Alex Tunaru, BA (Hons) Drama and Performance, inspirational teachers
Originally from Romania, Alex had already been accepted onto a Drama course at another university, but found that the call of LSBU was too much to resist
Like many of our BA (Hons) Drama and Performance students, Alex Tunaru has found that studying in the heart of London has allowed her to immerse herself in theatre culture inside and outside of the lecture theatre.
"The chance to study in the city of theatres was just too great for me to resist," recalls Alex. "I took the risk of applying to LSBU and was accepted – I haven't looked back since!"
Alex has been really impressed with the practical hands-on nature of the course, and says that the range of modules she has studied have really helped her to develop. "You look at so many different aspects of drama, and even look at technical elements such as sound and lighting. It really prepares you for a career in theatre," she says.
Putting learning into practice
During the second year of her studies, Alex was able to put a lot of her learning into practice when she took to the stage in the LSBU Student Theatre company production of Bacchae directed by Jon Lee of Dirty Market Theatre (and an LSBU lecturer).
"The special thing about working on a collaborative production with an experienced director like Jon is the journey that we took together," she says of the experience. "We went back through time and space, inside the mythologies of Ancient Greece and back to the present day again. It allowed us to find our creative selves, and I felt safe enough to explore some really dark places, overcoming my fears at the same time. It was a play where the audience really invaded our space – it was fantastic to be a part of it."
When she finishes her degree, Alex plans to open her own theatre company with a touch of experimental practice. "I envisage a circus theatre, a street theatre that travels around cities and countries, casting actors from that specific area to incorporate borders, cultural beliefs, race gender, sex, nationality, politics and strong subject matter that has been specifically designed for the site we are performing in."
It is a challenging ambition to set, but Alex feels that her studies have prepared her well for turning it into reality. "I've been really inspired by the teaching and practice of Dr Elena Marchevska at LSBU," she says, "and I feel that the course has really prepared me for the future. Thanks to the broad range of subjects I have covered I feel I can support events in all areas, including lighting and sound."
"I have enjoyed my course a great deal," says Alex. "Having the freedom to explore my own creativity, thinking critically about theatre and performance, exploring emotions and creative concepts, and working with professional artists has all contributed to my artistic development."
It has been an experience that has even changed Alex's outlook on theatre. "Drama and Performance is not just a subject for actors; it's a subject that matures you as a person," she says. "Before I began the course, I wanted to be a solo performer but after two years on this course, I have learned that a team has a very strong power if it is chosen wisely."