The Arts and Design Newsletter- Spotlight On: Technical Theatre and Theatre Arts
Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
Production Arts (Stage) – Foundation Degree- BOVTS; Production Arts (Stage and Screen) – BA (Hons)- BOVTS; Production and Technical Arts: Stage & Screen – Foundation Degree- LAMDA; Production and Technical Arts: Top Up -LAMDA;Technical Theatre and Stage Management – Foundation Degree- RADA;Technical Theatre and Stage Management – BA Hons (Progression Year)- RADA
The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama offers five foundation or undergraduate degrees across three of its colleges: BOVTS (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School), LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) and RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art).
Each school offers Foundation Diploma which can be converted through a top-up progression year into a full undergraduate degree. The foundation diplomas offer students a broader level of knowledge of production arts for both stage and screen. During this final year students will be able to select their specialism and to decide whether to continue training for theatre production or for film and TV.
Each school also has close ties to industry and all function as performance venues. Students will be able to benefit from working on college performance and from competitive work placements. Applications for the London interviews close at the end of March, and application fee waivers and travel bursaries are available to applicants from low income backgrounds.
London Metropolitan University
The Theatre and Film Production BA course at London Metropolitan is run in conjunction with their Theatre and Performance Practice BA. This offers students the opportunity to develop as collaborative practitioners and designers of performance in all aspects.
Students will learn to bring together a range of creative, technical, communicative, organisational and entrepreneurial skills allowing them to work independently but also collaboratively.
As part of The Cass, this course sits alongside a range of other art and design disciplines including fashion, textiles, interior design, music and fine art, offering an excellent base for making and collaborative practice. London Metropolitan also have an impressive directory of industry contacts in all fields of theatre and film and can offer practice experience, professional expertise and wide-ranging career opportunities.
London South Bank University
London South Bank University’s Technical Theatre BA degree approaches a wide range of aspects including the latest immersive digital performance technologies. The course aims to offer a broad view of the discipline to include creative, practical as well as critical approaches to technical theatre.
LSBU is also home to the Edric Theatre, a dedicated performance and rehearsal space with capacity for 90 and a 30-seat studio. Often performing on the Edric stage is the LSBU Student Theatre Company for which Technical Theatre students will provide technical support allowing for experience in a semi-professional environment.
LSBU collaborates closely with leading theatre companies and venues, providing students with experience in working with world leading theatre institutions such as the National Theatre. All modules are taught by industry professionals and academics, and many external practitioners are invited to work with the students throughout the course.
At Middlesex University, students receive a truly hand-on theatre-making experience. Alongside classwork, students will contribute to more than 70 performance and productions.
The course itself is taught by industry professionals and practitioners, and students are given the opportunity to works with professional companies throughout their study. Middlesex encourages exploration, allowing students to experiment with all types of theatre practice including classical, site-specific, physical theatre and immersive theatre. A final distinguishing feature of Theatre Arts is the possibility of specialising in third year. Student will be able to leave with a BA in broad Theatre Arts, or they can leave with a specialised Bachelor’s degree in performance, theatre directing, design and technical or solo-performance.
In their third year student will also have to undertake a work placement of at least 100 hours. Middlesex have a dedicated Placement Office through which students have found placement at the National Theatre, The Royal Opera House, BBC, The Edinburgh Film Festival and many more.
Creative Lighting Control BA (Hons); Costume Production BA (Hons); Lighting Design BA (Hons); Performance Sound (Live Design and Engineering) BA (Hons); Scenic Arts (Construction, Props & Painting) BA (Hons);Stage and Events Management BA (Hons); Theatre Design (Set and Costume) BA (Hons)
Rose Bruford offers a wide range technical theatre and theatre arts courses ranging from theatre design to scenic arts; creative lighting and lighting control to sound design; costume production to stage management. All of these sit in the School of Design, Management and Technical Arts which encourages collaborative works on productions and performances across degree programmes. As of writing, Rose Bruford are still actively recruiting for all of these courses.
Students across all programmes will work on a minimum of two fully realised productions in a variety of venues. With dedicated design studios, workshops, computerised design and construction facilities and a visualisation studio, students will be exposed and trained on all essential equipment.
Student will work with practicing professionals, designers and directors of each discipline and are encouraged to undertake work placements and/or a year abroad.
St Mary’s University, Twickenham
St Mary’s University, Twickenham offers a unique fast track, two-year degree allowing students to work through the summer months to cover ground. St Mary’s describes this course as a combination of traditional university education and the vocational training of Drama School which produces well-rounded graduates. The course itself is taught through workshops and the completion of production tasks, supplemented by both group and personal tutorials and ongoing feedback.
The first year of the course offers a solid introduction into the basics of lighting, sound, costume, set design and construction, stage management, props making and TV production. These skills are reinforced by ongoing work with the Drama Programmes production schedule, facilitating the technical requirements of the broader curriculum, and working alongside visiting companies, as house technicians in the Drama St Mary’s Theatre.
The second year enables students to specialise, working in smaller groups to deepen their core knowledge. The specialist study enables students to explore in-depth, a niche skill of their choosing. In effect this is a ‘practical’ dissertation assessed by portfolio and live demonstration.
Univeristy for the Creative Arts
Design for Theatre, Film and Production is based at the Rochester campus at UCA. This campus is home to the latest facilities, including equipment for metal work, woodwork, casting, resin and plaster work, as well as access to laser cutters, 3D printing facilities and specialist costume rooms.
At UCA students build a wide base of knowledge through diverse workshops, demonstrations, and project briefs – where the emphasis is on hands-on problem solving. Students will learn the essentials of design interpretation to support live or recorded performances with the support of experienced senior lecturers, a wide range of specialists, and leading professionals within performance design and making.
Student will be given the opportunity to work within traditional and non-traditional theatre spaces, model making, production design and art direction for film, technical drawing, scenic painting, costume making and prop making. The project briefs themselves replicate industry practise, supporting students to find work experience beyond the University, either through a placement or externally commissioned projects.
Students are also encouraged to develop extended projects in their chosen specialism, in preparation for well-attended graduate exhibitions on campus, as well as showcase events in London.
University of West London
Theatre Production, Design and Management at University of West London is a two-year intensive course covering a wide range of theatre-related skills including stage management, stage technology (lighting and sound) and design. Students will have opportunities to develop their specialism in responsible production roles throughout their second year.
The course is taught by experienced theatre professionals and students will benefit from their industry connections. Students will also work regularly with visiting professionals (eg. set and costume designers) who work on productions at the University.
This course is embedded in a working theatre – not just a student theatre, but Europe’s largest community theatre. UWL operate in close partnership with The Questors Theatre in Ealing; five minutes from the University’s main site.
The Questors Theatre offers a wide range of facilities which will be open to students including two performance spaces: the Dame Judi Dench Theatre and the Studio Theatre; a large set-building workshop; a paintshop; an extensive costume wardrobe; a sound-editing suite and many other facilities. The University itself has two large performance spaces, as well as other less formal spaces where performance is encouraged, and a modern suite of rehearsal and production rooms.