A performing arts lecturer is following in her family’s footsteps after being appointed to a new post at the same institution where her grandfather studied more than 80 years ago.
Rebecca Woodford-Smith, a performer, writer and researcher, is the latest addition to the Theatre, Television and Performance department at Glyndŵr University, Wrexham.
As well as complementing the skills of the current team, Rebecca will be specialising in dance and movement training – providing students with access to expertise in an area not available to them previously.
Rebecca said: “I recently discovered that my 90-year-old grandfather attended the university in its previous incarnation as Denbighshire Technical College in the late 1930s and I was pleased to follow in his footsteps. The theatre, television and performance department at Glyndŵr is clearly ready to expand and build on its record of success and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Rebecca completed her undergraduate degree at Aberystwyth University before studying for a masters degree at Bristol University. She is currently completing a PhD in the Department of Performing Arts at Middlesex University.
“My expertise is in the area of physical theatre, performance theory and practice as research. These are now playing a larger role in the course. I’d like to pass on to the students the skills I’ve learnt over the years as a theatre practitioner, particularly in terms of my collaborations with other artists, like Gekidan Kaitaisha. These are a Japanese performance company with whom I’ve collaborated in Europe and Japan since 2004.”
Rebecca says the value of studying theatre, television and performance at Glyndŵr University extends beyond obvious directions – and she is looking forward to developing students’ careers.
“First and foremost, our graduates are confident, self-motivated, creative thinkers with the ability to work independently and as part of a diverse team. This allows them to pursue their chosen career, whether it be as an actor, workshop facilitator, teacher, writer, presenter or social worker.”
Stuart Cunningham, head of creative industries at Glyndŵr University, said: “Glyndŵr University’s creative industries department is going from strength-to-strength and we’re delighted to recruit someone of Rebecca’s calibre to our theatre and performance team. We always aim to provide students with a blend of sound academic knowledge combined with real-life industry experience so that they’re ready for the world of employment and Rebecca’s expertise and contacts within the industry will help them to do that.”