Film, Theatre & Television recently ran its first two-day Summer School designed for the study of film, theatre and television, led by Dr Simone Knox. With extensive support from the University’s Student Recruitment and Outreach team, FTT welcomed a group of 16-17 year old students, from schools and colleges from both the local area and across the wider UK, to explore the representation of identity both theoretically and practically. The two days kicked off with a seminar discussion that looked at the kinds of representations offered by films like Attack the Block, TV series like The Inbetweeners, and plays like The Wonderful World of Dissocia. Paying close attention to the use of stylistic choices in these cultural media, the students then set about undertaking their own creative practice.
Aided by current FTT undergraduate helpers, technician support and tutor expertise, the students realised short multi-media projects for which they shot films that they then projected as part of a devised theatre performance, using the specialist facilities of the Minghella Building. With their considerable energy and cheerful eagerness to ‘get stuck in’, the students achieved intriguing projects that showed a talent for communicating conceptual ideas via stylistic means, as can be gleaned from the photographs. The students also enjoyed the opportunity to have a Q&A session with FTT alumni Emily Pickthall, now an assistant producer at Hat Trick Productions, who spoke about how her degree in FTT has benefited her career and gave tips for how to get started in the creative industries. Overall, the Summer School was a resounding success, with enthusiastic feedback from the students, several of whom are now thinking seriously about coming to Reading for their degree; and FTT happily anticipates a repeat performance for summer 2016.