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Vol 37  No 16
June 30, 2005


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Student accepted to National Theatre School

And she’s off . . . to Montreal

By Tracey Mills

Bridget Wareham is moving from performing in the Reid Theatre to the National Theatre School. (Photo by Chris Hammond)

Imagine having to perform The Princess Bride in three minutes. Bridget Wareham, a student in the diploma program in performance and communications media, did just that this past year and her performance caught the attention of the National Theatre School in a big way. She has been accepted as one of 12 students from across Canada to commence studies in Montreal in September.

Ms. Wareham came to Memorial in 2001 to pursue a degree in arts. She knew she wanted to study English, but theatre was also a big interest. The diploma program gave her just what she needed to get her feet wet and introduce her to the world of theatre and film.

“In the program we learn the basics of everything ­ directing, acting, producing, etc. It really opened my eyes to the industry and made me want to pursue acting as a career choice,” she said with a smile.

One of Ms. Wareham’s proudest accomplishments is a documentary titled One Door Into History. The documentary looks at the life and work of Pat and Joe Byrne and their pride in passing on Newfoundland tradition through song. Together with classmates Matt Anthony and Krista Hand, they filmed, shot and edited the piece which will make its public debut at the Nickel Independent Film and Video Festival on Friday, July 8.

“We also put off a production called Mad Forest in the fall of 2004. I learned so much during that class, I even learned how to speak Romanian phonetically! But it is worth it all in the end when you pull it off. That is such a satisfying feeling.”

Now with one course left to complete this summer and Montreal in her sights for the fall, Ms. Wareham looks back on what got her to where she is today.

“I applied to the National Theatre School in January because I heard it was a hard school and I wanted the challenge,” said Ms. Wareham. “After the first audition, I had two and a half weeks to prepare for the call-back audition in Halifax. For that I had to do three monologues and a complete play in three minutes!”

Students got to pick which play they were going to do. For Ms. Wareham the choice was obvious ­ The Princess Bride. It wasn’t a play in the strictest sense, but it was one of her favourites.

“I figured that the school wants to see your creativity, what you are capable of and how you can physicalize a play, quite a challenge when you are doing five, six or 10 characters,” she said with a laugh. “I couldn’t have done it without all the support I had from Denyse Lynde, Jamie Skidmore, my family and friends. They kept me going and really encouraged me.”

All the hard work has paid off for Ms. Wareham and she gets to be one of the select few to go off to National Theatre School to develop her acting skills and further what she has learned in her four years at Memorial.

“In three years time I know I will do theatre and hopefully film. And I want to come back to Newfoundland and be part of the arts community here. But I also want to travel and experience the world.”

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