Royston’s Kate sets up drama-based educational workshop company to break the mould
- Credit: Archant
Finding a way to carve a career in the ‘make or break’ arts industry is the preoccupation of many a talented drama school graduate.
But after a few years doing freelance work, 25-year-old Kate Gwynn and her friend Vicky Sheldon, who studied together at London’s ALRA drama school, decided they wanted to do things their own way.
That was the spur for them to set up their own drama-based educational workshop company.
Kate, who comes from Royston, wanted to base the new venture on a theory she stumbled across at university called divergent thinking, which is a method used to generate creative ideas by exploring possible solutions.
She said: “We wanted to do our own thing. Other companies that we had worked for had a set script they had to follow, but we wanted to do something different.”
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The pair set up the aptly named Divergent Drama in January, to deliver drama- based curriculum workshops that encourage creative learning.
She said: “Children have the best ideas. I love working with them because they have such active imaginations.
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“For example, if you give a child a paper clip and ask them what it could be used for, they give loads of creative suggestions, but if you asked an adult, they’d say: ‘Isn’t it obvious?’
“The workshops encourage them to come up with their own solutions to certain situations.”
They enable children to think reflectively about a topic – whether it be internet safety or the Victorians.
And despite only launching in January, the partners have had really good feedback from schools which have made use of their services, with satisfied customers already secured in both North London and Stevenage.
The pair are still keen actors, and have other projects like children’s entertainment to juggle with.
But Kate, who grew up in Wimpole and went to Bassingbourn Village College and Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, says the freedom of running her own business means she has the flexibility to take up acting roles when they come up.
As the company is relatively new and the pair are still building up a reputation, school bookings can be infrequent but, Kate says, that’s part of the attraction of the industry.
She said: “You never know what’s around the corner, but it’s definitely exciting.”
There are other projects in the pipeline including a youth theatre or summer school, and Kate thinks Royston may be just the ideal location. To find out more, visit divergentdrama.co.uk.