PEDRO - SPAIN
Having worked extensively with Shirin throughout my two years at UWC Dilijan, I can say that everything I have learnt with her has helped me thoroughly, not only whilst improving my skills and knowledge in theatre but also while growing as a person. Shirin was one of the most important guides for me during my stay at UWC Dilijan, both artistically and academically. She was always available for students when we needed some support or guidance, and she behaved as an extremely caring and professional teacher.
The biggest project I shared with Shirin was as the role of Florizel in The Winter’s Tale. Shirin developed a magical adaptation of the play, turning Shakespeare’s masterpiece into a musical and a huge production, which I believe was of great difficulty not only because of the complexity of the play and the hard work of writing the songs and adapting the text, but also taking into account the framework where this happened (being a school production with limited budget and limited resources, taking into account the lack of several artistic and technical elements that we could not find in Armenia). She engaged in extensive rehearsals with all of us, often involving Sundays and “time-off”, dedicating her free time for the production. As a director, she was always impressive with the advice she supplied us with, together with her ambitious approach, always heading for the best and taking the best of us. I can definitely state that without her the production could not have been as successful as it happened to be, thanks to her majestic leading skills, being always more than able to guide us in our path to a perfect performance.
If there is something I should outline more than anything else to portray how satisfactory being involved in working with her was, I would definitely say her involvement was vital to the great success of the production. In such an impressive environment as a UWC school is, throughout my stay in Dilijan I never saw such engagement from a teacher with her subject as Shirin did, devoting all of her time and effort to theatre, both as a subject and as an extracurricular activity as the school production was.
For me, who had never been enrolled in such a production and had never seriously performed as an actor before, I can say that without her guidance, extensive skills, experience and life-long advice, I personally would not have grown to the extent I did, both as a person and an actor, to which I can only say a huge thank you to Shirin. I could not have asked for a better teacher and person to share those two years with.