The idea of the student ensemble began with the Fail Better Residency at the CAPITAL Centre during the period 2008-2010 and the ensemble has been involved in three creative projects to date: Lorca’s Play without a Title (2008), The Persephone Project (2009) and Discords (2010).
Ensemble members in 2009/10 were Anthony Almeida, Annabel Betts, Angharad Carpenter, Carl Cerny, Rima Dodd, Francesca Duncan, Ben Edmunds, Beccy Fearnley, Kat Hardy, Oliver Hayes, Ben Jacobs, Lucy Katz, Bojana Kozarevic, Bertrand Lesca, Jesse Meadows, Soroya Nabipour, Rob Ottey, Josh Roche, Natalia Rossetti, Lydia Rynne, Jay Saighal, Tom Syms, Sita Thomas, Stephanie Taylor, Hannah Tottenham.
They were active participants and collaborators during the Fail Better Beckett Season 2009, which included the following events: an interdisciplinary symposium entitled Beckett and the Brain, the theatrical production of Stasis: Beckett Shorts at the Oxford Playhouse, and a theatre laboratory process known as BeckettLab.
Ensemble members reflect on their learning as follows:
I had never before been so free to experiment and formulate ideas in such a focused atmosphere
The project shall hugely influence my formal studies and I feel it is hugely important to have the opportunity to express academic ideas in a performative way
Encouraged me to always seek to explore work practically and in a safe laboratory setting where it is about the process of discovery rather than working on a set end product
[The ensemble’s] ethos of trial and error in a safe creative environment has become, for me, the most rewarding style of learning ... rehearsals are formal but only in a way that enhances the creative process. [The ensemble] is a highlight of my week. I find myself at my most creative in this kind of environment.
Members also contributed to a range of teaching interventions across the disciplines: Networking workshops for the Learning and Development Centre and the Graduate Skills Programme, demonstration/performances for courses and modules such as Philosophy and Literature, Literature in the Modern World, European Theatre, and for public events such as Shakespeare on the Brain for Brain Awareness Week.
In 2011 new members of the ensemble were auditioned and the following students have been invited to join the group: Immi Calderwood, Shubhum Saraf, Edward Davis, Kieran Lucas, Ali Pidsley, Lotte Clitherow, Oliver Ashforth-Smith, Zoe Lambrakis and Josh Goulding. They will be working alongside existing ensemble members from Autumn 2011.
The Student Ensemble has been sustained at the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.
For more information about the ensemble, please email Jonathan.Heron@warwick.ac.uk