Three lecturers who brought Hollywood blockbusters to life on the stage of the Foyle Theatre at North West Regional College (NWRC), have been nominated for a prestigious Theatre Skills Award.Michael Poole, Liam Craig and Dominic O’Callaghan, who teach drama, music production and performance, are part of NWRC’s hugely success Five Dollar Shake production company. For the past four years this core of three lecturers have collaborated in extraordinarily ambitious live theatre projects of Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Inglorious Basterds and The Big Lebowski, which have been the showcase events of the Summer term. They were previously named Tutors of the Year at the annual NI Creative & Cultural Skills Awards and have now been shortlisted in the final three of the annual Creative and Cultural Skills Awards which will be announced at an event in the Lowry Gallery in Manchester on Tuesday. Ronan O’Callaghan, Curriculum Manager of Music and Performing Arts, said these three lecturers regularly go the extra mile providing the best education for students, as well as allowing them to engage with industry. He continued: “Our Summer shows for the past four years have been nothing short of a triumph, continuously selling out on every occasion. “For the first time theatre goers in the North West have been able to enjoy live theatre realisations of cult films from the worlds of Tarantino and the Coen Brothers. “With these shows – expect the unexpected. One striking example of a show which really showed thinking outside the box was in the production of Reservoir Dogs, where all four lead roles (all male in the film) were played as women by female actors, while in The Big Lebowski a wooden bowling lane ran down the centre of the theatre with the audience on either side.” It is however the lecturers’ dedication to their students that makes them stand out. Ronan continued: “These three nominees could content themselves with teaching and assessment using student tasks which would satisfy the requirements of grading without taking on each year that massive burden of extra planning effort, stress and nerve wracking hope that it will be alright on the night. “But the value for students in working with others across such a wide range of disciplines can scarcely be measured. The opportunities for them to participate in problem solving, to bring their own imaginations and creativity to bear on something bigger than their personal portfolio, to feel the reality of team work in action and experience the sense of achievement for their part in making what seemed impossible happen – these are the prizes which make it all worthwhile for Michael, Liam and Dominic. I am told they also have a heck of a lot of fun.” Michael, Liam and Dominic are part of a wider team at NWRC offering a wide range of Level 2, Level 3 and Higher Education Courses in Music and Performing Arts. Applications are now open for 2018/2019 you can apply at www.nwrc.ac.uk/apply
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