Theatre director shares her experience

19th November 2014 3:48pm - Return to press releases

Theatre director shares her experience

Performing arts students at East Riding College have been given the inside track on working in the industry by a professional director.
Shakera Ahad, resident director at Freedom Studios Theatre in Bradford, gave a talk to learners at the Beverley campus about the reality of the arts industry and following a career path in performing arts.
She also discussed their ambitions, gave them advice on how to achieve them and the confidence to go out into the industry.

Tutor Stacey Johnstone said: “As a facilitator and freelance performer, I understand the importance of making connections to the industry as soon as possible and of gaining an awareness of what artists tend to have to be able to do to produce their own work. 
“Whilst I can give the learners an insight to the role of performer, I wanted to bring in a professional young female director to give my class, who are all female, an insight into different career paths they have the potential to follow in the performing arts industry.” 
She added: “Shakera gave the learners an engaging and honest insight to her career so far as a director and how essential it is to follow up any opportunities offered, as well as being persistent.  
“All the learners expressed an interest in exploring how to be a director having listened to Shakera and also were able to put into practice some of her techniques.”

Shakera said: “I found the students to be absolutely real. It was inspiring for me and they were just fascinating – I could have just been with them in the room for hours.
“I felt the big thing I noticed was that ‘even with friends it’s possible to treat each other as professionals’, and they seem potentially capable of trying to do it which is rare.”

Georgia Drydale, 16, from Beverley, said: "Shakera made me feel more confident about pursuing my chosen career path and showed that although it is hard, it is achievable if you work hard. 
"She also made me more aware of the different styles of directing which made me feel comfortable in knowing that there isn't just one way to work.
“Lastly, she demonstrated how the slightest change in a script can affect the whole scene, which was great to learn. It was a pleasure meeting Shakera and I have personally learnt a lot from her."

Lorna Ingleby, 17, from Market Weighton, said: “Shakera showed how it was possible to become a director and I would now like to look further into pursuing it as a potential career path."

East Riding College runs performing arts courses at its campuses in Beverley and Bridlington. For more information, visit or call 0845 120 0037.


Notes to editors

For more information about this press release, call Matthew Croshaw, marketing and communications manager, on 01482 390720 or email