To celebrate World Theatre Day 2015, we asked Course Leader of BA Theatre & Screen: Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Arts Lucy Algar to tell us how theatre can be used as a positive force for change and understanding.

“For many centuries cultures from all over the world have turned to performance as a way of celebrating change and important events, of marking the passage of time and as a means by which people can question their very existence. Theatre offers us glimpses into other worlds and helps us to make sense of contemporary and historical issues.

From the Olympic Opening Ceremonies to the most intimate one to one performances people are affected and influenced by music, words, moving bodies and extraordinary design. This influence can change peoples’ perception of others and so it is through theatre that communities, both small and on a world scale, can develop new understandings and enjoy life.”

Theatre Day

Image from collaborative project run by Lucy Algar and 3rd year theatre designers with choreographer Angela Woodhouse from Middlesex University and her 3rd year dance/choreography students – performed at Wimbledon College of Arts in February. Set design by Qinzi Huang.

Course Director of MA Theatre Design at Wimbledon Michael Pavelka recently wrote a piece for the Guardian Culture Professionals Network on how to become a theatre designer, listing patience, grit and resourcefulness as essential attributes for budding designers:

“Life in the theatre is not kind to the shy and retiring, so you have to be able to give (consistently) 100%, made up of the clichéd but no-less-truthful 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. What if you don’t find “that spark” in a project? If you want the job, you’ll just have to, to challenge yourself.”

On Wednesday 25 March MA Curating and Collections at Chelsea College of Arts opened ‘Work from the Collections #3: Jocelyn Herbert and Samuel Beckett’, a new exhibition held at Wimbledon College of Arts exploring the working relationship between acclaimed theatre and film designer Jocelyn Herbert and iconic playwright and author Samuel Beckett. The materials for the exhibition, including sketchbooks, set and costume drawings and annotated scripts, have been selected from the Jocelyn Herbert Archive at the National Theatre, the NT’s only archive dedicated to a theatre designer. The exhibition runs until 10th April.