Industry names join Staffs Drama lecturing staff

"As a connected university, having industry professionals of such high calibre wanting to come to work with our third year students is testimony to what makes this University a special place to study."

Rob Marsden, Associate Professor of Acting and Directing

Musical theatre stars are sharing their wealth of experience as guest lecturers on Staffordshire University's Drama courses.

Tony Award-winning Musical Director Sarah Travis and star of the stage Karen Mann have been working with students and recently helped prepare a production of Sweeney Todd.

Sarah was the musical supervisor and orchestrator of a revival of Sweeney Todd, which was performed both in the West End and on Broadway.

She explained: “I’ve been doing it a while now, so it’s just bringing my experience and teaching the students shortcuts and techniques.”

“It's about learning how to put on a show and the process of going from starting rehearsals all the way through.”

Sarah began her career as a musician working with comedians on the cabaret circuit including Julian Clary and Lily Savage. She then moved on to orchestrate shows and has worked on several projects with Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood.

“I get a lot out of giving back and I want to encourage young people. That's what theatre is all about – bringing young people through and continuing the form. This is bringing me a lot of joy.”

Karen Mann has performed in many theatre productions and recently played Mother Superior in Sister Act the Musical. She has also appeared in popular television shows including Doctor Who.

“I've never taught before but in 40 years in the business I must have learned something. If I can give any sort of passion for what I love and what I do, that's something that will hopefully come forward.” Karen said.

“I've loved it. I'm so thrilled with what the students have brought and what they have achieved so far.”

Rob Marsden, Associate Professor of Acting and Directing, added: “The drama department has a long history of working with top industry professionals and this year we have been delighted to work with Sarah and Karen.

“As a connected university, having industry professionals of such high calibre wanting to come to work with our third year students is testimony to what makes this University a special place to study.”

Discover more about Staffordshire University's Drama and Theatre Arts degrees at an Open Day – find details and book your place here.

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