FRASERBurgh Academy pupil Katie Barnett has recently returned to town after playing a lead role in ‘Supply’ at the Oran Mor in Glasgow.
Katie, who is a sixth year pupil, is well known locally for her acting talents and was delighted to get the part of Shannon McGinty, a fourth year pupil in a foundation level class. Written by Cathy Forde, the comedy played part of Oran Mor’s ‘A Play, A Pie and A Pint’, which is a lunchtime theatre programme.
Speaking to the Herald, Katie said the challenging role was very rewarding.
“Shannon was a very challenging role to play because she is so layered,” she said.
“I had to find a way of playing her that was truthful and believable, but I still had to be animated enough for the stage, which was a big challenge!
“Both Shannon and her best friend Chelsea get a lot of enjoyment out of winding up the new supply, Mr Small, which is not like me at all! My Dad is actually a supply teacher so I understand how difficult the job is. I loved playing the role because comedy is so enjoyable, It is something I hadn’t really done before and I’ve learned how difficult, but rewarding, comedy can be!”
Katie spent the summer at a five-week Performance and Production course for the Scottish Youth Theatre’s Summer Festival in Glasgow. She was cast in the role of Morgan in the musical ‘Prom Night of the Living Dead’ which played at the Tron theatre in Glasgow.
Katie added: “Morgan was one of the main roles and was extremely demanding - she is the ‘baddie’, which took a lot of work to master. I had fight scenes, solo and company numbers to learn, along with choreography and lines.
“It is hard to compare the two roles because they are so completely different, in ‘Supply’ there were only three of us for a 50-minute show, and that was scary because there is no hiding place, and we were completely exposed to the audience. It was daunting, but it was a great way to learn - to be plunged into the deep end!”
Katie, who studies Advanced Higher Drama, got to have a taste of the industry while she was at the Oran Mor.
“I’ve definitely built up my skills which will hopefully stand me in good stead for my acting exams. I also learned a lot about script development and how my voice works, which are all really useful things that I can now put into practice in class.”
Her headteacher, John Noble, added: “I was very happy to release Katie from school for three weeks for the excellent opportunity to participate in a professional standard production.
“Katie is a conscientious, very able and talented student who works hard in all her subjects. While in Glasgow she has kept up with all her other school work.
“Katie’s role in the production was a challenging one, but she has the flexibility and determination which enabled her to fulfil the role successfully. This experience has been very beneficial to her studies in Advanced Higher Drama.”
Katie who usually takes part in the local pantomime, had to sacrifice a part this year as it landed on the same day as her audition for ‘Supply’.
She plans to spend the next few months focusing on her pieces for drama school auditions, where she hopes to see herself once she has left school.
She added: “I’m in the middle of applying, and I’m trying to find monologues and songs for my auditions.
“After taking part in Summer Festival and doing ‘Supply’ I know that this is what I want to do!”