National Student Drama Festival

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The National Student Drama Festival (or NSDF) was founded in 1956 by the Sunday Times arts columnist Kenneth Pearson, the Sunday Times theatre critic Harold Hobson, and National Union of Students president Frank Copplestone. Pearson became the organisation's first artistic director. Early supporters also included Sunday Times Editor Harry Hodson and Professor Glynne Wickham, a leading pioneer of the academic discipline of drama based at the University of Bristol.

NSDF is an annual festival of theatre from young people across the country. It is for anyone aged between 16 - 25. 14 productions are presented, selected through the year from across the country. There are over 100 workshops, led by practitioners and industry professionals from leading theatre companies (such as Frantic Assembly, Complicite, and the RSC), drama schools (such as LAMDA, Rose Bruford and Bristol Old Vic), and independent artists (such as Chris Thorpe, Alexandra Spencer Jones, Project O, Tinuke Craig and Brigitte Aphrodite).

The festival is supported by 60 young people on the technical team, providing hands on experience and training and 30 on the management team, developing skills in producing, venue and FoH management and arts administration.

A daily magazine, Noises Off,  written by FestGoers, both online and in print is also a key part of the festival. Late night entertainment, like the Cabaret (where anyone at the Festival can perform), parties and a pub quiz. An important part of the festival is providing relaxed social spaces long into the evening, where students can meet and talk with each other and network with the visiting artists and professionals.

Key Figures[edit]

Festival Directors[edit]

  • 1971 to 2000 - Clive Wolfe
  • 2001 to 2003 - Nick Stimson
  • 2004 to 2006 - Andrew Loretto
  • 2007 to 2012 - Holly Kendrick
  • 2013 to present - Michael Brazier[1]

Noises Off Editors[edit]

  • 1980 to 1990 - Stephen Jeffreys (latterly in tandem with Nick Phillips)
  • 1991 to 2002 - Ian Shuttleworth
  • 2003 to 2004 - Andrew Haydon and Rachel Smyth
  • 2005 to 2009 - Andrew Haydon
  • 2010 - Phil Mann and Claire Trévien
  • 2011 - Andrew Haydon, Phil Mann and Claire Trévien
  • 2012 - Phil Mann, Andrew Haydon, and Claire Trévien
  • 2013 to 2014 - Andrew Haydon[2]
  • 2015 - Jake Orr
  • 2016 to 2017 - Richard Tzanov

Notable Participants[edit]

Prize Winners[edit]

At the end of the festival there is a Closing Ceremony where prizes are presented. Some of which are named after prestigious theatrical institutions or people. For example, the Buzz Goodbody Director Award which was named after the first female director for the RSC, who attended the festival in 1967. Previous winners include Roland Smith (Artistic Director of Theatre Delicatessen), Phil Young, Jane Prowse, Fiona Clift, and Richard Hurst.

2017 Prize Winners[edit]

Named Awards

THE BUZZ GOODBODY DIRECTOR AWARD Ellie Gauge (Thick Skin)

THE STAGE UK DIRECTORS AWARD Josie Davies (Say It Loud)

THE CAMERON MACKINTOSH AWARD Alex Mackinder (Ordinary Days)

THE SUNDAY TIMES HAROLD HOBSON DRAMA CRITIC AWARD Lily James

THEATRE RECORD CRITICS AWARD Florence Bell

THE SUNDAY TIMES PLAYWRITING AWARD Ben Kulvichit & Clara Potter Sweet (Celebration)

SPOTLIGHT MOST PROMISING ACTOR Harvey Comerford (Hidden & Thick Skin)

SPOTLIGHT MOST PROMISING ACTOR Annie Davison (Swallow)

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE TECHNICAL TEAM SUPPORTED BY SLX Sam Levy 

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE TECHNICAL TEAM SUPPORTED BY SLX Sam Costelloe 

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE TECHNICAL TEAM SUPPORTED BY SLX Mel Wells

MANAGEMENT TEAM AWARD Chris Bell

CAMDEN PEOPLE’S THEATRE AWARD Josie Davies

SAMUEL FRENCH NEW PLAY AWARD Caitlin McEwan (Thick Skin)

OBERON BOOKS NEW PLAY AWARD Miriam Schechter (Blackbird)

FRECKLE PRODUCTIONS FAMILY SHOW AWARD Emergency Chorus (Celebration)

THE FESTGOERS’ AWARD Celebration

Judges Awards

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DESIGN David Callanan for Nothing Is Coming, The Pixels Are Huge

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC AND COMPOSITION Oscar Lane, Oliver Rudge and the band from O Collective for he she they

2016 Prize Winners[edit]

Named Awards

THE BUZZ GOODBODY DIRECTOR AWARD Modupe Salu (I Can't Breathe)

THE STAGE UK DIRECTORS AWARD Joe Bunce (Departures: A Song Cycle)

THE CAMERON MACKINTOSH AWARD (Departures: A Song Cycle)

THE SUNDAY TIMES PLAYWRITING AWARD Joe Bunce (Departures: A Song Cycle)

THE SUNDAY TIMES HAROLD HOBSON DRAMA CRITIC AWARD Kate Wyver

SPOTLIGHT MOST PROMISING ACTOR Bróccán Tyzack-Carlin (The Addams Family)

SPOTLIGHT MOST PROMISING ACTOR Modupe Salu (I Can't Breathe)

THE FESTGOERS’ AWARD The Addams Family

MANAGEMENT TEAM AWARD Oscar Owen

Judges' Awards

Acting | Sadie Fitch Kempner for Morticia in The Addams Family

Acting | Becca Jones for Sylv in West

Choreography | Will Emery for The Addams Family

Composition | Matthew Malone for Departures

Contribution to the Festival | Durham University Light Opera Group for Kiss Me Kate and The Addams Family

Creative Collaboration | The Company for Daniel (Footprint Theatre)

Design | James Bailey for Departures

Directing and Casting | Josie Davies for Over There

First Time Directing | Jenny Walser for Cock

Judges' Commendations

Acting | Shannon Smith for Mike in West

Acting | Bryony Davies for Karl in Over There

Comedy | Harvey Comerford and Dominic McGovern for the Gangsters in Kiss Me Kate

Composition | Ronan Hatful for Over There

Directing | Elin Schofield for Daniel

Supporting Actor | Jennifer Bullock for Wednesday in The Addams Family

Supporting Actor | James Roscow for Ken and Pat in West

Supporting Actor | Harry Adair for Lurch in The Addams Family and General Harrison in Kiss Me Kate

2015 Prize Winners[edit]

Named Awards

THE BUZZ GOODBODY DIRECTOR AWARD  Joe Bunce for The Nutcracker

THE DIRECTORS' GUILD AWARD  Matt Stevens-Woodhead for The 56

THE CAMERON MACKINTOSH AWARD The Creative Team and Company of The Nutcracker

SPOTLIGHT MOST PROMISING ACTOR  Vincenzo Monachello for his performance in Parade

SPOTLIGHT MOST PROMISING ACTOR  Dannielle Phillips for her performance in The 56

THE SUNDAY TIMES HAROLD HOBSON DRAMA CRITIC AWARD  Eve Allin

THEATRE RECORD CRITICS AWARD  Becky Shepherson

THE SUNDAY TIMES PLAYWRITING AWARD  Josh Overton for Angry

Outstanding Contribution to the Technical Team supported by Stage Electrics  |  Jasmin Davies

Outstanding Contribution to Sound supported by Shure and The Association Of Sound Designers  |  Ali Stringer

Outstanding Contribution to Lighting supported by Ambersphere  |  Caoimhe Young

Management Award   |  Aisling Gallagan

The Festgoers Award   |  The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas

Judges’ Awards

Outstanding Performance in a Musical  |  Georgina Wormald for The Baker’s Wife in Into The Woods

Musical Direction  |  Ash Jacobs for Into The Woods

Ensemble |  The 56

Theatrical Imagination  |  The Nutcracker

Choreography   |  Beth Hinton-Lever for Parade

Judges' Commendations

Acting   |  Euan Kitson for his performance in Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons

Acting  |  Miriam Schechter for her performance In The Nutcracker

Playwriting   |  Sam Steiner for Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, 2014 Prize WinnersLe2014 Prize Winnersmons, Lemons

Musicianship  |  The Band of Into The Woods

Directing and Producing  |  Ellie Gauge and Sophie McQuillan for Congestion

Sound and Music Design   |  James Melling and David Denyer for The Bacchae

Lighting and Design   |  Aaron Smith for The Dumb Waiter

Mise En Scene  |  David Johnson-Morgan and India Smith for Wastwater

Contribution to Technical Team  |  Fiona Porritt and Conor Morris

Contribution to Sound  |  Olga Kravchenko

Contribution to Lighting  |  Laura Heinl

2014 Prize Winners[edit]

Named Awards

Buzz Goodbody Director Award  |  Ali Pidsley for Road & Nothing                        

The Sunday Times Play Writing Award  |  Lucyna Raczka for Nothing                                    

The Directors’ Guild Award  |  Genevieve Skehan for Spring Awakening The Musical

Cameron Mackintosh Award  |  Spring Awakening The Musical

The Sunday Times Harold Hobson Student Drama Critic Award  |  Billy Barrett

Theatre Record Young Critic’s Award  |  Georgia Snow and Adam Foster

Spotlight Most Promising Actor Award  |  Angus Imrie for Brink, Skin-Lad, Blowpipe, Soldier, Barry in Road

Spotlight Most Promising Actress Award  |  Katherine Thorogood for Stalker in Nothing

Sound Award supported by Sennheiser and The Association of Sound Designers  |  George Veys

Lighting Award supported by Ambersphere  |  Ruth Luckins

Technical Achievement Award supported by Stage Electrics  |  Matthew Norwood

Management Team Award  |  Alex Williams

Festgoers Award  |  The Duck Pond

Judges’ Company Awards

Creative Risk  |  Nothing

Ensemble  |  Road

Collaborative Creation  |  The Duck Pond

Judges’ Company Commendation

Ensemble  |  Punk Rock

Judges’ Individual Awards

Musical Direction  |  Katy Richardson for Americana

Musical Performance  |  Verity Blythe for Peaches in Americana

Spirit Of Invention  |  Tom Coxon for The Duck Pond

Performance  |  Beth Holmes for Louise, Molly, Mrs Bald and Scotch Girl in Road

Judges’ Individual Commendations

Performance  |  Barnaby Chambers for Bennett in Punk Rock

Video Design  |  Stevie Partington for Enron

Writing  |  Jenna May Hobbs for Your Fragrant Phantom

Musical Performance  |  Hannah Bloom for Wendla in Spring Awakening

Musical Performance  |  Laura Johnson for Jackson in Americana

References[edit]

  1. ^ NSDF 13 Office Team http://www.nsdf.org.uk/about-nsdf/office-team/
  2. ^ NSDF, Website. "National Student Drama Festival | Noises Off". Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
General
  • 'Raw Talent : Fifty Years of the National Student Drama Festival' (ISBN 1-84002-553-0).
  • 'NSDF Programme 2010' (printed and distributed by the Festival)
  • 'NSDF Programme 2011'

External links[edit]