An acting student is planning to create a production that pushes the boundaries of physical theatre after receiving a funding boost from a local arts organisation.
19-year-old Joythi Nayar is the latest recipient of the Olive Brown Bursary, which provides up to £1,000 per year, for up to three years to performing arts students Jersey training at higher-education level.
Having just completed a foundation course at READ College in Reading, Jyothi is set to embark on a three-year BA Acting course at East 15, a drama school based in Loughton (Essex) in September.
Pictured: Jyothi recently finished a two-year foundation course at Read College.
She discovered acting just four years ago when she joined the Jersey YouTheatre as a teenager.
“Before that I had not had much experience at all,” Jyothi said. “It felt very natural and like I had found exactly what I wanted to do.
“I found it to be the most thrilling and exciting experience. It’s what makes me feel really alive.
“The shared experience with all the other actors and the audience and creating something that is just shared in that space, it’s not filmed, it’s a one-off experience of the show, it’s really exciting.”
Instead of finishing her A Levels, Jyothi decided to continue to study acting in the UK. Her application to READ College was successful and she then moved to Reading, aged only 17.
“It was quite scary being away from home, but it felt like it was a necessary part of me growing up and being able to survive by myself was definitely good for the confidence,” Jyothi confessed.
“No one in my family has done any kind of performance so it was quite a new thing to be doing but they are massively supportive."
Pictured: Jyothi discovered acting at the age of 15 when she joined the Jersey Youth Theatre.
Now two years later, Joythi is looking forward to a new adventure.
“I also love the idea, now I am a little bit older, of writing and creating my own work," she explained. "It’s another brilliant aspect of being an actor, you get to figure out the work on stage and how to direct and make things look good.”
Working on her own play is an endeavour the Olive Brown Bursary, provided by ArtHouse Jersey, will support her in.
Originally from Salford (Lancashire), Olive Brown lived in Jersey from 1959 until her death in 1990. Both her and her husband John were “devout members” of the Salvation Army and supportive of young people’s creative aspirations.
Pictured: Jyothi will be joining East 15 in September.
At her death, Olive left assets in a private will trust to be donated to charitable purposes and the executors decided to forward part of the money to ArtHouse Jersey.
Over the years, Olive’s generous donation has supported young people pursuing careers in acting, dancing, music, technical skills in music and theatre, directing and designing.
Jyothi said she was "delighted" to be chosen for the award, adding: “Having the opportunity to work towards producing my own production with added financial support feels amazing and so fortunate.
“Having spent a massively influential two years at READ College, I feel ready to continue learning, creating, experimenting and playing with theatre and all of its boundaries.”
Jyothi said she hopes to write and produce her show within the next three years. She then plans to take it to Fringe Festivals.
“Creating my own work is really fantastic,” she said. “I am really interested in physical theatre and abstract concepts, pushing boundaries with the audience and the shock factor, I guess.
“I am also interested in creating something that people feel they can connect to. I have got a few ideas of course but it’s quite a long process.”
“We look forward to watching Jyothi’s progress as she pursues her passions and strengthens her skills for a future in performing arts," ArtHouse Director Tom Dingle said.
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