Ian Farthing graduated with a degree in Drama and Theatre Arts in 1990. He is now the Artistic Director at St Lawrence Shakespeare Festival.
What were the best aspects of your degree?
"The course enabled us to study with a number of practitioners in the field, which helped to fuse what we were learning on an academic level with the realism of a professional life in the world of theatre. The instructors were inspirational, challenging and confirmed for me that working in theatre was the right choice for me. I was involved in around 27 shows in the department over my three years, in addition to all of the academic study. Every play you work on means learning about a whole new world. The breadth of subjects helped open my eyes to different viewpoints. Connecting with working theatre professionals was invaluable."
Can you tell us more about your job?
"Well, it’s never dull, that’s for sure! There’s always something to keep me busy. The aspects I love most about the job are people-based, whether working with actors in the rehearsal room, meeting with community groups to spread the word about Shakespeare on the St. Lawrence or sitting at the back of the amphitheatre not being able to hear a pin drop at a crucial dramatic moment. The Festival has had a positive impact on the community, both in terms of economic development and in terms of self-esteem and it’s humbling to have been a part of that growth."
What advice would you give to current students?
"Soak in as much as you possibly can. Do as much practical work as you possibly can, both on stage and off. Having a working knowledge of all the other aspects of theatre such as costumes, lighting, sets, ASM-in, Front of House etc., makes you a better artist!"