Actress makes it big: From USQ to Coronation Street
A FORMER Toowoomba acting and theatre student has landed the biggest role of her career to date, with a spot on the hit British soap opera Coronation Street.
Hannah Ellis-Ryan, now based in Manchester, will play a new character on the long-running television show.
After winning a spot at the University of Southern Queensland's Theatre-in-Education program on her third attempt in 2007, Ms Ellis-Ryan graduated in 2009.
USQ Acting lecturer Scott Alderdice described his ex-student as a "gifted and courageous" actor who had gone on to cultivate a successful theatre career across two countries.
"Hannah is an innovative, ferociously-dedicated, independent artist," he said.
"In 2012 she moved to the UK and founded Play with Fire theatre company, which has been presenting premiere productions, workshops and play development programs in the Manchester region since early 2014.
"Hannah is an exemplar of the sort of broadly skilled innovative, resilient and entrepreneurial independent artists that USQ Theatre is committed to training."
Mr Alderdice said the determination shown by Ms Ellis-Ryan after twice missing out on the university's acting program displayed her passion for the craft.
"She never ever stopped showing determination," he said.
"It's hardly surprising that she's maintained such a strong acting career."
Ms Ellis-Ryan founded Play With Fire with a friend from university, Daniel Bradford.
In Coronation Street, she will play Katie McDonald, the daughter of two members of the main cast, Jim and Liz, who was presumed dead as an infant when the character's storyline was written in the early 1990s.
Ms Ellis-Ryan was contacted by The Chronicle for comment, but the program's owner ITV didn't respond to questions in time.