Hello! My name is Marley Kajan and I am a third year at Brock University in both the Dramatic Arts and the Music Department. My concentration in Dramatic Arts is Theatre Performance, while in Music my focus is on Voice. However, I decided to go on exchange for my third year and I am currently at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland.
As of right now I’ve been in Scotland for two and half weeks and I’ve finally started to settle in to living away from home and living in a different time zone. The weather here is never too extreme in terms of temperature (though it rains quite a bit), however it is colder then it was in Canada when I left, so I’ve been sick on and off for a couple weeks which as a theatre student is of course very annoying.
On the topic of being a theatre student this semester I am taking four classes and I am split between two programs of study. The first two classes are from the Acting for Stage and Screen program (a program run jointly through Queen Margaret University and Edinburgh Napier University) which is more like a conservatory acting program, while the other two are from the Drama and Performance program which is a little more theory based and analytical. Together they sort of form the type of experience that one would receive in Brock’s Dramatic Arts Performance Concentration (so it might be kind of cliché but Brock’s “both sides of the brain” slogan is very relevant in this situation).
Within Acting for Stage and Screen I am taking a movement class, which is similar to the scene study type course I did in my second year at Brock and I am also taking a voice class. The voice class is immensely fun, our current class assignment is a group number from the musical Avenue Q and we are also each individually responsible for performing a solo musical theatre song (from prior to 1960) as well as a Disney song. My songs are Johnny One Note (from the 1937 musical Babes in Arms) and Waiting for This Moment from Tarzan (the Musical). I’ve found this class to be so valuable because we are getting into the physiology of the voice and how to project it as well as the more fun performance aspects.
For the Drama and Performance programme I am taking a British Drama course, discussing British texts from 1945 onward. I am finding this class a bit difficult because there is so much politically that affected the playwriting of this time period and I am not very familiar with British politics, but I am hoping the more I research the more it will become clear. The second class from this program I am taking is Performance Project 3 which is basically where we formed several smaller groups (mine has six people) with other students who shared similar interests and we spend the entire semester adapting and creating a professional level performance. My group actually ended up choosing a Canadian play that I studied at Brock last year and performed scenes from, so though we are only in the early stages of development I am really excited to see how we can adapt it and make it relevant in a more Scottish context.
Aside from classes I’ve been enjoying the city of Edinburgh and since my last blog post I’ve never been to:
The Edinburgh Castle (where I saw the crown jewels)
The Royal Botanical Gardens
The Edinburgh Playhouse to see The Phantom of the Opera (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfU-UqVLiAE)
The Royal Mile