feature
Published: 05 April 2019

A week in the life of a GSA production student

First year BA (Hons) Theatre Production student Kiera Smith tells us a bit about what it’s like to study at Surrey ­– from her typical timetable, to taking day trips to London.

GSA production student

A typical week

Monday

My week begins at 9:30am with a year meeting – these are held once a week with our classmates and tutors, providing us with a platform to voice our feedback on the course. After this, we usually have the privilege of attending a special lecture with a guest practitioner who shares their experiences and provides useful industry advice. We often spend lunchtimes in the green room of the Ivy Arts Centre or in GSA’s thEATre café, but when there’s nicer weather it’s great to spend our break down by the beautiful campus lake.

In the afternoon, we have a practical session as part of our design and scenography unit. Working to a challenging brief with pre-selected materials, we are encouraged to think creatively and work collaboratively – this week we created an artistic installation!

Tuesday

On Tuesday mornings, we have another practical session, this time for our audio visual technologies unit. As an introduction to some of the equipment we’ll be using in the future, this week we were tasked with making and editing a short film around GSA. With no classes in the afternoon, many of us started planning for our approaching audio/visual project (in which we create a narrative video for a song of our choice).

GSA exterior

Wednesday

Continuing with our audio and visual practical sessions, a previous GSA student (now a theatrical designer) led a class on using video editing software in our Mac lab.

Thursday

We spent Thursday in the design studio constructing scale model boxes. Once they were completed, we used visual research acquired from a previous session at the University’s library to create some initial set design concepts.

Friday

This week I made the most of a day off and headed into London with a few friends. We looked around the V&A Museum to find some inspiration for our set design project before visiting the Natural History Museum to see a play (starring a GSA graduate!)

"We looked around the V&A Museum to find some inspiration for our set design project."

Choosing Surrey

"Guildford School of Acting’s (GSA) BA (Hons) Theatre Production course provides high standard conservatoire training while also offering all the benefits of the University of Surrey’s excellent facilities and services. Being quite a small course, there is a great student to tutor ratio, enhancing the learning experience – there’s a lot of talk of there being a GSA family, which is definitely true! Everyone here is incredibly supportive.

The amount of practical sessions on the course, as well as roles available in GSA shows, gives us the perfect opportunity to constantly apply what we learn to real situations, preparing us for work in the industry. My course is incredibly varied, with each week bringing something new.

The University of Surrey has some excellent facilities. GSA has numerous performance spaces as well as a Mac lab, large prop and wardrobe stores, and a new workshop (which is opening shortly). GSA students also have the benefit of having two Students’ Unions so there are plenty of societies and events to get involved with outside of the course!"

Discover more about life at Surrey and our courses in theatre and performing arts.

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