I am coming to the end of my first week in my new role as the Liberal Arts and Sciences Intern. I am working in the office to develop the extracurricular programme that LAS runs alongside the academic side of this degree. My job is to explore what all the students want to get out of the extracurricular programme, and how we can make it even better for next year.
The department provides us with tickets for cultural events that are going on in and around Birmingham. We get free tickets to things pretty much every week. The idea is that we’ll all become well-rounded students with knowledge of things outside university life.
We started last year with a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to see Shakespeare’s Hecuba, complete with an exploration of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s dressing-up box.
Other theatre highlights from the year include Orpheus, Strictly Balti and Iphigenia in Splott – all amazing and unusual pieces of theatre which we would never otherwise have thought to go to.
Images clockwise: Orpheus, Iphigenia in Splott, Strictly Balti. Photo credit clockwise: John Hunter at RULER, Mark Douet for the Sherman Theatre and Farrows Creative/Travelling Light Theatre.
We saw the ballet Sleeping Beauty in February, and the opera The Marriage of Figaro in March. What other students get to go to the opera? Despite my reservations about the highly-dramatic warbling that I thought made up opera, it was hilarious and I was thoroughly proven wrong.
My personal highlight of the year was Broken, a contemporary dance performance we saw in Warwick Arts Centre. I have never seen anything so amazing or relentlessly jaw-dropping! The strength of the dancers, their interaction with their set and the innovation of their moves made for a phenomenal show that I will never forget.
This is the Motionhouse Dance Theatre Company – if you ever get the chance to see them, please do not hesitate!
So, I have filled this rainy week with chatting to lots of lovely Liberal Arts people and collecting their feedback from the programme this year. I am starting to get a very clear picture of what everyone liked most about the events. Those that stood out were new experiences, things we would never have got to do otherwise and stuff to make us think.
My week has given me a good idea about what people want to get out of the extracurricular aspect of Liberal Arts. I am very excited to explore the possibilities for next year. I’ve had loads of amazing suggestions already – please keep them coming!
Cassidy Locke, June 2016