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University Centre Peterborough Graduate Establishes Theatre Company

20 May 2024

Rae Nase, a First-Class graduate from University Centre Peterborough and former Peterborough College student, has co-founded the theatre company “I Sense Bad Theatre”, with Yasmin Gibson.

Rae’s educational journey began in September 2020, transitioning to university after attending Peterborough College. Reflecting on this period, Rae shared, “Transitioning to university was both thrilling and daunting, as the prolonged isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic had left me questioning my career choices”. As an aspiring actor in a field that thrives on collaboration, the additional lockdown in 2021 presented significant challenges. However, the University’s remarkable response played a crucial role in helping her navigate this unusual period. “The unwavering support and clear communication from our lecturers was instrumental in easing this transition, allowing us to focus on our growth”, she shared.

The Acting for Stage and Screen course introduced Rae to a broad spectrum of subjects within Performing Arts, allowing her to discover a passion for lighting design. This led to opportunities to work as a supported lighting technician at university showcases and later as a stage manager for JumpedUp Theatre under Kate Hall. “My decision to enter this field stemmed from a lifelong desire for performance. From a young age, I was always expressive and drawn to the arts”, she explained. Her ultimate goal was to build her confidence for both her career and personal life, with the aspiration of opening a local rehearsal studio. “This space would serve as a sanctuary where individuals, especially those needing support, could express themselves and escape their day-to-day challenges by stepping into different realities”.

The versatility of the course and the encouragement to explore multiple roles within performing arts broadened her understanding of the industry’s opportunities. Among the most memorable projects she worked on was a second-year assignment exploring various production roles, such as set design, stage management, and lighting design. Each production left a lasting impression, as every show brought a unique process and journey. “Particularly impactful were a radio drama set in the 1940s and my final university performance, ‘Two,’ at the New Theatre”, she recalled. These performances allowed her to tackle her insecurities about voice work, focusing on aspects like pitch, control, clarity, and accent. “The radio drama, where vocal performance was a focal point, was a significant challenge that proved immensely rewarding, marking a milestone in my vocal development”.

Her proudest moment came in January 2022, when she secured a position as a writer and creator at Lamphouse Theatre, thanks to a connection with Tom Fox. “This opportunity led to eight months of mentoring by professional theatre makers, who helped nurture my development as a beginner artist and provided me with a platform to find and express my voice”, she shared. The high point of this experience was the night of her performance, attended by her classmates, lecturers, family, and friends. “Their presence and support made me feel incredibly validated in my choice to pursue this path”.

Inspired by these experiences, Rae decided to set up her own theatre company focused on providing a rehearsal studio for local performers. This venture aims to create a supportive environment where individuals can explore their creativity and escape daily challenges. “My university journey, with its mix of challenges and triumphs, equipped me with the skills and confidence needed to embark on this entrepreneurial path”, she concluded.

Rae’s time at University Centre Peterborough not only shaped her career, but also helped her discover her passion for supporting others in the performing arts community. This journey has been instrumental in her growth as both a performer and an entrepreneur, and she is excited about the future of her company and the opportunities it will bring. University Centre Peterborough wishes Rae and Yasmin well with their new venture.

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