A really enjoyable afternoon on Thursday watching the Level 2 presentations in the lecture theatre. The assignment was to create a five minute DVD trailer for a proposed touring production of The Winter's Tale aimed at programming directors in mid scale venues and looking to attract a booking. The groups began work on this in January.
The results were wonderfully eclectic - some incredibly well produced, some conceptually clear, some a lot of fun - but what was evident was that every group had put in a huge amount of imagination, thought and energy into both thinking through their approach and then into the manufacture of the DVD itself. I'm really pleased that the idea caught fire and that, perhaps driven on by the efforts of friends or colleagues in other groups, the standard of work was raised higher and higher. It's the kind of synergy that gives a value added to the learning and takes the work beyond the lecturer's input.
This cohort of students are always the pioneers. The new degree began with them and the idea to produce DVD's was an attempt to find a more creative possibility to assessment by presentation. It must have been time consuming and occasionally frustrating - working with technology always is - but I also hope by mixing the pathways and bringing in the expertise of the Joint honours students - whether from Media or English to support the editing and scripting of the trailers - that the first two years of the programme have been consolidated a little and that we've learnt some new skills from each other. .
Mark is the Academic Director of the Drama Programmes at St Mary's University in Twickenham. He has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work.
As a lecturer Mark taught at Goldsmiths College, Coventry University and was Head of Performing Arts at Canterbury College prior to joining St Mary’s in 2006.
His Professional directing credits include Henry V (One of US?) and Valhalla for RSC Education; The Wind in the Willows, Jack Cade, The Red, Red Robin for Sevenoaks Playhouse; Tender Souls, The Quality of Mercy and Playhouse Creatures for the Ambassadors Theatre group.
Mark is a director of subVERSE Theatre company for whom has directed fringe premieres of Chief, Dinnertime and OxfamC**t at Theatre 503.
Site specific work includes Purka and Shadow on Icelandic volcanoes and Novocento with students from the University of Genoa.