Community

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

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 student to take full advantage of the opportunities that await them, to meet the challenges of pursuing fulfilling and successful careers, by not merely seeking to make a living but also, to make a difference.

Initiatives

 

Shakespeare on demand

Schools, colleges and youth groups can now stream GSA's recent productions of Shakespeare's plays for free to inform their teaching and bring the plays to life. Currently available are:

Hamlet

 

Two actors swordfight on a table, watched by other characters

The contemporary setting of this abridged version of Hamlet, which nonetheless uses the original language, is ideal for secondary school audiences. With its focus on the core plot and younger characters, its sword fighting, high emotions and ghostly apparitions, it is a highly engaging introduction to what is arguably Shakespeare’s most significant play. At under two hours – significantly less than the typical four hours of the full play – it can be conveniently watched across two lessons. This production was rehearsed and performed in Covid-safe conditions.

Screening link

Credits

Richard III

 

Three spotlights focus on the woman playing Richard III who is raising a crown. Around her, people kneel

Richard III is transposed to a modern setting with the action taking place at the turn of the 21st Century as the former Soviet Union crumbled and a new generation of oligarchs jockeyed for power. The play, always one that speaks to us of a world in crisis, tackles what happens when leaders lie, when countries believe those lies and when state sponsored assassinations become normal. Performed by Actor-Musicians, the use of specially-composed music, performed on stage, heightens the poignancy and builds engagement with audiences. This production was rehearsed and performed in Covid-safe conditions.

Screening link

Credits

 

A Midsummer Night's Dream

 

MA Acting | Midsummer Night’s Dream, Guildford School of Acting

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream receives a new, anime-inspired treatment, boosting its appeal to secondary-aged audiences. Young runaways, unrequited lovers, and a troupe of amateur actors unintentionally intrude upon a supernatural forest in the grip of a fairy civil war. A talented cast of MA Actors breathe new life (and even a few new words!) into this much-loved comedy. Titania’s words describing catastrophic floods caused by rivers which have ‘overborne their continents’ are all too relevant today, showing Shakespeare’s work belongs in the here and now.

Screening link

Credits

Free Summer Conservatoire places

In July 2018, 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.

Healthy Performer

In March 2019, 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 in 2018 resulted in delivering 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