Our class of 2021 really are something to shout about. They’ve overcome challenges, helped others, grasped opportunities and developed their skills, showing their Essex Spirit in so many ways. And they’ve done it all during a pandemic when student life has been changed beyond recognition. We couldn’t be prouder of them so we’re telling their stories.
Wed 14 Jul 21
Despite a tough 18 months for the theatre industry, Faye Williams has completed a West End work placement and scooped a top East 15 Acting School award which she’s using to fund a trip to the theatre for her fellow students.
Faye, who’s graduating with a BA Stage and Production Management, always knew she’d work in the theatre and settled on stage management when she saw the East 15 Acting School offer.
“I knew it was the right creative space for me. East 15’s course stood out in particular due to the course immersing its students in theatre and live shows from the first few weeks of starting,” she said.
As well as an immersive education, Faye was able to take advantage of the chance to complete a work placement on West End one-man show Cruise.
“I wanted to gain experience in a wider professional capacity and be able to network with and work alongside seasoned theatre professionals,” she said.
“Cruise was a brand-new West End show, so I was excited to gain an insight into how a new play comes together behind the scenes,” she added.
"Studying at East 15 teaches you to be adaptable. Flexibility is a huge skill to have, not just during Covid-times, but in theatre in general as well."
The placement didn’t disappoint. Working with the stage management team Faye got hands-on backstage experience doing re-sets, maintaining props and running lines with understudies. But it was the chance to operate a revolving floor that really stood out.
“The show had a revolve in it, which I hadn’t had experience in using before, but I got a couple of chances to operate it which was great! The stage management team I worked within were lovely people who had a lot of time and enthusiasm to chat to me about what they were doing and what exciting things they have worked on before, which made me feel really ‘at home’.”
The experience left her in no doubt that she’d picked the right career path: “I learnt that I am very ready to get out into the theatre industry now. My three years at East 15 have taught me so much about professionalism, the skill set required to stage manage and the importance of networking. I feel ready to apply everything East 15 has taught me in the wider industry.”
Despite Covid-19 hitting theatres hard, Faye believes East 15 Acting School prepares students for the ever-changing industry.
“Studying at East 15 teaches you to be adaptable; which is something that is crucial when still trying to create theatre during a pandemic. Flexibility is a huge skill to have, not just during Covid-times, but in theatre in general as well.”
Before she launches her career, Faye has one last date with her fellow students. Having won the 2020 Jack Petchey Award, Faye is treating her classmates to a trip to see Be More Chill at the Shaftesbury Theatre.