We had another interview/ audition session today as we begin to put together the pathway groups for September. It was a really positive day with some very promising candidates. If anything the standard of applicants seems to be rising which gives real cause for optimism.
I find audition days fascinating, particularly as often it's the first time I get to meet the people, who I may spend the next three years working very closely with. It's important that the meeting makes this work seem possible.
A year ago we expanded the process and all candidates now go through audition, interview and workshop which gives them the chance to meet different members of our team and us the chance to see how they work or respond to three very different situations.
Although qualifications can be important in securing an interview, we will call anybody who interests us and once you arrive at the audition it's your opportunity to show us who you are. It's always going to be about what you can do rather than what you know.
I pleased we've diverted resources into doing a really thorough selection process. We're just more likely to get it right and perhaps over a day it allows students, who are considering us, an opportunity to see not just the shop front, but the working dynamic of the department. I hope it gives them enough so they can also make the right choice. The bottom line is that it's a life changing moment. .
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.