American actor, dancer, choreographer, director and author Matthew Shaffer has become a patron of the three new performance degrees on offer at University Centre Weston (UCW).
The star, who has performed on stage, in films and on television in shows including Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Broad City and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, has endorsed UCW’s full Honours degrees in Musical Theatre, Dance for Commercial Performance and Performing Arts, which are delivered in partnership with Bath Spa University.
Matthew also teaches dance and choreography at the Studio School in Los Angeles, and the patronage is a result of the partnership formed between the two institutions.
As well as the students working on a telematics project together and visiting each other, Matthew spent 10 days in Weston giving masterclasses to UCW students earlier in the year.
He said: “Over the course of the past two years, I’ve had the tremendous pleasure of connecting and collaborating with Sylvia Lane [UCW’s Section Leader for Performance].
“In this time, Sylvia has offered me the opportunity to work with the students in the Dance for Commercial Performance, Musical Theatre and Performing Arts programmes via the state-of-the-art telematics sessions from Los Angeles to Weston-super-Mare, and also during my residency in the Spring of 2018.
“Unlike many traditional institutions, both in the US and the UK, UCW offers an innovative, practical approach to training while cultivating and harnessing an individual experience for each student.
“The integrity and passion from the lecturers at UCW is backed by a level of professionalism that ensures each artist graduating from the UCW Academy of Performing Arts is equipped with the tools they need to thrive, and a realistic expectation of what awaits them in the entertainment industry.”
“I am truly honoured to be a patron of these courses.”
Sylvia added: “To receive such a glowing endorsement from someone with Matthew’s CV shows that our focus on professional performance opportunities and high-quality skills training is the perfect combination for many aspiring performers.
“We’re over the moon to have Matthew as a patron of our courses, so watch this space for more exciting collaborations in the future.”