We had a visit from Canterbury College students this morning. They drove up from Kent to have a look at how Drama St Mary's works. We offered them lunch, a couple of workshops and a Q&A about taking Drama at HE. It was a really positive day.
I think these kind of extensions are going to be vital as we try and keep our applicant numbers up in the next few years. The hike in tuition fees does mean that those in their final year at School or College are going to be more choosy about where they study and I think we're going to need to be more interventionist in our approach to marketing and promoting Drama St Mary's.
There are several ways to do this - including taking our work into local Schools and Colleges, as well as finding time in our schedule to invite sixth formers in for the day.
Ideally we'd develop partnership relationships where teachers from St Mary's taught with local sixth form providers and sixth form educators would be more engaged with our curriculum and visit us regularly.
It might be worth our while running a Drama teachers forum where we invite scrutiny from teachers in and beyond Richmond borough. The more we can do to earn the trust and confidence of those teachers who get students through their BTEC and A-levels the more we'll be able to develop programmes of work that make sense for the students and prepared them for the challenging world of employment.
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.