Welcome to ‘Getting to Know You.’ This will be a regular feature at Kettle Mag where we will be interviewing students with degrees in the arts to find out why they chose that subject and what their plans are for the future.
First we have our writer, Anaïs Ronchin, as she interviews theatre students Costanza Peyrera and Georgina Harrison from the University of Warwick.
Good afternoon. Why did you choose theatre studies and what does the course at the University of Warwick consist of?
Georgina: I have always loved theatre and the arts from a young age. After deciding that university was the right route for me, it seemed silly to do anything other than theatre. I toyed with the idea of music or philosophy, but after a few open days, I knew that I wouldn’t enjoy any other course. The theatre course at Warwick is very different to typical courses around the country: Warwick focuses more on cultural policy, integrating disciplines such as psychology, sociology and history along with performance studies. The modules offered are so vast, from art marketing to gender and sexuality. It makes it really current and exciting.
Costanza: I have always been a theatre lover and ever since a very young age I have always aspired to become an actress. In a way, I never pictured myself doing anything else, making the decision much easier for me. The course at Warwick is quite nice because it consists of both theory work and practical work. Therefore, whether you are aiming to become a director, scriptwriter, lecturer or actor, the course works for you either way. Another really good aspect of the course is that as a theatre student you are able to choose from a wide variety of modules, some of which cover topics such as politics, psychology and more, meaning that you aren’t obliged to stick to the theatre only.
Choosing this kind of study is difficult. How did your parents react?
Georgina: My parents have always loved my passion for theatre and have been supportive of everything I’ve done, especially my degree choice. Doing theatre studies at Warwick University is an incredible opportunity and I think if you are going to spend three years of your life in higher education, you should always do what you care about.
Costanza: It is true that when I first decided to take this course some of my friends and family were sceptical about my decision, but my parents have always been fully supportive of it. They have never hesitated to show their pride in me choosing a course that is seen as ‘out of the box’ or ‘unusual’; after all, they have always known that I am more of an art-oriented person and they know that I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.
Many people think art studies are just a hobby. Can you tell me what a typical day in your life looks like?
Georgina: Art studies can seem to be a hobby. My days are jam-packed with extracurricular societies; I am Vice President of Music Theatre Warwick and so I teach children on some days, run coaching sessions for members of the society and rehearse for shows but in terms of my course, I could have one or two-hour seminar/lectures each day. The majority of my contact time is spent in discussion rather than simply sitting and observing a lecture but my days are mostly kept quite free from contact time, allowing me a chance to finish essays and actually do the reading.
Costanza: This course requires some time in lectures and seminars, however, there are weeks in which I am mostly rehearsing or devising work on my own or in a group. Usually, I have lectures almost everyday, for half a day, and then I have quite a lot of reading to do. We still have essays and presentations just like any other course.
Do you plan on making a career in theatre?
Georgina: No. I have always contemplated what my life would be like if I did but I know it isn’t for me. I need structure and prospects and unfortunately, a career in theatre often doesn’t provide that. In 10 years, if I have a job I love which means me being creative on a daily basis, I’ll be happy.
Costanza: I would rather work in the film or television business; I love theatre but I see myself less on stage, and more involved in the production of a film. I am still quite unsure about the future (as can be expected), but I believe that everything will work out and that I will definitely find what I’ll want to do at the right time.
Are you a current/former student studying an arts subject? Would you like to take part in ‘Getting to Know You?’ Get in touch via @KettleMag on Twitter and let us know!