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Katie Morag fans should note that Stuart Hepburn, Martin McCardie Sergio Casci and Lindy Cameron of Move On Up TV have been nominated for Best Children’s Screenplay in the British Screenwriter’s Awards as part of the London Screenwriter’s Festival . We all owe a great debt to Mairi Hedderwick for her fantastic books, and to Director Don Coutts and his Cast and Crew. If you are fans of the CBeebies and BBC Childrens series  about the adventures of the wee girl from Struay, you can vote by clicking here. VOTE FOR KATIE MORAG

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Over the last 4 years, the University Of The West Of Scotland has hosted regular Weds Afternoon collaboration workshops  in our TV studios at UWS Ayr. 

In that time over 400 participants, the majority of them International Students from countries all over the world have participated in the workshops. These student volunteers have collaborated together to record, edit and present the work of the BA(Hons) Contemporary Screen Acting Degree students . 

Full details of the StudioLab process can be found here  

I am pleased to announce that next Wednesdays StudioLab will be the 100th session . We will have a film crew down to record events . Look out for details of how we plan to celebrate our 100th Birthday . 



Contemporary Screen Acting Students in our recent Rail Safety  project 


In schools and colleges all over the country, students interested in the Performing Arts are thinking about what their next step should be.
There have been lots of exciting developments in the performance subject area  at University Of The West Of Scotland in the past year.
We have formed a teaching partnership with the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr.
We have brought BA (Hons)Musical Theatre in-house to our £81 million campus in Ayr.
We have a brand new Technical Theatre Degree delivered through our partnership with the Gaiety .
Most importantly, all our Performance-based degrees are now 3 year Honours with entry levels at second year (Level 8) as well as third year (level 9).
All degrees require an audition, but students can apply to the courses in second year with :

3 Advanced Highers BCC or plus English at Higher level and Maths at Standard Grade 3 or above, National 4 or Intermediate 2.
3 A levels BBC or
An HNC (120 points) or
A B Tec 4 or
Intermediate 2 or
An International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 28 points.

All our degrees also have a level 9 entry with an HND or equivalent to our DRAMA UK recognised degrees.

With all this expansion, we want the best students to come to UWS Ayr. Every year , more and more students apply through UCAS, and the standard of work and quality of candidates is increasing.

Two of our students from Edinburgh College, Emily Barr and Jennie Walker have made a short video about life at UWS.
If you have any contacts at your old college or know of any British or Overseas students who might be interested in a 3 year honours degree, please share this post with them so that they can get an idea of what it’s like being a student at UWS Ayr.

Also, here are the links for anyone of your friends or relatives who may be specifically interested in our 3 years honours degrees.

BA(Hons) Musical Theatre
http://www.uws.ac.uk/ba-musical-theatre/

BA(Hons) Performance
http://www.uws.ac.uk/ba-performance/

BA(Hons) Contemporary Screen Acting
http://www.uws.ac.uk/ba-cont-screen-acting/

BA(Hons) Technical Theatre (subject to validation)
http://www.uws.ac.uk/sp…/technical_theatre_(3rd_year_entry)/

Please feel free to share this and spread the word to your old colleges , colleagues or friends. If you think that your old college would like a visit from UWS staff to talk to students, then please let us know too.
Any questions, email stuart.hepburn@uws.ac.uk


 

Celebrated Scottish actor David Hayman visited University of the West of Scotland’s Ayr Campus recently to take part in the UWS collaborative creative industries project, StudioLab.

StudioLab is an ongoing project where students from all the University’s programmes related to the Creative Industries collaborate together to create recorded work and closely replicates the work of the professional Creative Industries, where teams of different disciplines get together to create a final product.

Hayman was at the University’s state-of-the-art recording studios at its Ayr Campus on 11 March to record a live Q&A session with third year Contemporary Screen Acting and Performance students .

David Hayman, the founder of SpiritAid  urged acting students to “follow their dreams” when he visited the Campus. He enthralled the audience for over an hour telling them of his humble beginnings in the business, right up to recent work with Oscar Winners Michael Fassbender and Marilyn Cotillard.

David Hayman commented: “I was completely knocked over by the talent and enthusiasm of the students and the outstanding preforming and recording facilities at UWS in Ayr. I am already planning my next visit to follow up the wonderful work being done at UWS Ayr.”

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The Photo above was taken by UWS Student Oliver Karaschewski .

It was an inspirational experience for students and staff which we recorded and will publish on our School Vimeo site.

Visits like these are an invaluable part of the process of the students gaining the skills, confidence and insights to enter the professional arena and we are planning more of these for the future. Watch this space for details.


Last week I enjoyed a wonderful UWS/Kelvin College production of Cats at the Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow.

I am delighted to pass on  this message  from my Musical Theatre Colleagues, Stephen Langston & Jane Robertson.

“You were probably aware of the sell out performances of Cats the musical by our 3rd and 4th year degree students in collaboration with Glasgow Kelvin College last week at the Scottish Youth Theatre. Such a shame if you missed it as it really was one of the most professional pieces of musical theatre we have ever produced. You can see a few photographs here

https://www.facebook.com/stephen.langston/media_set?set=a.10151978965853366.1073741825.527583365&type=3

However, you’re in luck, because the same classes have also been preparing and rehearsing the Broadway and West End smash hit Avenue Q at the same time, and now we have triple the amount of seats in the theatre so you can all come and see it.

AVENUE Q is the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad who comes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. He soon discovers that the only neighborhood in his price range is Avenue Q; still, the neighbors seem nice. There’s Brian the out-of-work comedian and his therapist fiancee Christmas Eve; Nicky the good-hearted slacker and his roommate Rod—a Republican investment banker who seems to have some sort of secret; an Internet addict called Trekkie Monster; and a very cute kindergarten teaching assistant named Kate. And would you believe the building’s superintendent is Gary Coleman?!? (Yes, that Gary Coleman.) Together, Princeton and his newfound friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life.

Avenue Q’s cast is a bit unusual. If you have not seen or heard of it before then you are in for a real treat. It is made up of Sesame Street style puppets (ours being the original West End and Broadway puppets). However, do not be fooled, these are not the safe, child like puppets we all know and love, they come with an age warning. A lot of their discussion, songs, monologues and action is based on adult themes. This show is not suitable for children as it contains adult material, however, it is one of the funniest shows I have seen on and off of the West End. If you want a really good night out then come along and see this. Its something you will never forget, and remember to leave the kids at home, no matter how tempted you are by the beautiful puppets.

All UWS, relatives and friends can buy tickets at the box office for the Gaiety Theatre, Ayr, for the concession price. Simply phone the box office, say you are UWS staff and pay for the tickets over the phone. You will be expected to produce your UWS badge when picking up the tickets on the night.

This show really is worth coming along to see, with a full size avenue Q set, the West End Puppets, a live band and the most wonderful cast of professional musical theatre students we have had. Hope to see you there. Ticket details enclosed, and now go visit this link which explains a wee bit about the show – Don’t be offended, it’s just theatre.

More info on Avenue Q at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azsg4hwpWt4

Best wishes

Stephen Langston   and Jane Robertson. ”

Book Early, Book Often.


StudioLab is a unique crossover project which allows University Of The West Of Scotland  students from across  all programmes in the School Of Creative & Cultural Industries  to collaborate together to create a live recorded TV Programme.

Over the past  7 weeks, as part of their CSA Research Project, 4th Year Contemporary Screen Acting Students have been tasked with creating a 30-45 minute piece of TV Drama. They are devising , workshopping ,  and will finally  record this programme  live on Weds 11th December.

To do this requires the support and help of students from other programmes to chronicle and record the work. We will be continuing with StudioLab next Trimester at UWS so  if you are a student in the UWS School Of Creative & Cultural Industries and are Image interested in taking part as a Designer, Producer, Director, Runner, Camera Operator, Musician, Digital Artist, Screenwriter or whatever your chosen specialism may be, please come along to our first meeting.

Every Weds, 1.30 PM TV Studio 1, UWS Ayr.

Please email me at StudioLab@uws.ac.uk to book a place.


Movement Artist Scott Houston at UWS Ayr Open Day


I am very proud to announce that the Student’s Association of the University Of The West Of Scotland last night awarded me the accolade of their 21st Century Teaching Award. This is voted for by students across the 4 UWS Campuses to recognise innovation in teaching and the use of the new technologies. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the students who voted for me.

I would also like to thank my colleagues within the Performance team at UWS , including Dr John Quinn, Jane Robertson, Jo Ronan, Dr David Overend, Martin McCardie, Michael Hines, Ashley Cowie, Keith Bird and Jamie Hare for their continued help and support. Many thanks to all.

21st Century Teaching & Harris Tweed.

21st Century Teaching & Harris Tweed.


Rehearsals  are well under way  for my new play “Marco Pantani: The Pirate”. The play  will be running at Oran Mor as part of the “Play , A Pie And A Pint”  series from May 13th -18th. It will  will also be presented at The Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock on Sunday 19th.

Details of bookings and ticket prices for Marco Pantani: The Pirate can be found online here.

The part of Italian Cyclist Marco Pantani will be taken by Scots Actor Jordan Young, who has just finished filming in Irvine Welsh’s new pic “Filth”.

The part of Tonina, his mother will be played by Blythe Duff, who has just returned from  an Off Broadway production of David Harrower’s “Good With People.”

The cast is completed by actor James Smillie, who has appeared in a a multitude of television shows and stage plays, both in the UK and Australia. His television credits include The Tomorrow PeopleAdventure IslandSpace: 1999ThrillerPrisoner: Cell Block H,

The play has a real UWS feel to it. Director David Overend is a lecturer in Performance, our Studio managers, Jamie Hare and Keith Bird  will be providing visuals, while UWS Radio Graduate Stuart Watt will be creating a bespoke soundscape using special recordings of cycle parts.  The production team is completed by  UWS Performance Graduand Deborah Lochran and Catriona Hepburn who studied Playwriting & Team Writing For Television at UWS.

Unknown Blythe

Jordan Young

Jordan Young


 Scottish actress Blythe Duff recently visited Contemporary Screen Acting students at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and took  part in the ongoing StudioLab collaboration project.

Blythe was visiting the studios to record excerpts of Scottish Poetry which will soon be seen on the Infinite Scotland website. Blythe then followed her recording session with a Question and Answer session chaired by UWS Student Natalie Smith, where she answered student  queries on the subject of contemporary screen acting. The entire process was recorded by UWS students and will be edited by the UWS technical team of   Jamie Hare and Keith Bird  and placed online soon.

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Blythe Duff with UWS Filmmaking student Elsi Vehkaniemi.

Blythe said: “I had a fantastic time with the students at UWS. I had no idea that the studio facilities at UWS Ayr were so advanced.The whole StudioLab project where students collaborate with one another across programmes is exactly what the professional business is really like.  I will definitely be back in the future to see how their work is progressing   and wish them all the very best ”

The University’s BA (Hons) Performance, BA (Hons) Contemporary Screen Acting and BA (Hons) Musical Theatre programmes were among the first in the UK to achieve Drama UK Recognition – a New Level of Quality Assurance for Drama Training Providers. This recognition  offers students and their future employers assurance that a course with this award has been through a rigorous assessment including a visit from a panel of industry experts to ensure that it delivers what it promises and provides a real benefit to the industry.

Tutors at UWS are committed to giving students an authentic experience of the contemporary creative industries practice, and structured workshops and visits by practitioners such as Blythe Duff are an essential part of that process.

For more information on Contemporaray Screen Acting at UWS, please click here.

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