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GSA in the Community

We firmly believe in the transformative impact of theatre and the arts, in our training we seek commitment, curiosity, courage and generosity from our students. GSA’s training and education produces accomplished actors, performers, actor musicians, dancers, theatre and performance makers, stage managers, theatre technicians, directors, choreographers and musical theatre creators.

The University of Surrey and GSA are committed to widening opportunities and increasing access to its world class educational and training environment. Above all, GSA believes in the power and potential of the arts to transform society and culture. At GSA, students are encouraged to collaborate, innovate and experiment, through reflection and exploration of the social, political and cultural challenges of the contemporary world.  We encourage each one of our students to take full advantage of the opportunities that await them and the privilege and responsibilities they have to meet the challenges of pursuing fulfilling and successful careers, by not merely seeking to make a living, but also, to make a difference. 

GSA is developing a number of community initiatives and activities with local partners to promote performance opportunities and access to the creative arts. 

Initiatives

July 2018, Free Summer Conservatoire places

We made six free places available for the hugely popular Summer School, for use by disadvantaged and vulnerable young people in Surrey. With help from Elmbridge Family Services, Surrey Family Services, Learning Space, STEPS (Surrey Care Trust) and EIKON, all places were filled and the outcomes were terrific, with one father describing them as literally life-changing. At GSA we want to make world class training and facilities at the University of Surrey campus available to a wider cross section of society.

The initiative to offer assisted places to disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young adults within the local community would not have happened without the vision and support of the High Sheriff of Surrey, Jim Glover. Jim’s commitment to inclusion for disadvantaged and vulnerable children aligns with the values of the University of Surrey and GSA. The offer of the places on the GSA Summer School was a tremendous success, not just for the participants, but was also an incredibly rewarding experience for the GSA staff.

The feedback we received in the form of cards, emails and gifts underlined the impact and the benefits of the experience and the privilege and responsibility we have to continue to provide these valuable and treasured opportunities.

March 2018, Healthy Performer

GSA is using performing arts to address mental health and wellbeing amongst young people. The effort is part of GSA’s contribution to the Guildford First project, which brings together a consortium of local educational institutions, businesses and charities, all supported by Guildford Borough Council, to work with children in the local community.

GSA is promoting the notion of the ‘healthy performer'. Through its training programmes, which adopt a holistic approach to the development, training and wellbeing (physical and psychological) of students and young professionals. The school’s programme of events and workshops to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing makes GSA and the University an active part of tackling a community-wide issue.

A year-long collaborative project with the charity Time to Change Surrey is planned for 2018-19 and will deliver creative workshops in local schools, culminating in a performance festival and seminar hosted by GSA. The project will bring together the children of the town with budding actors, professional performers, writers, directors, councillors and local policymakers to examine mental health and wellbeing in young people through the performing arts.

Using applied theatre and drama therapy practices for the benefit of students and children, GSA aims to maximise its impact in the community