Staff and students from Bath Spa University’s School of Music and Performing Arts were delighted to open their new Theatre Production Centre this week.
The Centre is fitted out with a scenic workshop, costume and prop making facilities, design studio, CAD computer suite and production office. This new facility will enable the university’s BA Hons Theatre Production students to work with the best industry-standard resources during their studies.
Michael Budmani, Subject Leader in Theatre Production, said: "We're delighted that the Theatre Production Centre provides state of the art facilities to support students starting their journey in a career in technical theatre. We maintain that if you go backstage in a theatre and see the skill, then that skill can be learned on our Theatre Production programme.
"We already have excellent alumni statistics, with our Theatre Production graduates at work throughout the industry. Theatre Production Centre affords our students the opportunity to reach for even greater horizons, in terms of both standard and scale of their work."
The launch event was attended by representatives from across Bath’s theatre scene, the university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Christina Slade, and staff and students from the School of Music and Performing Arts. An exhibition of intricately detailed miniature set models made by students was greatly admired by all, as were displays of scenery and finely-made costumes. Performing Arts students also entertained guests with recitals of poetry ranging from Shakespeare to Keats and Dylan Thomas.
At present there are nearly 50 students studying Theatre Production at Bath Spa University and graduates from the course work in the theatre and performing arts industries across the UK.
During their studies, students produce work in the University’s three venues – the University Theatre, Michael Tippett Centre and Burdall’s Yard – as part of the Bath Spa Live Live arts programme. They also gain experience in professional theatres across the South West, including the Theatre Royal Bath and Salisbury Playhouse. Currently being produced at the Centre are props, costumes and scenery for the students’ final year thesis productions, which will be staged at the egg and Ustinov theatres, from 16 May to 20 June.
Joe Bennett, Head of School of Music & Performing Arts, said: "We're delighted to be able to provide such a high-quality working environment for our BA Theatre Production students.
"The course is rapidly becoming well known across the industry for the standard of its graduates, and we already have a strong working relationship with local theatres, including Theatre Royal Bath and Salisbury Playhouse. A large-scale facility like this enables the students to be ever more ambitious in their design aspirations, and they always try to give Bath's theatre-lovers the best experience possible."