Things are reshuffling at Drama St Mary's. After eight years as academic director Trevor is moving sideways to concentrate on pursuing projects beyond College. He's still going to be very much part of the department however and we're hoping that he'll pick up an ambassadorial role searching for exciting new professional partnerships and opportunities for our students in the future. Although I know he'll find it hard not to be at the hub of the decision making I think he's quite looking forward to getting away from the daily battles and administrative duties that go with the job and having a fresh look at ways in which we can strengthen our provision. He's also got to plan and deliver his Professorial lecture, some time in the next year so he's unlikely to fade into the background just yet. I'm looking forward to seeing him back in the classroom. The tragedy of educational management is it takes the best teachers away from the students.
This change to staffing comes hand in hand with a larger institutional change which will see our School CCCA merge with Theology, Philosophy and History to create a new School of Arts and Humanities. There's been some pressure to push this through before we return in September, but it's now more likely that the new School will open in January 2013. In effect this will streamline the University into four sizable areas: Education, Management and Social Sciences, Sport and Arts and Humanities.
For Drama the main preoccupation is, as ever, for space. We've recently been sizing up a former industrial bakery on Swan Island, about 200 metres away from the main campus and overlooking the river. It'd need a big make over job, but if we can acquire it would make a fantastic rehearsal/ workshop space and could house the long sought for Applied Theatre Centre. The beauty of it is that being just off-campus we'll be able to develop a different kind of artistic space, which may in turn reflect more closely the student's own sense of visual creativity.
The University authorities are keen for us to try and negotiate a deal with them... so fingers crossed.
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.