MA Theatre Lab
Applications for September 2017 entry are now closed. Please see the FAQ section for application deadlines.
A unique course in the field of theatre and performance practice, this one-year MA course allows students with a strong, demonstrable background in performance to re-examine and broaden their skills in a truly experimental and highly collaborative framework.
The emphasis throughout the year is on devised and ensemble work, as you will advance your understanding of performance from a post-Stanislavski standpoint.
The course, validated by King’s College London, one of the world’s top 20 universities, explores non-mainstream theatre craft internationally. Read about some of graduates in this downloadable PDF.
The course is built around three strands:
- Acting and Performance: Practice and Methodology - Working from the foundation of the Stanislavski ‘system’, you will be introduced to the approaches and responses of later practitioners, including Brecht, Copeau, Meyerhold, and Grotowski. International historical context is given through exploring the improvisational and physical practice, developments in experimental theatre internationally, new writing, and performance since the early 20th Century.
- Development of Performance - This dual aspect of the course builds on your strengths and skills, whilst improving areas where you are less experienced. The first strand supports you as you refine and improve your understanding of how to develop as an individual within an ensemble environment. The second covers vocal and physical performance training, supplemented by Commedia, creative writing, improvisation, and singing.
- Scene Study - Scene study is woven throughout the course and provides a forum for you to develop and experiment with the techniques you are learning.
There are also informal, unassessed, creative enhancement opportunities such as our Theatrevision initiative which brings together students from both our MAs to explore writing for theatre. In 2014, they wrote, acted, and directed for each other the short pieces that came out of their endeavours; it was a wonderful example of shared creativity and mutual support developing outside of the taught programmes.
During the 2014/15 academic year, we have been delighted to welcome many guests to work with our students including: Director Izumi Ashizawa, cabaret legend Eva Meier, and Director of the Grotowski Institute Jarek Fret.
Your practical classwork culminates each term in a workshop-style, in-house Open Class. You will also complete written assignments which engage with theories of performance.
In the final term all students will work as an ensemble to create an experimental group piece. Your dissertation comprises the rehearsal process, the performance, and the accompanying critical analysis.
The course is taught over a period of four terms September to September.
The first three terms, September to July, are 12 weeks each with teaching taking place from Wednesday to Saturday for an intensive 25-30 hours. The fourth term, July to September, is a full-time six-week block of teaching and devising work, leading to a public performance, followed by a further two weeks full-time for individual critical analysis written work.
Teaching hours are deliberately at the end of the week (Wednesday evening, Thursday and Friday afternoons and evenings, and all day Saturday) to allow you to continue earning whilst studying if you need to. However, you must be able to commit to the full-time block of eight weeks through the summer (August and September).
View a full copy of our current PROSPECTUS.