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What was your experience/field of study before the course?
I graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2013 with a degree in Latin and English Literature. I had been acting since I was eight with a youth theatre back in the U.S., doing Shakespeare and adaptations of other classics. It wasn't until university that I began directing and started seriously pursuing theatre as my desired career. I thought about applying to drama school immediately after uni, but instead I went back to D.C. (where I'm from) and started working in the theatre scene there. I worked professionally for three years, mostly with an ensemble-devised, interactive theatre company with whom I had a yearlong apprenticeship and then went on to devise, perform, and tour with. My first paid directing job, which was with a small offshoot of the youth company I'd grown up in, finished a month before I started at LAMDA.
What made you want to study a post grad course and how did you make your choice?
I'd always toyed with the idea of getting a post grad degree in some aspect of theatre. Training isn't for everyone, and it definitely isn't accessible to everyone at the moment, but I felt strongly that spending a year studying and practicing theatre full time would help me immensely in developing my artistic work. Choosing which program to pursue was a challenge since I wanted a program that was flexible and would accommodate my somewhat eclectic range of artistic interests. The MA Directing at LAMDA wasn't the first program I looked at, but the more I learned about the course the more I knew it was the right choice for me. Every experience I had through the interview and audition process gave me a real sense of LAMDA's perspective on training, which has a strong emphasis on collaboration and ensemble-building. The conversations I had through that process, and the more I learned about the course, made it clear that this program was a perfect fit. The MA Directing program is diverse and multi-faceted – it provides directors a wide range of learning opportunities that are complemented by reflective academic work all designed to fit the needs of each individual artist.
How has the course helped so far?
The MA in Directing at LAMDA has provided me with countless opportunities to learn and gain new experiences, teaching me new tactics for making my art, and preparing me to continue learning as I move into the professional world. As part of the MA Directing program, you to gain an intimate understanding of the actor training process and you assist on public showcase productions (including a short film), which gives you first-hand access to learn from how other directors work while enabling you to build real connections in the industry. All the while we were doing various projects on our own that covered everything from dramaturgy to devising to film direction and much, much more. Countless industry professionals also came in to talk with us about a wide variety of subjects. Most importantly, however, this course enabled me to gain a better understanding of who I am as an artist. The MA Directing at LAMDA gave me the support and resources I needed in order to explore my artistic identity and expand my artistic toolbox. Leaving LAMDA, I feel infinitely more confident about my work, my artistic perspective, and my drive to continue learning and improving as an artist.
Any challenges in taking on a post grad course-time, finances etc. and any tips for addressing those?
There were a few challenges in taking on a full-time postgraduate course. I'm incredibly lucky to have generous support from my parents that enabled me to stop working for a year, move to London, and go back to being a full-time student. One challenge while on the course full-time is finding time to work on the side in order to make money. I do freelance artwork and graphic design, and LAMDA also provides many opportunities to work for the school.
Adelaide graduated in 2017.