If you are attending a Performing Arts audition, I wish you luck!

I hope this blog post has helped you out with your expectations of what happens, and if you have any more questions, feel free to comment below! Good luck!

 

This is what Ellie Clarke had to say about the Performing Arts audition process:

Auditions – how do they work?

Here’s a little bit of information on Applicant Visit Days for if you have applied for a course that isn’t within the Performing Arts written by Ellie Clarke:

What is an applicant visit day?

The Life of a Performing Arts Student!

Hello all, hope you had a wonderful and Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays for those who celebrate other or no other festivals. As it nears the end of December and 2016, I am moving into Semester 2 of my BA (Hons) Performing Arts course at the University, and I can’t wait to be back.

If you’re looking at Performing Arts courses as a way of extending your skills and abilities, creating and performing, studying the theory behind performance or even writing your own scripts, the courses that Edge Hill offer are perfect for you! Below I have included a list of the courses which are hyperlinked so that you can check out the ones you are interested in;

As you can see there’s a course for every type of performer and creative. As I like to perform and devise performances as well as expand my skill set as a performer, I chose to enrol on the Performing Arts course.

This is the beautiful Arts Centre- where I have my lessons!

One of the best things about the Performing Arts course is the range of modules it covers. I did the BTEC Diploma in Performing Arts at my college, which I loved, however, I did not expect to cover such a big range of skills and genres of performance as I have done and will continue to do for the next 5 months. So, here is an overview of my Performing Arts life over the past 4 months!

Fresher’s Tasks and Introductions

In the very first week of the course, I didn’t know my way around so much and I didn’t know many people. However, the staff ensured that they gave me the information I needed to get more used to life at Uni and the course itself. There were a few talks carried out in the Arts Centre’s main theatre – the Rose Theatre – that gave me all the information I needed to know about the course heading into it and the University and it’s resources itself.

The Rose Theatre

In my first lesson, I was introduced to my main lecturer and form tutor- Barnaby King. The lesson was quite informal, which allowed everyone to feel more at ease than we did before entering it. There are 12 people in my class, including me, and it was nice to be able to finally meet everyone and get to know each other. Everyone came from such different backgrounds which was interesting to discover, and although we were quiet to begin with, being in a class with such lovely people is amazing and we all became friends quickly! Barnaby set us a small task based on our journey to the University to ease us into the course, which was great as it was our first opportunity to work with and around the people that we are going to be working with for the next three years of our educational careers.

The Introduction to Performance Module

As performers, it’s always great to be up on our feet and creating- I know that personally, when I enter a performance space, I’m itching to get up and produce something! However, as a performer it’s also important to know where performance came from and what performance itself is. This is where this module comes in. I have this module on Monday afternoons, and I’ll either attend a lecture or a workshop where we can discuss ideas surrounding the course and anything that we might not have completely got to grips with yet- one of the best things about these workshops is the level of support it offers you in your studies! The idea of sitting in a lecture might put performers such as yourselves off, however, Barnaby and the other lecturers ensure that it’s not just you sat listening bored! We often listen to songs related to ideas discussed in the lectures and watch videos from practitioners and researchers that are a nice change from powerpoints. In my classes this year we’ve even mentioned Hamilton the Musical and watched something about the background of the musical, so don’t let the word ‘lecture’ put you off! This module runs for an entire year, rather than one semester.

Performance Skills Workshop

This module was one of the two optional modules I had to choose from- the other module was Introduction to Technical Theatre. On Mondays I also attend a lesson for this unit. This unit is all about developing your skills as a performer, and so far I have tried my hands at all sorts of things from mask work to juggling in workshops.

Maskwork is something fun you might explore in this class!

For this lesson we have a teacher called Olly Crick, who always keeps lessons lively and fun whilst teaching you so much about different performance genres. For the past 4 months, Olly has run workshops with us to show us what techniques and genres there are within theatre and performance, and as we progress into the second semester we get to narrow what we are studying to particular techniques we want to pursue further- which is great if you really want to have time to master a technique or begin your path to mastering it! This module runs for an entire year, rather than one semester.

Physical Theatres

If you studied Performing Arts at college or are just a regular theatre goer, you’ve probably come across Physical Theatres of the likes of DV8 or Frantic Assembly, just to name a couple of companies. For the last 4 months I have been having lessons for this module on a Wednesday morning; something that might sound daunting, as Physical Theatre in the morning can be a very exhausting task. But the best thing about these lessons is that Barnaby did a small yoga warm up before each lesson he led, which warmed the body and mind up perfectly and also helped bring our awareness of what was occurring in lessons and of each other as performers to a level that aided us in performance and devising. At the end of the unit, we had devised a half hour performance on love, hate and the situation in America with Donald Trump, which we performed to an audience of our friends and which was followed by a Viva Voce- a spoken assessment. The great thing about Vivas is that it’s like having a chat with your teachers about something your passionate about (Performing and your performance!) but it helps with your grade! If the idea of being assessed on speaking worries you, don’t let it! It’s so much less nerving when you’re in the room just speaking. This module runs for one semester, rather than a whole year.

Visual Theatres

Visual theatres is something I had never studied before, so this was an interesting module for me! If I had to summarise what this genre is and what I studied in this module, I would summarise it using these three techniques; Object Manipulation, Puppetry and Mask Work. Throughout the module we were given the opportunity to explore the use of these techniques and even create our own 3ft puppets and masks, which was frustrating at times but definitely worth it once we got to put them to use in our final performance! For this module, there is another performance, which we again showed to friends and our assessors, and a small written piece. As someone who loves Arts and Crafts, this module was a challenge but one that I welcomed with open arms! This module runs for one semester, rather than a whole year.

So that’s what I’ve spent my time at Edge Hill doing so far! You might have a different experience with what you cover in classes and especially if you choose a different first year optional module to me, but I hope this has given you a better idea of what Edge Hill’s Performing Arts course is like and I hope you make the choice to audition over the coming months! In my second semester, I will be studying the Devising Performance and Multimedia Performance modules in the replacement of the two semester-long modules I’ve done so far, which I can’t wait to explore. In the second and third year of the course, you have a lot more optional modules, from things like Popular Musicals to Prosthetic Makeup. This course is so different to the one I was on at college in all the right ways- I’ve always wanted to stretch myself as a performer and learn new skills, and with the aid of the teachers on the course this has proven to be an accessible goal!

If you have any questions, I’m very happy to answer them, just pop them in the comments!

I hope you have a great end to 2016 🙂

Here is the link to the Arts Centre’s page for more info on the theatres themselves and the shows that the Uni organise for staff, students and the people of Ormskirk;

The Arts Centre

My favourite 6 places on campus

Seeing as it’s the middle of the holidays and we’re relaxing (or trying to), I thought I’d pick a rather light-hearted topic for today’s blog post. Here is an (incomplete) list of my favourite places on campus! Given that I love the Edge Hill campus so much, it was incredibly difficult to narrow these down, but I tried my best!

6: Creative Edge – Whilst this building is one of my favourites on campus, I’ve put it at the bottom of my list, simply because I don’t get to spend nearly enough time in there! I’ve had a few Languages seminars in here, and have been lucky enough to show people around during Open and Applicant visit days. Creative Edge is home to Vibe Media, as well as some of the most fascinating equipment on campus. I rather like that there’s an ‘On Air’ light outside the studios!

Inside Creative Edge

5: The Sports Centre Rooftop – I’ll be the first to admit that the Sports Centre isn’t one of the places I frequent most on campus, but I do like the rooftop! I know other people might say that they prefer the roof on either Creative Edge or the Business building, but this is my personal favourite of the three. It’s a fairly quiet part of campus, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of student life. The rooftop leads onto the trails, which absolutely anyone can use for free. On a sunny – or even a not so sunny! – day, it’s quite nice to get some fresh air over there.

4: The Sunken Garden – Like Creative Edge, if I got to spend more time here, it would definitely be higher on my list! The Sunken Garden, or rather, the outdoor amphitheatre, is used for performances by dance and drama students. It’s another one of those quiet, peaceful places on campus that is tucked away.

The Education Building, overlooking the lake

3: The Education Building – With the rooms set up like primary classrooms, our very own Water’s Edge café and some really cool artwork, there isn’t a single part of the Faculty of Education that I don’t like. Except maybe that second set of stairs – and even they’re not that bad! Being in classrooms with work on the wall reminds me why I’m doing the degree I am, and really helps set the tone for the lesson that I’m in. During last spring and summer, I liked studying outside Water’s Edge when it was sunny.

2: The Hub – My favourite social space on campus has everything that I, as a student, need: Starbucks, a shop, a café… and free printing upstairs! I spent a lot of time in halls last year and didn’t really see much of the Hub, but I hugely recommend spending some time in there. Like the name suggests, it’s the hub of activity on campus. Last year, there was a wellbeing day where we had a petting zoo just outside, and we have different market stalls here throughout the week. My favourite is the pancake stall…

Central Campus: The Hub

And finally… drumroll please…

1: The library – Specifically, I like being in an individual study room on the top floor, closest to the education books so I can pop in and out if I need to. I’m the kind of person that can’t stand talking when I’m working. Each floor in the library has varying degree of noise, going from loud to silent as you go up the stairs. On the top floor, there is a section for people to work in silence, which is where I spend a lot of my time. However, if it’s late and I’m just trying to finish an assignment, there’s nothing better than booking a study room, so I can sit with the fan on, my headphones in, and just get down to work.

I’m sure you’ll find some of your own favourite places to study and socialise on campus when you get here; it’s a big place, and there’s plenty of hidden gems to be found!

Free Film Friday

Hello everyone. I hope you have all had a great week with what ever you have been doing. Assignments and exam preparation is beginning to pick up, from drama to politics I hope everything isn’t stressing you out too much. Well, I am posting this blog a little late than usual due to the BRITAwards2016 being on last night. As a true BRIT it is an exciting time in the pop culture calendar. Can we just mention how amazing Lorde’s tribute was to David Bowie? The Zealander has some amazing pipes and her stage presentation was perfect. Adele. There is nothing more to say unless I say everything. She is a beacon of happiness and for all those watching and for you students coming to university studying music and drama or a creative subject she is an inspiration. I wish you all the success you are setting out to achieve.

The great thing about Edge Hill University is the facilities it has for adventurous, creative students. From recording studios to whole stage productions, dance productions, the possibilities are endless. I myself am a business student and apart from the suits and business plans and essays on the policies of monopolistic business in the modern age I am a big fan of music, film and theatre. Every Friday there is a free film shown in the arts centre. Literally just like a cinema and how can anyone turn down a free film.

A theatre, a literature, an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time has no relevance.
-Dario Fo

If anyone is interested in theatre, musical performance, of any other creative course at Edge Hill, from what I have heard from my friends studying these subjects, you won’t be disappointed. I have provided a direct link to the website if you want to have a look at the course options and what is available to you.

https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/

here is some information from YouTube about dance and drama degrees here at Edge Hill

J.x

End of Term 1! (Absolute Madness)

So Term 1 is ending, which if I’m quite honest freaks me out a little, this has without doubt been the quickest three months of my life!

There are only 10 more sleeps till Christmas and I go home this Saturday for the first time since I got here which is pretty exciting

The past weekend has been pretty insane too, well I say insane, I mean i did one thing each day which for me is way above average. On the Friday just gone I went to see a student production of Cinderoncé, it was the traditional story of Cinderella told through the medium of Beyoncé songs, It was amazing, I was in complete hysterics the entire time and I cannot wait to see what they do next.

On Saturday I went to go see “Broadway Here I Come” which was a concert of loads of songs from musicals, a friend of mine was in it and I spent the entire time feeling very cultured,

Now both these things were great, but yesterday was the day we had all been waiting for, Christmas Dinner. Obviously we are all spending Christmas with our families, but we wanted to do something together as a Flat so I took on the role of Cook and made, without exaggeration, the best roast dinner that I have ever created. My inner Delia Smith was channelled into perfectly roasted chicken and the best roast potatoes of all time!

So only two lectures and I’ll be done for the year!

One thing I did forget to tell you about, was something I did the Friday before last, a friend of mine received a scholarship from Edge Hill, and they put on a fancy awards ceremony complete with Champagne reception!

If you want any information about applying for a scholarship, because there are loads that Edge Hill do then I’ll leave a link here so you can go and hunt that out, and If you have any questions don’t hesitate to drop me a comment!

Scholarship Info

Next week I’ll be doing a bit of a look back at the term, talk a bit about Freshers and Welcome Sunday

So this weeks song, is actually not one song, it’s a mashup called Evolution of Beyoncé. It is performed by a group called Pentatonix who you can find on YouTube and it’s amazingly done

Until Next Time 🙂