LISBURN STUDENT WINS AWARD FOR TOP STUDENT IN
by CHRIS JONES
LOCAL theatre `obsessive' Claire Lynn has
been recognised as the most outstanding student in Belfast
Metropolitan College's Performing Arts (Theatre Studies) course.
Claire, who is 21 and from Lisburn, recently
collected the college's Reay Thompson Award and is now studying
for a degree in drama from Queen's University.
It was starring in Annie' and several other
school plays at Laurelhill Community College that made Claire -
who now plans to teach drama or become a theatre director -
catch the acting bug.
"I got heavily involved in drama at school
and took to it immediately," she says. "My drama teacher
suggested I take it one stage further after I left and told me
that there were a number of different courses available at
At the Institute, now known as BMC, Claire's
studies exposed her to other aspects of the creative process -
new acting techniques as well as all that
goes on behind the scenes to put together a
successful production. In 2004, she headed across the Atlantic
when, after beginning her HND in Performing Arts (Theatre
Studies) in Belfast, Claire was awarded a placement in Schreiner
University, Texas. The year in the US was mainly spent following
an intensive course in Business Studies, but Claire was able to
continue her drama studies by taking optional modules each
"The opportunity to study abroad came along
and I seized it with both hands," she says. "I had no experience
of Business Studies before but always had an interest in it and
wanted to learn more."
"The college was very supportive of my
decision to take a year out and provided the references I needed
to be successful at the interview stage."
During her time at Schreiner, Claire joined
the university's soccer and debating teams, explored Texas and
enjoyed discovering its culture. She also landed a leading role
in the university's annual play and made the 'President's List'
of top academic achievers for both semesters.
On her return home, Claire completed her HND,
gaining a distinction four years in a row. In May this year, she
also took up the post of assistant director for
'The Relapse', this year's college production.
Claire says: "I have found the support,
teaching and attention I have received at Belfast Metropolitan
College invaluable and would highly recommend
it to anyone wanting to study drama."