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Third year student Beccy Ward talks about her experience at Warwick Arts Centre, both on stage and in the box office.

When I arrived at Warwick (way back in 2009), I could hardly have known that I would now be writing a Box Office blog for the Warwick Arts Centre website. I knew of the Arts Centre and its reputation before I arrived to begin my undergraduate course, but over the past few years, I can honestly say that the opportunities and my experiences at the Arts Centre have been some of the most memorable of my time here. I doubt I’d be alone in saying that, for a lot of students, having Warwick Arts Centre on our university campus has been extremely advantageous.

Whilst other universities might have the odd extra-curricular society here and there, Warwick students have an abundance of societies that they can discover through the Societies Fair at the beginning of term. When it came down to the performance societies, I certainly threw myself into everything I was interested in. Music Theatre Warwick (MTW) has always been my first port of call, and I’ve also dabbled in Warwick University Drama Society (WUDS), Classical and Modern Dance and Warwick Tap to name a few others. My involvement with these societies has not only given me more performance opportunities, but has allowed me to gain invaluable experience in all areas of a production that I might not have had were they not on offer here. Warwick Arts Centre supports these opportunities by maintaining a strong and supportive relationship with student run societies. The advantage of having the Music Centre based within the Arts Centre itself enables musicians to rehearse, promote and showcase their talent as well.

My peers and I have been privileged enough to perform, direct, choreograph, musical direct or produce a show in the venues that the Arts Centre has to offer. The chance to be able to say that you have been involved with a show that has been performed in a professional venue is incredible and something I’ll be very proud of achieving when MTW’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, that I am directing, is performed in the theatre from Wed 20 – Sat 23 Feb. Another student production coming up that you really shouldn’t miss out on this season is WUDS’ production of Richard III from Wed 6 – Sat 9 Mar, so if you’re a big Shakespeare fan then make sure you grab a ticket soon. I would always urge theatre goers to try out student theatre – the extensive hard work that the students put into their shows means that the standard is always top notch!

Warwick Arts Centre is like a second home to me – my workplace, somewhere where I spend time with friends or take a few minutes (or hours) to sit in between lectures or before rehearsals, and also where I’ve been able to continue to perform and get involved with theatre and, honestly, I could not be more grateful for that.

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