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News > Life after Hills Road > A new learning curve

A new learning curve

Former Hills Road student Kate Gwynn and business partner Vicky Sheldon, launch their new business Divergent Drama, which offers children a new learning experience

Kate (3rd from left) & her Drama & Theatre Studies group performing 'Bed' in their final exam
Kate (3rd from left) & her Drama & Theatre Studies group performing 'Bed' in their final exam
Hills Road Alumna Kate Gwynn (2006-2008) and business partner Vicky Sheldon have recently launched their new business Divergent Drama, which strongly believes that learning doesn't always have to come from reading a book and promotes creativity and exploration. The company currently offers workshops primarily for primary school children, but Kate and Vicky hope to expand in the future to offer more benefits for secondary school children.

We were able to get in contact with Kate to find out more about her time at Hills Road, the inspiration and future for Divergent Drama.

1.  What was your fondest memory from Hills Road?
My fondest memories were always in the theatre. Specifically it was probably doing the show ‘Bed’ by Jim Cartwright, which myself and my peers did for our final exam. I can remember getting up at 5am to come and rehearse before our exams, but we were always in good spirts and everyone had a lovely time. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic year and we created some great pieces of theatre.

2.  What did you study after leaving Hills Road and where?
After Hills Road I had a gap year where I worked, travelled and saved for University. I then went on to study Drama and Performance at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. I studied there for 3 years gaining a great amount of knowledge and appreciation for theatre history. After gaining a distinction in my BA, I left to complete my MA at Drama School, as I had been awarded a place at ALRA (Academy of Live and Recorded Arts).

3.  Why did you choose to follow this path?
I always loved performing and creating theatre. I initially thought I would go into a profession such as being a doctor or midwife, but I have very supportive parents who encouraged me to do what I loved. When I said I wanted to be a doctor my mum would always say ‘but aren’t you better at drama?’. Therefore on my gap year I applied to Drama School, but after getting through to some final rounds did not obtain a place. I was disappointed at the time, however it has worked out for the best.

4.  What made you decide to start Divergent Drama as a business, what was your inspiration?
When at University I came across Al Gore’s Education Video and the theory of Divergent thinking. It really inspired me and since then I have always wanted to introduce this into education. After graduating from Drama School, myself and one of my peers wanted to have some form of self-employment in-between acting jobs and as we both loved working with children and had been doing so, it seemed like the obvious solution.

5.  Where do you see yourself in five years time?
In five years’ time I hope the business will have expanded so we have more after-school clubs. Our acting school (which starts in September) is thriving and I hope that more children will have the opportunity to express themselves creatively and learn through this medium by taking part in our workshops.

  • A photo from one of Divergent Drama's workshops

You can find out more about Divergent Drama through their website: http://divergentdrama.co.uk/index.html

Do you have a passion for Theatre? Where has this taken you after leaving Hills Road? Post a comment below or feel free to email us: alumni@hillsroad.ac.uk - we look forward to hearing from you soon!



 

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