Howard, Pamela (10 of 11)  An Oral History of Theatre Design

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  • Recording date

    2006-06-26, 2006-07-13, 2006-08-09, 2006-08-14

  • Recording locations

    Various locations, London

  • Interviewees

    Howard, Pamela 1939- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Wright, Elizabeth (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 10: Continued description of PH’s approach to drawing and painting. Feelings about self as an artist. Women theatre designers and multitasking. [0:03:59] Experiences of teaching prior to CS. [0:05:42] Teaching at Birmingham School of Art [BSA]; e-mail from a former student at BSA. Feelings about the relationship between teaching and practice. Responsibility to audiences; posing questions to audiences. Taking direct action by deciding to direct; Richard Hudson’s [RH] opposition to this idea. [0:13:23] PH’s teaching method; ‘in which’ exercise; example of Lady Macbeth; creating worlds onstage; Lez Brotherston’s creation of worlds onstage. [0:20:20] How ‘in which’ method was developed; influence of CN; BB; HW; working from the middle of the play. Remark about Harold Pinter’s approach to writing plays. Comparison of designing a play to cooking; idea of calling a theatre of her own ‘The Kitchen’. [0:26:46] First day at CS as salaried teacher; skills as a teacher; manipulation of the education system. The politics of teaching. Feelings about starting to teach; teaching more than skills. Fighting battles; being organised. Speech when PH left CS; being fifty percent in the professional world whilst teaching. E-mails from students; creating a community through MA course; the work of graduates from the MA course. Collaboration between a Korean and a Japanese graduate. Making students employable; story about student from Wimbledon. [0:39:04] PH’s professional life after she began to teach; lack of respect from the theatre profession towards people who teach. Talking to JHe about teaching. Being proactive to create an identity as a designer; offering rather than asking. Project by poet Adrian Mitchell [AM] designed by Miriam Nabarro, a former student of PH. [0:48:53] Changes in theatre design education; increase in student numbers. Quality of applicants to courses. Mention of LP; student portfolios. Why LP is valuable; theatre design bursaries at ROH; Arts Council Bursaries. Inadequacies of theatre design education; letters from graduates; trying to help young theatre designers. Lack of contact with teachers on theatre design courses. Mention of being called ‘Saint Joan of the Drawing Board’ by Peter Gill [PG]. [0:58:54] Being made Professor Emeritus of the University of the Arts; PH’s reasons for accepting the professorship. Finally being heard; deciding to shut up. Mention of conversation with actress Juliet Stevenson; work as currency for demonstrating ideas. Story about approaching Peter Hall with director Di Trevis to propose staging ‘School for Wives’ by Molière and ‘Yerma by Lorca at NT; opening the door for women to direct at NT.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Pamela Howard (1939-), theatre designer.

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