I was running my own business within a few years of completing my course.
From quite early in life my aim was to set up my own drama company for children and young people. But I wanted to be in a position where I was sure that I could deliver something valuable that people would be happy to pay for. So I applied to the University of Sunderland in order to gain academic and theoretical skills that would add to what I could offer.
I learnt an incredible amount from taking the BA (Hons) Drama. The tutors were 100% confident in what they were teaching but it was by no means just listening to them lecture. There were lots of workshops where we’d explore issues together in practical ways.
I chose to do a dissertation because it was an opportunity to get a really in-depth understanding of drama for children. I compared and contrasted my views with academic theories and with what other practitioners had done.
While researching the dissertation I found the University library really valuable; I particularly liked its collection of video footage that allowed me to actually see how other people did things.
Some of the tutors were specialists in drama for children and they completely understood where I was coming from. They provided inspiration and encouraged me to learn by doing and to keep teaching at Stagecoach Theatre Arts.
In 2007 I completed my course and spent two more years building up my practical experience. Then, at the age of 26, I set up my own company that provides drama in education. It specialises in designing and delivering the highest quality of drama workshops for children and young people.
The company has grown and, as it has done so, I’ve been able to provide work opportunities to other drama professionals. One of the people with whom I regularly work with is also a graduate of the drama course at Sunderland. I know I can be confident that she’s been well-trained!"