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Good Reasons To Become A Friend Of Guildford School Of Acting

Published on: 26 Sep, 2013
Updated on: 26 Sep, 2013

By Carol Norris, secretary of the GSA Friends

Guildford Dragon readers may have seen a piece about Daniel Boys one of the UK’s brightest emerging musical theatre talents and a graduate of Guildford School of Acting (GSA). Daniel recently appeared at G Live in High Society as Mike Connors, a role immortalized by Frank Sinatra in the film at G Live.

A scene from Footloose performed by students of Guildford School of Acting (GSA).

A scene from Footloose performed by students of Guildford School of Acting (GSA) at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

GSA, now part of the University of Surrey, is an internationally renowned drama school  in Guildford with which you are no doubt familiar, but have you heard about GSA Friends?

The friends are people from all walks of life with one common interest – theatre and the nurturing and supporting of students entering the profession.

Current members are busy planning the annual welcome evening which they host every year for incoming new students of Guildford School of Acting.

This special occasion, much enjoyed by the students, GSA faculty and the friends is an opportunity for first year students from all full-time GSA courses to socialise in the historic Guildhall on Guildford High Street and for the friends to meet students whom they will see in GSA shows during their training and, later on, performing professionally.

There are also students to meet from the professional production skills course whose expertise can be seen in lighting, design, stage management and all the disciplines required to put on a show.

For a small subscription, friends enjoy priority booking for all GSA shows and the chance to meet the cast members. GSA productions are extremely popular and tend to sell out very quickly. Did you catch this year’s GSA annual show at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre? Footloose was a stunning box office success before the 2013 graduate cast set off on their professional careers.

So there are advantages of being a GSA Friend. However, the main purpose of the organisation is to support the students.

GSA Friends has a major commitment to help students who set up their own projects. The friends have recently given financial support to a group of students who set up Hookhitch Theatre Company.

Last year they took a production to the Edinburgh Fringe where it received critical acclaim. This year they presented their own original piece, including specially composed music. This Was the World and I was King previewed at G Live before taking Edinburgh Fringe by storm with sell-out performances.

It received superb five star reviews and was featured as the ‘hot show’ by The Scotsman and was nominated for the Musical Theatre Network Award plus an individual commendation for design from the National Students Drama Festival.

Hookhitch is just one example of how a small financial grant has helped GSA students take a step on the ladder to success in their chosen profession.

Why not join the GSA Friends? You could also be supporting the GSA students and enjoy superb, high-quality theatre right on your doorstep.

The friends’ annual meeting is held in the GSA building at the University of Surrey. The business part of the meeting is very short and is followed by entertainment from the students themselves. Do feel free to come along on Tuesday, November 12, to find out more or for further information contact gsafriends@surrey.ac.uk

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