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News > Careers > Jennifer Baker PGS 2008 - 2015

Jennifer Baker PGS 2008 - 2015

Sometimes it takes starting something to make you appreciate that it's just not for you - Jennifer thought that acting was her calling but realised that directing was where her real passion lay.
1 Nov 2022
Written by Jennifer Baker
Careers
Jennifer Baker at Curve, Leicester during Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard (streamed version)
Jennifer Baker at Curve, Leicester during Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard (streamed version)

I’ve always been involved in drama and the arts. I vividly remember my parents stepping in to tell me that I couldn’t take five arts-based options at GCSE! Through house events and school plays I got the opportunity to try out a selection of different roles – I acted, I choreographed, and I even helped build sets and costumes. My EPQ, which I began researching for over the summer before Year 13, was what solidified my plans to become a theatre director. Mr Edward Derbyshire kindly supported me as I decided to direct my first play, a production of Romeo and Juliet. This wasn’t something that the EPQ specification offered as standard, but I asked and the staff at Pate’s helped me make it happen.


After leaving Pate’s in 2015, I toyed with the idea of becoming an actor, and spent a year doing a foundation course in musical theatre at drama school. During the course of this, I really learned that acting wasn’t for me, but I learned a huge amount about the theatre industry and the different paths to take through it. At the end of the year I decided to take up my offer to study English at Durham University, with a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for the Arts (big thanks to Ms Reid for her help with my application!). Durham has a huge and incredibly active student theatre scene, and the skills I picked up there have contributed far more to my career than my degree! It gave me the opportunity to try out a huge number of different roles in theatre – while I knew I wanted to go into directing, I still learned so much about other roles and skills that go into creating theatre.


I continued onto further vocational training after graduating from Durham, to do the MFA Theatre Directing course at Birkbeck. As part of the course I spent time working with actors at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and now I’m working at Curve in Leicester as their trainee director. One of my key interests as a director is musical theatre, and I’ve been so lucky to work on several large musicals as part of my job here. I’ve also worked creating animated videos for heritage organisations, devising online theatre with universities and have helped build brand new ways of streaming theatre during the pandemic.


Working in theatre is never easy, especially as a freelancer, but if you really have the passion to do it then it’s worth everything.
 

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