SERC Students At Front Of Lockdown Research

SERC Students Help with Lockdown Research for Future Generations.


SERC Students Help with Lockdown Research for Future Generations.

Four students from the Level 3 Performing Arts at South Eastern Regional College (SERC) are taking part in a Coronavirus Time Capsule project.

This involves groups of young people from around the world who have been invited to become joint research assistants with Royal Central School of Speech & Drama  and who are looking at how young people engage with the project.

Taylor Dowling from Bangor has been involved in the performing arts
since she was seven.

Taylor Dowling (Bangor), Georgia Brennan (North Belfast), Mackenzie Moreland (Newtownards), and Nuala Dawe-Black (Holywood)  have been making short films for the  international Coronavirus Time Capsule project which have been posted on the College’s website and YouTube channel and shared around the world since the start of lockdown.

Fiona Cullen, Lecturer in Performing Arts, said: “It is difficult to believe the group have just submitted Week 7 for the The Coronavirus Time Capsule project organised by London based theatre group Company Three.

“The theme for this week is food and the students have captured all those things which are important to all of us, that one chocolate bar we can’t manage without, the copious amounts of tea and coffee we have been drinking, accompanied by our favourite biscuit of course. So, if you are experiencing a shortage of cheesecake, we think we know who could be responsible.     

“I am delighted that the students have been asked to take part in a wider research project with the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama led by Elana Shyong which will highlight how young people have engaged in the project and hopefully how it has helped them through this difficult time.  Our plan is to continue with submissions until the end of lockdown, whenever that will be.”

Taylor Dowling, who has been involved in musical theatre since she was 7 years old, has been performing ever since.  The Performing Arts student from Bangor said: “I was unsure about the Time Capsule Project at the start, but I am really enjoying being involved and it is good that we are going to be part of the research that stems from the project.

“It has been a nice way to stay connected and has given me something bigger to focus on.   It is so difficult not to see family and friends and this has been a break from other course work which is allowing us to further develop our skills and experience.   We have had a lot of creative liberty and the support from friends and family has been very encouraging.”

Taylor, who plans to progress to SERC’s HND in Performing Arts, has been busy preparing for her online interview, producing a monologue and an essay on the importance of theatre as part of the selection process.   Long term, the young lady has ambitions for stage and screen.

Mackenzie Moreland, hoping to complete
an HND in the Performing Arts.

Fellow student Mackenzie Moreland from Newtownards, who is also planning to progress to the HND in Performing Arts, said: “Like Taylor, I was a bit apprehensive at the start, but the project has proved a great way for us to record what it is like living through a pandemic.  

“Although we are all alone, we are all together and we have had great support from people who have been watching and looking forward to the films each week.  

“We each have pointers to develop ideas then plan and record our parts and Fiona, our Lecturer, puts it together so we don’t know how it is going to be edited until we see it – so it is something for us to look forward too as well.

“We are also getting experience of work with the camera, so it all adds to our learning and skills.   Mackenzie also has long term plans for screen and theatre and hopes to be able to combine it with youth work in which he is heavily involved in Ards Area on South Street in Newtownards.

SERC is hosting a series of Online Open Days from 10am – 4pm, on Wednesday 27 May until Thursday 4 June, with dedicated teams online ready to meet those progressing to Higher Education, Further Education, Apprenticeships and Training programmes.

Apply now for courses commencing September 2020.

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