Joseph Schofield

Joseph Schofield

BA Drama 2015

Tell us about the award you have received today. What does this award mean to you?

I’m delighted to have been awarded the Dissertation Prize for Drama and to have my essay recognised as the ‘best in the year’. I don’t feel competitive in the least about my degree, but this prize certainly makes the months of work that went into research, reading and writing worth it! In choosing a topic for my dissertation, I tried to challenge myself and ended up writing on the performance of gender and sexual identity in Hip-hop – a topic that, whilst rooted deeply in performance and identity studies, fell outside of what might typically be considered as drama. I’m grateful to my personal tutor, Kara Reilly, for encouraging me to write about what interests me and to think outside the box. I’m intending to study for a Masters degree and a PhD following that, so I also appreciate the mark and the award as a sign that I might be heading in the right direction! 

What has been the highlight of your time at Exeter?

I have so many great memories that its hard to pick just one! Performing with a University production of Spring Awakening at the National Student Drama Festival 2014 was an amazing experience, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time on the committee of Shotgun Theatre – first as Social Secretary and then as President. Studying for my degree, I have been introduced to so many interesting ideas, texts and performances that have really shaped and challenged my understanding of the world. This has to be one of the best things about my time at Exeter. Honourable mentions also must go to the people I’ve met and worked with along the way and, of course, to many a night in Arena and Timepiece.

What will you miss the most about University?

As I’m beginning a Masters degree in September, I’m not sure that I can answer this one. As a student leaving Exeter, I’ll miss the great quality of life we enjoy here – there’s just a different feel about going to university in a place like this. It’s a lovely bit of the world, and so friendly and welcoming too. I’m excited about the move to London, but I’ll miss summer nights on the beach, friends within walking distance and our utterly gorgeous, yet challengingly hilly campus.

What advice would you give to current and future students?

For future students: study for a degree that you want to study. Many people will try and give you advice when you’re choosing a discipline but only you can make the decision and only you know what truly excites you. Similarly, it’s your choice where you go to study. Apply to universities that you want to go to. For the current students: make the most of every opportunity you’re given, both on your degree and off it. Pluck your tutors brains, audition for that show, and join that sports team because Uni is over quicker than you expect.  

What are your plans now that you have graduated?

I’ll be studying for a Masters at Queen Mary University of London in Theatre and Performance fom September.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

If all goes well, I’ll have completed a PhD and be three or four years into academia. I love the university environment and I never want to stop reading, writing, or being challenged. I’ve been inspired by so many of my tutors here and I’d love to do that for other young people somewhere down the line.