Enhancement Week gives AMATA students access to industry expertise

27 January 2022

Group of students sat on theatre floor and smiling.
Acting theatre performance students watching smiling
Type: Text
Category: Student stories

Accent classes with a renowned coach, accredited unarmed combat sessions and intensive dance workshops. Enhancement Week gave theatre and performance students the chance to skill-up in the company of industry experts.

Every year, Enhancement Week sees industry VIPs join the Academy of Music & Theatre Arts to share their expertise with students. It's an invaluable opportunity for students to learn directly from prominent professionals in a variety of genres.

The week's activities included accent workshops run by Elspeth Morrison, one of the most experienced voice and accent coaches in the country. She can regularly be heard on BBC Radio 4 and works with numerous leading presenters, actors and newscasters.

Through an Introduction to Unarmed Combat course, delivered by fight director and stage combat tutor Keith Wallis, students gained a Master at Arms certificate for Unarmed Combat.

A series of sessions with Sarah Levinsky gave students the opportunity to explore Augusto Boal's 'Forum Theatre' and develop a piece of work together. Sarah continues to work with Cardboard Citizens, a company which has made a name for itself by using Forum Theatre to help empower people with lived experience of homelessness.

There were also masterclasses in acting through song with Alex Jackson and Ellie Leah. Alex Jackson is Co-Founder and Festival Director of Exeter Fringe Festival, Junior Associate at the King's Head Theatre and co-creator of new musical theatre podcast All That Scratch - recorded live at The Other Palace. Ellie Leah trained at the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama. She is one third of Jam First Theatre, who she writes and directs for, and also co-founded and runs West End Wedding Singers.

Dance students enjoyed five intensive days of workshops with Kevin Turner, Co-Artistic Director of Company Chameleon. Kevin is a passionate advocate for the positive impact of dance on overall health and wellbeing and as a result has vast experience delivering workshops in many different settings from hospitals and care units to prisons and young offenders' institutions. He has been invited to speak at various symposiums and conferences such as TEDX on the transformative power of dance and its relationship with health, wellbeing and mental health.

On top of all this, students also had access to online acting through dance sessions with West End performers Sophie Matthew & Shailan Gohil, a two-day design technical workshop with award-winning theatre designer Fiona Chivers, and an overview of agents and casting delivered by the University's RealWORKS employability service.

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