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When I heard about the GSA’s Performance Theatre Company last year, it was an absolute no-brainer that I was going to try and get in. The chance to work as part of a performance driven ensemble, as well as with three great directors, was too good to pass up. I had loved my time in the Advanced Year in Performance, under the guidance of David Scott, and like most of us I wanted to keep knuckling down and challenge myself.

In the first term our small group of eight faced the challenge of having to devise and improvise our own piece of theatre, under the guidance of Director Dan (Dan Colley, that is). As actors who were used learning our lines and building up characters, it was daunting to have to perform almost entirely as ourselves, but our first production ‘Love. Labour. Loss.’ turned out to be an exciting and highly entertaining piece of theatre for us, and for our audience.

On the back of that first experience, we are now working with the lovely Louise Lowe, of ANU Productions no less, who is schooling us in her own unique style of theatre making; episodic, location-based theatre that brings the performer and spectator outside of their comfort zone. Through exercises and thorough artistic interrogation we are slowly but surely cooking up something exciting for our second outing, but you’ll have to wait until March 20th–22nd.

The thing I have enjoyed the most about my time so far in PTC has certainly been the group of individuals I have gotten to work with. With the burden of making and producing our own work, we have had to pool together our respective strengths and make it happen ourselves. From fund-raising, to putting together props and costumes, to sorting out the lighting and all manner of technical stuff, we have had a massive learning curve. The results are often surprising, and always exciting. It is pretty amazing what you can achieve when you put a few good heads together. It has also helped to give me the confidence I sorely lacked in the past to go out there and seek out work for myself as an actor. Now I have an agent and a lot of running around to do for auditions as they crop up. The fact that I always have something to do for PTC keeps me sharp and focused, and a strong belief in what I can achieve now.

If you are considering PTC for next year or sometime in the future, I definitely encourage you to do so. The resources we have enjoyed and the experience we have gained as part of this course have been invaluable, and most importantly, the work has been hugely rewarding for all of us. If you want to know even more; chat to us! A nice opportunity to do so would be our fund-raising table quiz in Against The Grain on Monday 10th March, forgive the cheeky self-promotion.

Ellen-Jane Kruger, Performance Theatre Company

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The Performance Theatre Company provides a practical educational experience in the production of theatre in an ensemble company format. One full production is delivered each term and is showcased to a public audience. The Performance Theatre Company is designed to nurture new performers and introduce the experience of producing ensemble theatre. The course educates students in a variety of theatre and performance styles.

We are delighted to announce our first official Open Day for Full Time and Part Time courses on March 22nd from 10.30am to 2.30pm at our premises on Essex Street West in Temple Bar. Find out more here.

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