Ayrshire College graduates star in production on return to Ayr

Draya, Samantha, Caitlin and Jarad.
Draya, Samantha, Caitlin and Jarad.

Four talented Ayrshire College graduates in Performing Arts and Technical Theatre have just finished a full run of shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and three dates at Ayr’s University of the West of Scotland.

The show was ‘The Brunch Club’, a modern-day take on the coming-of-age 80s film ‘The Breakfast Club’. ‘The Brunch Club’ is a co-production between Grid Iron, an Edinburgh-based new writing theatre company, and the Scottish Drama Training Network (SDTN).

The SDTN selects the best of Scotland’s student actors, designers and technicians to join their annual Graduate Production Ensemble, The Network.

Successfully auditioning and interviewing for The Network’s 2019 cohort from Ayrshire College were HND Performing Arts graduates Draya Maria, 19 and Jarad Rowan, 19, as well as HND Technical Theatre graduates Caitlin Park, 21 and Samantha Rae, 28.

Draya and Jarad starred as Rosie (the vegan/activist) and Eddie (the whimsical poet/singer) in ‘The Brunch Club’, Samantha was the production’s Assistant Stage Manager and Caitlin was the Lighting Designer.

Jarad said: “The entire process has just been absolutely out of this world. I can’t describe how amazing it’s been to work with SDTN and Grid Iron. Grid Iron are masters of site-specific work and I have long followed and studied them during my time at Ayrshire College.

“I need to mention too, Anne Lindsay, one of my lecturers. She has been a beacon of hope and encouragement and really did make my time studying all the more worthwhile, without her and the support from the college, none of this would have been possible.”

Samantha said: “Working at the Edinburgh Fringe on The Brunch Club has been an amazing experience. I have been able to network with amazing professionals, made life-long friends and enjoyed the culture of the city.

“I have been so fortunate to be encouraged by the college and lecturers to reach further than I thought I would. I feel very grateful for some of the most useful and fantastic opportunities I have been able to experience.”

Caitlin said: “It was such an amazing experience being able to work with SDTN and Grid Iron as a lighting designer and I could not have done without the support of my lecturers at Ayrshire College and the knowledge that they have passed on to me. I feel extremely lucky to have got this opportunity.”

Patrick Devlin, Curriculum Manager for Music, Sound Production and Performing Arts at Ayrshire College, said: “Ayrshire College is immensely proud of the hard work and dedication that our talented students have shown across the run of these productions.

“Our Technical Production and Acting courses are punching well above their weight in terms of representation with such a high calibre organisation such as SDTN and Grid Iron, and we are looking forward to future partnerships with them in the years to come.”

Karen Townsend, Programme Producer at the SDTN, said: “It is a testament to both the design of the courses and excellent teaching at Ayrshire College that 4 of the 17 young people selected from across Scotland studied at the college.

“Draya and Jarad delivered outstanding performances as Rosie and Eddie respectively, while Caitlin and Samantha demonstrated their professionalism and dedication as part of a tight production team.

“Their contribution and hard work were rewarded when the company won The Bright Spark Award from Scottish Theatre Awards on The Fringe, supported by the Scottish Arts Club, along with sell out houses and 4-star reviews.

“We look forward to working with Ayrshire College’s next cohort of students.”