MA Text and PerformanceSince finishing the MA course, I have worked on projects as a writer, director, and teacher - this is largely thanks to the way this course nurtures you as both artist and academic and helps you develop a diverse skill set.
This highly distinctive MA course, run as a partnership between RADA and Birkbeck, brings together cutting-edge practice and scholarship in theatre and performance. Join us and you will work with both RADA’s faculty and visiting theatre practitioners and Birkbeck’s experts in theatre and performance studies to experience both making and studying theatre. This course does not offer actor training, but will deepen your critical and practical understanding of theatre and performance practices in context and leads to a prestigious postgraduate qualification from the University of London.
Taking the dramatic text as a critical starting point, our course encompasses drama from the early modern period to the contemporary.
In the rehearsal room, you will create new theatre and performance work responding to set texts and themes. You will also engage with performance techniques to develop your skills as a playwright, director and dramaturg.
In academic lectures and seminars, you will encounter theoretical, historical, critical, and philosophical writings. You will theorise live performance and write about the ways in which new performance work is informed by both contemporary concerns and older theatrical traditions and legacies.
In the final Dissertation project, you will exercise your own creative voice as a director, dramaturg, playwright or scholar.
We also offer informal, unassessed creative enhancement opportunities:
- RADA’s TheatreVision initiative brings together students from the MA Text and Performance and the MA Theatre Lab to explore writing for theatre.
- Birkbeck’s Centre for Contemporary Theatre runs a postgraduate reading group and offers opportunities to show work in progress as part of the School of Arts summer festival Arts Week.
The curriculum includes a variety of teaching methods including:
- study of texts in their cultural context
- practical classes in performance skills and text analysis
- scene study workshops
- writing and directing classes
- specialist lectures and seminars
- talks from visiting artists and academics
RADA and Birkbeck are just five minutes’ walk apart so you will study in a campus-style environment. Our close proximity also allows us to draw on the rich range of resources available across both institutions, including:
- studio space
- technical support for group and individual presentations
- RADA's excellent library of playtexts and theatre and performance literature
- Birkbeck's world-class research resources in the arts and humanities.
The course incorporates visits to London theatre and both institutions are well placed for you to access the extraordinary array of theatre available in London. The renowned British Library is also located nearby.
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