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Tanya Bridgeman - Performing Arts

What were you doing before you started the programme?

Before starting MidKent College I attended St John's Catholic Comprehensive school in Gravesend where I studied GCSE Drama, Music, Art and French (plus the other core subjects). I was also part of a local theatre group in Medway which I attended on a weekly basis.

Were your parents/family supportive of you coming to College?

Yes, my parents have always been so supportive of my career choice and were happy to see me taking on a full time course in something that I loved.

What did you learn on the programme? 

I studied the Musical Theatre Performing Arts Diploma. I learnt skills in acting, singing and dancing. I wouldn't call myself a dancer but I remember this flash dance we performed one term - I gave it my absolute all. I put so much energy and character into it and was so proud of the outcome. I think that's the most valuable lesson I learnt - just give it your all and the hard work will pay off.

How did the course help you with your role/career?

When I left MidKent College I gained a place on the three year BA Acting course at Mountview Academy of Theatre arts. The course definitely helped to give me a focus and playfulness that has helped me throughout my career.

What were your tutors like?

The tutors were as passionate as the students, they challenged us and gave us repertoire away from the stereotypical West End musicals. My singing teacher in particular was actually the person to introduce me to my now favourite musical ''The Colour Purple''.  

Why did you choose MidKent College specifically?

I remember looking round the College and there was this certain energy that I wanted to be part of. The second year at the time had just done a production of Les Mis and I was blown away by the standard. Also the theatre at MidKent College is pretty amazing!

Can you tell us a little bit about your company? And how your role fits into this?

I co-founded Fair Play with my friend Alex Miller. During lockdown we were having many discussions about what we want theatre to look like when it comes back. Theatre has the power to change lives but not everyone has the opportunity to experience it - we want to change that. We want theatre to be thrilling, inclusive and affordable. We want everyone to see a version of themselves up on the stage! We were also both fed up of waiting for opportunities and thought why not make the opportunities for ourselves. This is a hard industry to survive in and you have to really graft to get anywhere. Within the company I have many hats! Co-Founder, Producer, Artistic Director and now Writer and Performer. Our debut play as a company ''Shoes to Fill'' is a solo-show that I have written and will be performing in Covent Garden as part of the Iris Theatre Summer Fest!

Would you recommend studying Performings Arts at MidKent College? If so, please tell us why.

Yes! MidKent College was a great place to study Performing Arts. It was a great stepping stone that led to many different opportunities. The facilities are some of the best that I have had the opportunity to perform and rehearse in.  I also had so much fun - the arts industry can be very daunting and overwhelming but my time at MidKent College was full of laughter, play and growth. 

Tanya performing in the MidKent College production of Sleeping Beauty in 2014.