UWTSD Acting Graduate sets up a Theatre Company in Merthyr to inspire next generation


03.11.2021

A graduate from the BA Acting course at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has co-founded a theatre company in Merthyr Tydfil to inspire the next generation of talent.

Kira Bissex smiles into the camera.

Kira Bissex and Kayleigh Adlam, Lecturer and Course Coordinator for Drama and Performing Arts at The College Merthyr Tydfil have set up Merthyr Acting for past and present students at the college.

Kira said: “Both Kayleigh and I are passionate about giving young people a platform to create theatre that is important to them. In the South Wales Valleys, there is a lack of provision for high quality acting training outside of educational boundaries. We wanted to change that and create a company where the members have creative control of what they produce, and provide links to the industry relevant quality training, preparing members for the industry.”

The company’s aim is to be able to visit fringe festivals, regional theatres, and create collaborations with Theatre Companies in the UK and beyond. They have already made some exciting connections with well-established performing arts institutions to enable them to introduce members to industry professionals and host masterclasses in all areas.

New taster workshops are already underway, and after October half term they’ll be holding casting auditions.

Kira studied Acting at UWTSD between 2016-2019 and was taught by Lynne Seymour and Dave Ainsworth.

She said: “When I was applying for UCAS and started going to open days in universities around the UK, there was something about UWTSD that just felt right. It was cosy, homely and at the same time gave me the independence that I wanted when I was 18 years old. The course structure suited me, focusing mainly on practical work, and upskilling for actors, giving me all the skills and experiences to enter the industry. Everyone I met on the open day was SO friendly and welcoming, I just knew from then that UWTSD was where I wanted to spend the next 3 years.”

Kira said three main skills taught during her time at UWTSD had remained with her: resilience, professionalism, and dedication.

“Before my time at UWTSD I had never excelled in education and thought that I wouldn’t succeed, but since studying at UWTSD my outlook has completely changed,” she added. “I have found something I love doing, that I am able to completely dedicate myself to the work because of the skills I learnt while I was at university.”

During her time at UWTSD, Kira said she grew in confidence, and she’s thankful for the continued support given to her by the lecturers.

 She said: “Lynne and Dave allowed me to push myself and saw potential in me that I didn’t see myself. Studying at UWTSD gave me a massive boost in confidence and provided the resources and support to help me in my journey, and still continue to support me as a graduate over 2 years later.”

BA Acting Programme Manager Lynne Seymour said:  “Kira was a wonderfully dedicated student with bags of talent and dedication. Over her three years with us she developed her practical skills and made some excellent connections with all the industry professionals that teach, direct and contribute to the course.  Through these experiences she excelled at collaboration and leadership and Dave and I always knew she was destined to use her talents to not only progress as an individual performer, but also to encourage and support others. I am so pleased that she is continuing her creative journey and am so excited to see what she achieves with her new company and collaborations.  I have no doubt that she will inspire many young people to find their voice and develop their creative talents and Kira and her team will become an important part of the arts landscape in Wales and beyond.”

As Kira uses her skills and experience learnt from university to embark on a new venture of training future actors to the industry, she has a strong vision.

“I want to make theatre accessible to people from all walks of life, giving the underrepresented a voice. I would also like to make more work in the Welsh language and incorporate Welsh history and mythology into theatre. There are so many steps to take in terms of making theatre accessible to those in the living in the South Wales Valleys, and we are proud to be making the jump”.

 

 

Further Information

Lowri Thomas, Principal Communications and PR Officer

07449 998476 

lowri.thomas@uwtsd.ac.uk