This course provides students with an understanding of drama with a specific focus on the essential skills, techniques and disciplines needed for a career in the industry. Students will practically apply their skills and knowledge in preparation for further study or the workplace; they will develop technical and performance skills; as well as theoretical knowledge and understanding to underpin these skills. Plus, they will be equipped with the skills to be able to research, apply elements to their own performance and set out project proposals. They will also gain a range of transferable skills that will underpin freelance work in their chosen field.
Students will also gain an understanding of how different businesses and organisations in the performing arts sector work. When it comes to progression or employment, students will learn about the variety of opportunities available to them, and the roles and responsibilities of businesses and organisations within the sector. They will develop strategies, attitudes and survival skills for sustaining a career in the performing arts industry, as well as an understanding of the expectations of potential employers so that they can maximise their chances of getting work in a competitive environment.
Through our close connections and collaborations with professional companies and arts institutions, such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Marlowe Theatre, The University of Kent’s School of Arts and the Arts Council, England, students will experience first-hand authentic drama opportunities. Funding will be given to allow students to experience professional work, with a Spotlight profile and representation by a Talent Agency.
This course is the equivalent of 1 A-level.
Preparing to work in the Arts Sector
Students will gain an understanding of the range and diversity of this industry. They will learn about the jobs and organisations that make up the industry, how it is funded and how companies are supported and regulated. The unit will give students strategies, attitudes and survival skills for sustaining a career in the performing arts industry. They will learn to self-promote and respond to current employment opportunities, as well as learning when and how to adapt to a quickly changing economic landscape. It will also give them an understanding of the expectations of potential employers so that they can maximise their chances of getting work. The aim of the unit is to equip students with the knowledge and understanding of the wider business context for their chosen career route; this will be in the preparation of focused application materials and in recognising the organisations that will have an impact on that route. They will also explore the logistical and financial constraints that have an impact on the sector and therefore their place in it.
Proposal for a Commissioning Brief
Students will be given the opportunity to develop a community arts project from a given brief. They will consider their creative skills and preferences and think about how these can be utilised in a way that benefits a community or a defined group of participants, who may otherwise have little access to the project’s content.
Influential Performance Practice
Students will learn about genres, styles and periods, social, cultural and historical influences and significant theatrical/performance developments and practitioners. They will become familiar with a range of different styles and periods, e.g. Classical, Modern and post- Modern, within their social, cultural and historical contexts and will be able to select, adapt and apply elements of their research into their performance concept and practical performance.
Students will research into the history of new performance and influential artistic practice, revealing a long history of actors, dancers and musicians, extending their skills into other forms and beginning new creative movements and styles. Few performance companies that students see as part of their course will be exclusively defined by a narrow art form, and some companies positively seek to produce performances not easy to define. They will study these historical and contemporary examples to inspire them to make their own piece of combined art. Whatever their principal art form is, this unit will give the students the opportunity to create a new performance by reinterpreting an existing piece of repertoire. They will integrate two or more different art forms or styles of performance into their new reimagined piece of repertoire. They may be an actor, dancer or a musician, work with masks or puppets, be a mime artist or musical theatre performer. In this unit they will be able to find innovative and dynamic ways of combining these to reimagine the existing piece and making it accessible and fresh for a contemporary audience.
Repertoire is the collected works of individual practitioners, a canon of work from an art form, the regularly performed pieces of a company or a term that reflects a wider style or genre. Students will have an opportunity to work within the discipline and demands of a piece of repertoire and to put their own mark on the material. In this context, repertoire texts and performance pieces are ones that have been performed before and perhaps reinterpreted to reflect the age in which they are revived. Once students understand the elements that define a piece of repertoire and can replicate these, they will be able to contribute with confidence and focus to dynamic reinterpretations, helping to make repertoire contemporary, up-to-date and engage new audiences.
This course is assessed through both internal and external assessments. Students will explore drama and performance history and work towards developing a critical understanding of how actors communicate themes within their work. Students will participate in workshops and technique classes analysing their strengths and weaknesses in order to improve their performance.
It is desirable to have a grade 4 in either Drama or English/English Literature. However if you do not have these qualifications you will be expected to demonstrate acting ability and technical awareness at this level to be accepted onto the course. Prior experience of working on productions, with drama companies, youth theatre groups and dance clubs would be an advantage.
The key skills learnt on this course are transferable to other professions.
University progression: BA (Hons) Performing Arts (Film, Television and Stage); BA (Hons) Acting; BA (Hons) Drama and Theatre Studies and Early Childhood; BA (Hons) Acting and Community Theatre; BA (Hons) Creative Study.
Career progression: Drama teacher, actor, director, musical theatre practitioner, radio presenter, journalist, social worker and youth and community worker, drama therapist, stage manager, entertainer, journalist, TV or film producer etc.
Student quote: ‘The course is well structured and offers a lot of different units from Shakespeare to Brecht. It will also boost your overall confidence.’