Lakeside Theatre is part of the University of Essex and the 200-seat Theatre was built in 1971 and opened in 1972. In 2009, Lakeside Theatre completed an ambitious refurbishment programme, enabled through generous support from the Foyle Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation and the Winsten Legacy.
Today there are more than 9,000 students, studying at three campuses across Essex. Essex is the UK’s most internationally diverse campus university, with students drawn from 130 countries. By the time of the anniversary year in 2014 over 75,000 people will have graduated with a University of Essex degree.
The University of Essex has an excellent department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, who combine expertise in literature, creative writing, film, and theatre studies to provide a strong and supportive environment to student studies. It is proud to be an interdisciplinary department offering a friendly atmosphere where poets, novelists and theatre writers work within a thriving global community of staff and students.
Lakeside Theatre works in close collaboration with the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies to support the realisation of their academic plan. Lakeside Theatre enables students to learn, create and work in a professional venue through lectures and master-classes delivered by on site and visiting professionals, both as part of their course, and through Lakeside Theatre Extra activities including the Student Company. Student work is placed within the broader context of a professional programme of performances presented at Lakeside Theatre, providing on site access to a diverse range of professional theatrical works throughout the academic year. Through the University’s Frontrunners scheme, our own volunteers scheme, and our in house programme; students can gain employment, further training and work experience in many diverse roles in arts production and administration.
In September 2000, East 15 Acting School became part of the university. The school is based in Loughton in southwest Essex and has a branch in Southend.