I am hoping to use my interest in environmental psychology to influence some writing or directing of work that I will produce through the Art Scholarship.
Actor and BSc (Hons) Psychology student Sofia Kotlarz shares her love for music. She tells us about her passion for theatre, actors who have inspired her and what she’s working on for the annual scholarship showcase Platform.
What is your background in your chosen art form?
I started acting when I was seven performing in amdram pantomimes in the chorus and became hooked. Then I participated in acting classes, such as GSA Saturday school throughout my teens. When I finished A-Levels, I chose to take a Foundation course in acting at The Oxford School of Drama which cemented my passion and love for all things theatre.
What are you enjoying about the scholar programme so far?
I really enjoyed the workshop with Natasha Parker-Edwards, Collaborative Creativity, where all the scholars performed some improvised work influenced by each other. Seeing how we each interpreted one another’s work and translated it into our own art form was a really thought-provoking and novel experience for me.
Have you found any collaborative opportunities to work with the other scholars so far? If so, tell us a bit about your project/ideas.
I am going to be working with the two other theatre scholars – Roya Gharbi and Kate Light – on a production of All My Sons by Arthur Miller. This play is being put on by the Bath University Student Theatre society. I am really looking forward to getting started on this play to work with a really talented cast.
Do you find any links between your creativity and your course?
Both Psychology and Theatre are very creative approaches and although the arts and sciences are often viewing as distinct, I believe that using them to inform each other can be a useful and worthwhile endeavour. Both are useful ways of understanding people and investigating how they think and behave. It seems to me that they are two extremes on one continuum. More specifically, I am hoping to use my interest in environmental psychology to influence some writing or directing of work that I will produce through the Art Scholarship.
What/Who inspires, influences or drives you?
One of my favourite actors at the moment is Phoebe Waller-Bridge. I really admire the originality of the work that she produces for theatre and screen. Her play Fleabag I have found particularly gripping, mainly due to her extraordinary injection of humour in what is actually quite a sad story, as well as the uniqueness yet relatability of the lead character. I am also inspired by the writing of Duncan Macmillan who writes very poignant plays which can’t help but get under your skin and move you. His play Lungs with simply two characters is particularly relevant to me because of its environmental theme. Yet, I admire the play because it seamlessly weaves this theme into its primary exploration of what it means to have children and relate to one another in modern society.
Do you have any other creative pursuits?
I am interested in the cross over between dance and physical theatre, I would be interested in taking some more classical forms of dance such as Tap, Jazz or Ballet and working in some physical theatre or speech.
With warm thanks to the Elly Williams Arts Scholarship for its generous support and enabling this Arts Scholarship