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Drama and Performing Arts students at Junction Industry Day and Cambridge Arts Theatre

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Our Performing Arts department students are very lucky to be studying in a city with such a large number of venues to watch performances: the Cambridge Corn Exchange, the Cambridge Arts Theatre, The Cambridge ADC, the Junction and the West Road Concert Hall being some of the main ones.

Even better – our students are able to get a good look behind the scenes to find out how productions come into being. This autumn, students have taken part in the Junction Industry Day and a special visit to the Cambridge Arts Theatre – both on the same day. Drama course team leader Sarah Stow explains:

We set up a link with The Junction and Arts Theatre last year, so this is our second annual visit. It’s a great way for first year Drama students to be introduced to the Performing Arts Industry and to take part in a professional directing, lighting and sound workshop with industry professionals at The Junction. They had a tour of the different performance spaces, where they went backstage, saw the dressing rooms and experimented with the equipment in the lighting/control box. They spent the rest of the visit taking part in either a lighting design or set design workshop with an industry professional. This gave them hands-on experience of what it’s like to light or design a set for a show.

At the Arts Theatre, later in the day, students had an in-depth tour of the theatre. They learned about its history, the types of performances it stages and how a non-profit theatre works day-to-day.
The two theatres are extremely different in every way. The Arts Theatre shows more mainstream commercial works whilst the Junction is contemporary, cutting-edge and showcases new talent and emerging theatre.

The whole day was really insightful and should encourage students to watch live theatre. What’s more: not only does it give students an ‘insight’ into the workings of a theatre venue, it also gets them thinking about career options and possibilities post-Long Road.