SPOTLIGHT – EMILY HARRIS
The Spotlight falls on our creative and visionary Head of Drama, Emily Harris.
Emily has been teaching for over 15 years and also practices as a Dramatherapist. Her passion is classical theatre and she has been enormously inspired by the work of Cicely Berry CBE, who is the voice director of the RSC. That said, she enjoys modern drama and is always keen to push the boundaries. She has performed in a number of plays on the fringe and worked on a couple of shorts. She moved from London to Frome in 2014 and enjoys the vintage markets and country walks. With her three young children, life is never dull and it has been a new challenge returning to work. Emily has also directed productions, including Webster's, 'The White Devil', Tennessee Williams' 'Orpheus Descending', Kane's '4:48 Psychosis', Lloyd Webber's 'Evita' and Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. She thoroughly enjoyed her first production at Warminster, and the opportunity to direct Goold's adaptation of 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' in a Big-Top circus tent. This year's 'Grease' the musical promises to be a lot of fun.
How long have you worked at Warminster?
Since January 2015.
What’s the best thing about your role?
The positivity that allows us to be creative.
Describe a typical day?
It starts with a scrum, but by 8.30 we are all posted where we need to be. Then there are emails, meetings, hiring equipment, booking circus tents, sourcing costumes and of course the real work – going over texts, finding the nuances, the texture and weight of words, and wondering how to stage 40 people beautifully. Rehearsals for 'Grease' are well underway and we have most of the big numbers under our belt. I have discovered my dancing shoes (much to Mr Harris' amusement as I seem to spend a lot of time practising in the kitchen at home!) The boys have surprised me with their willingness to try out new moves, and the girls are loving it – to be honest, they have been living and breathing it for months and could probably do it all by themselves!
What do you think makes Warminster a special place to live and learn?
The people are generous and very warm. In lessons there is a sense that people are on board, they want to try new ideas.
What would surprise us about you?
At the end of a day I train (usually in red velvet slippers), getting ready to cycle Madagascar next year for the NDCS.
As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
A singing, tap-dancing midwife apparently!
What did your school reports say?
Usually something about organisation (yawn).
Your note/advice to teenage self?
Be still, time is precious.
Your mantra/motto or favourite quote?
Always think big!
Most treasured possession?
A wonderful old chair that belonged to my late Dad. It takes pride of place by my Aga – a lovely warm spot in the evening.
Favourite band/group or artist?
All the oldies.
Late night chocolate
If you were on Masterchef what would your signature dish be?
Ooh, something with chilli and chocolate.
Last book you read?
'Final Gifts' by Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelly.
Last movie watched?
'Still Alice' (No time for the cinema I'm afraid so catching up from last year!)
Which actor would play you in a movie about your life?
An older, more clad, Emilia Clarke perhaps…I wish!
Favorite place/city in the world and why?
London South Bank, with a coffee. I used to live there and have always loved the energy. There's so much to do: Shakespeare's Globe, the NT, Tate Modern and then Borough Market – yummy!
Twitter or Facebook?
Facebook and Twitter for Warminster Drama.
Tickets for Grease are available via The Athenaeum Theatre Booking Office.