The Arts and Design Newsletter – Student Blog – RADA- Technical Theatre
Technical Theatre | RADA
RADA is currently working on a number of initiatives to open up access into Technical Theatre training to students from all backgrounds, as the industry recognises an ongoing lack of diversity in technical and backstage careers.
After a pilot scheme last year, RADA is running a Technical Theatre branch of its Youth Company in 2018. The programme is an introduction to technical theatre for 16-20 year olds who live in and around London, and will cover a range of disciplines including lighting, sound, costume, props and stage management. Participants will also work on a production, performed by members of the Youth Company: Acting in RADA’s Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre in August. See the RADA website for more details and to apply; a number of scholarships are available to students from low income backgrounds.
For those who cannot commit to the weekly Youth Company, RADA is also running a series of Technical Taster sessions that offer 16-20 year olds the opportunity to explore two different areas of technical theatre for £20. The sessions are aimed at beginners who have an interest in design technology, craft or theatre management, but would like to find out more about the different areas that go into making a production. The next set of Technical Tasters are currently open for booking on the RADA website.
Meanwhile, recruitment for RADA’s full-time FdA in Technical Theatre and Stage Management is under way; for the second year running, interviews have been held in Manchester and Plymouth to widen the pool of applicants and reduce travel costs for regional applicants. Applications for the London interviews close on 23 March, and application fee waivers and travel bursaries are available to applicants from low income backgrounds. See the RADA website for more details.
Applications are also open for RADA’s Postgraduate Diploma in Theatre Costume, a two-year specialist course preparing students for a career in costume making and wardrobe supervision. Current student Reny Morsch has been recently featured in the Financial Times’s Career Changers series; you can read more about how she moved from a 30-year career in finance into costume making here.
You can also see some of the impressive work by fellow costume student Elizabeth Wang, who was recently invited to create a stunning Madame de Pompadour dress for the Wallace Collection. Elizabeth originally created a version of the dress during her studies at Wimbledon Art College, and has since recreated the dress with skills learned at RADA. The dress will be used for Wallace Collection events, including education projects for primary school children. Take a look at the finished dress here.
Finally, in 2017 RADA was delighted to announce its new Digital and Video Design department, led by Nina Dunn and Timothy Bird. Following the 2017 production of A Little Night Music, RADA’s most technically ambitious production to date, the Technical Theatre Arts department was keen to explore further the formal teaching of video and digital projection. Recent productions of Stuff Happens and Assassins in the Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre have demonstrated how video design can work seamlessly alongside more traditional stagecraft to great effect – evidence of the great work being done by Nina, Timothy and the students.