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Case Study

Leanne Clark


After leaving university, BA (Hons) Performing Arts graduate Leanne continued her studies at the American Musical Theatre Academy in London. She then landed her first professional job with a theatre company, touring schools in the UK and Ireland, playing the part of Roberta from The Railway Children.

The course has a good mix of theory and practical and you are also offered the chance to study abroad in the second year which really appealed to me.

The University has a close relationship with local theatre, The Customs House, where we were able to perform a number of shows. I think it is really important to be able to practice on a professional stage, with a paying audience, to gain the relevant experience.

A highlight of the course for me was choreographing a dance outside using the landscape to create ideas. This was so different from anything I have ever experienced. I also enjoyed performing plays such as Endgame by Samuel Beckett, and Shakespeare’s King Lear. The theory element backed up what we were learning in the studio, which I think is important for a performer. I also took up the opportunity to cross over into the media department and take a module in radio drama which influenced me to pursue this further in my career.

The facilities are good – the drama studio is equipped with black out curtains, a soft floor, projector, sound system and lighting to aid performances. There are also other rooms with big free areas where you can practice and devise pieces. The dance studios are equipped with full length mirrors and a sprung floor.

All the staff were great, always on hand to help and give regular feedback on my performance and written work. They were also supportive and happy to help with any personal concerns.

At first being a southerner I couldn’t understand the northern accent but I soon settled in and found Sunderland to be an extremely friendly place. Surrounding areas offer all sorts for students. You have rural parts for quiet walks but also hustle and bustle of Newcastle. I also enjoyed being close to Gateshead to access international music venue, the Sage.

I would definitely recommend the BA (Hons) Performing Arts course to another student as it offers a wide range of opportunities and there are many people around to help you excel.”

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