Monthly Archives: November 2015

A Letter from Study Abroad Student Imogen Sutherland

 

12143237_847715365326290_494741012470486205_nAll Drama & Theatre students have the opportunity to Study Abroad during the second year of their degree. We have relationships with world-class Universities in Europe, the USA and Canada. We asked current second year Theatre student Imogen Sutherland to write to us from her semester of study at Keene State College in New Hampshire:

Dear York St John,

So, to be completely honest I’m not too sure where to start. I have now been in the states for just over 2 months, with 6 weeks to go and the time has flown by far too fast.

12108186_847713635326463_1330735879466675775_nFirst of all, I have become a coffee-drinking-Starbucks lover, something I never thought I’d say! The caramel Macchiato has become a vital part of my week, and I now have my own Starbucks reward card!! (I am actually sat in Starbucks, with a caramel macchiato as I write this) I have also become a vegetarian, however with Thanksgiving just round the corner, turkey and stuffing may be too much of a temptation.

FullSizeRender (2)University life in the US is very different to my UK student life. For starters drinking alcohol is highly illegal until 21, and seeing as some students become freshman at the age of 17, student parties are a police fest. All accommodation is also catered for, meaning that food is unlimited, whenever you want it. Which is actually really dangerous because the food is amazing!!

An important part of my time here is the academic side. The structure of the week is very different, with much more set lecture times and classes repeated in the week. An 8am start on a Monday and Wednesday is a bit early for me.  Midterms and pop quizzes are also very real, very scary things. Essays are also based on amount of pages rather than words, having handed in an 8-page midterm and an 11-page midterm already this semester I am now dreading finals. The work is fun, my recent research paper looked into the role of the British suffragette movement on the 21st Century feminist movement. 3 out of the of my 4 classes are acting/theatre based with the fourth being a sculpture class, which has actually become a bit more of a visual arts module which is good fun (and possibly worth the 8am beginning). My favourite module overall is my ‘Gender and sexuality within the Theatre’ (which my feminism paper was part of), it’s take me slightly out of my comfort zone but incredibly interesting.

12187733_858071210957372_7110667515228594508_nCulturally I immersed myself fully into American life. Having a roommate has been a major part of that, of which I have been incredibly lucky. I have climbed a local mountain, been to Walmart, attended a pumpkin festival and Halloween in Salem (as in witchy Salem), apple picking, tried pumpkin flavoured everything, visited an actual thrift store, had the chance 12193569_859062230858270_120998154457670370_nto go to Boston on many occasions (and experience Americans driving in Boston, I am definitely thankful for my life)and am heading to NYC next weekend. Then i’ll go to the Ben and Jerrys factory, have Thanksgiving, shop on Black Friday, go to an Ice hockey game, i’m busy and happy.

Overall, I am having an amazing time here and it’s sad to think I only have 6 weeks left. I am, obviously, missing my YSJ family a lot though (Skype and facetime are wonderful things).

I hope you are all doing amazingly, and I look forward to seeing you all for our Poland Field Trip in January!!

Imogen xx

 

Gary Winters & Claire Hind exhibit at York City Art Gallery

Gillygate York is a beautiful old street with an evolving attitude and is just outside the city walls. It’s not a well-documented or archived street but it has a catalogue of modern threats of closure and an eccentric artisan past. Once home to a medieval landscape, a small hold farm, stables, 18th century housing, St Giles Church, a skating rink, tramlines and a fully working mechanical garage. Gillygate now homes an eclectic mix of independent trading shops, cafes, pubs, music stores, vintage clothes shops, fancy dress, craft shops, an adult shop, hair salons (among many other independently ran business) and residential homes as well as the Salvation Army (as at the date of writing). Gillygate, bizarre and so homemade.

When York City Art Gallery reopened its doors this Summer as part of a massive re-development project, a new work was exhibited alongside historic paintings and drawings of York. This work, a video and neon text installation is a new contemporary work by artists Gary Winters and Associate Professor of Theatre Claire Hind entitled ‘We Made Something of This’.

'We Made Something of This' Gary Winters & Claire Hind at York City Art Gallery. Photo: G Winters
‘We Made Something of This’ Gary Winters & Claire Hind at York City Art Gallery. Photo: G Winters

We Made Something of This is a portrait of Gillygate as it was during summer 2014 captured on Super 8mm film and using stories, anecdotes and facts gathered from its residents and proprietors.  The film also includes footage of an inaugural feast day performance by the artists held on September 1st celebrating the street’s namesake, Giles – the patron saint of hermits and nocturnal terrors. Gary and Claire have said that “being on the edge of the city, we feel Gillygate still lives up to its patron’s name.” Gillygate named after Giles, the kind and noble quiet one who was nurtured by a hind then, away from it all, saved its life – took an arrow for it and lived on as a Saint.

Our neon light represents the spirit, creativity and determination of those who live and work on Gillygate and those who have risen above the threats of commercialism and the struggles of modern day trading. Our neon light also represents our work, our relationship to the street, the materials we use and the way in which we find serendipity in our projects with and the stories that unfold.

Gillygate for Nina and her garden’s hidden treasures.

Gillygate for Ken and his pie in the oven.

Gillygate for Phil who bakes bread ‘till late.

Gillygate for Paul who wears an arrow through his head whilst listening to Frank Sinatra.

Gillygate for Hamish and his cat.

 

We Made Something of This is on view at York Art Gallery until March 2016. For more information about Gary and Claire’s projects visit www.garyandclaire.com.

Visiting Director Avra Sidiropoulou

FullSizeRender1 The theatre director Avra Sidiropoulou* ran a 4hr workshop on Directing Basics with our BA Theatre Students on Tuesday 10th November. The workshop explored fundamental aspects that permeate the work of the stage director in relation to strategies of text analysis, directorial interpretation and point-of-view, as well as of conceiving, designing and orchestrating performance. The students devised work in response to Syrian Refugee Crisis. The workshop examined some of the reasons, means, processes and relationships that are involved in staging a play, especially FullSizeRender2in terms of concept, composition and focus.

 

*Avra Sidiropoulou is a theatre director and a lecturer at the M.A. Programme in Theater Studies (Open University of Cyprus). Her monograph Authoring Performance. The Director in Contemporary Theatre was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011.