Introduction to Stagecraft
This module will serve as an engaging and primarily practical way of introducing fundamental design concepts for theatre that traditionally fall under the banner of stagecraft.
Perspectives on Performance 1
The first part of the module will be dedicated to the theory of performance studies. Taking Richard Schechner’s seminal text as the core work; you will apply its central concepts to examples ranging from canonical dramatic text to everyday life. The second part will focus on exploring ways of reading text and performance with reference to theories relating to space (Pavis, Balme) and the framing of performance (Goffman), and to semiotics and reception theory (Esslin and Bennett).
Interdisciplinary Devising: (Dancers, musicians, actors all work together to create work)
This module focuses on interdisciplinary working and the devising processes. The investigation and development of ideas through exploration tasks is central to the work you will produce. You will study mainstream/traditional devising devices and compositional structures and be introduced to aspects of production and design. In interdisciplinary groups (which may include students from music, performing arts, dance and drama) you will create a devised performance piece from a given stimuli.
Lighting for the Dramatic Stage
As an introduction to theatrical lighting, the module will restrict itself to the examination of convention lighting fixtures associated with basic dramatic lighting. In this respect, you will explore the use of lighting fixtures such as the Fresnel, the Profile, the PAR Can and the Flood.
Introduction to Performance Sound
You will become familiar with standard analogue sound desk operation, covering the functions of a channel strip together with the various output routing options. You will discover standard techniques such as setting a system gain, completing a gain structure setup as part of a sound check, the use of a standard semi parametric equaliser to maximise headroom for a microphone channel, and the use of auxiliary routing options for monitoring, sound effects speakers and effects units.
Theatre Design 1
You will begin to understand the use of scale and how to communicate ideas in two and three dimensions; and learn how to choose the appropriate materials for model-making and construction. You will also develop your appreciation of the importance of historical research; and explore the conceptual basis of the work of contemporary artists and designers.
Perspectives on Performance 2
You will explore the politics of identity through feminist theory and psychoanalysis and then reception theory and postmodern performances, placing the emphasis on issues of space and the body.
Theatre Design 2
There will be a focus on the design and creation of costumes and props, with particular emphasis on structures, body extensions, and fantasy (for example animal costumes, armour and pantomime). Students will look at the development and fusion of costume- and prop-making techniques applied to and around the human form, including mask- and headdress-making.
Contemporary Lighting Techniques
You will work with intelligent lighting fixtures such as moving spots, washes, digital projectors, LED battens and LED PAR Cans. Console training will focus on the skills relating to moving light programming and incorporating intelligent fixtures into a conventional fixture lighting rig. Desk and operational functionality will include elements such as the importing and creating of fixture profiles, the use of custom palettes, moving light fixture move marks, and additional fader wings.
Contemporary Sound Design and Operation
You will be introduced to digital mixing techniques and develop and understanding of the differences from, and similarities to, analogue mixing desks. You will explore desk function such as fully parametric equalisation systems, techniques such as ‘pinking the room’ using noise generators to balance the PA system to a room, using desk scenes to record sets of audio signal information and flexible routing using standard studio theatre audio/ visual tie line boxes.
Stage Management 1 or Interdisciplinary: Arts and Politics Stage Management 1
The coordination of the production process involves a complex and wide-ranging set of skills which may include rehearsal coordination, budgeting, prop management, show calling, risk assessment, tour scheduling and pastoral care. Management for performance can encompass work at company level, through stage and deputy stage management, to assistant stage management roles
Arts and Politics
You examine the incorporation of political agendas into theatre, music, and dance. Art’s ability to act as a catalyst for political change, and the use and abuse of arts by political movements have always been an urgent talking point of artistic and academic debates. You will engage with a variety of key artistic practices and political concepts that have underpinned interactions between arts and politics. Topics may include (but are not limited to): the use of arts by courts, Church, and political regimes, key artists shaping and responding to national romanticism, national anthems, arts as a vehicle of revolution, and arts that offended moral standards.
Applied Performance 1 or Interdisciplinary: Arts and the Individual Applied Performance 1
The module will primarily focus on the application of drama techniques for intervention in educational settings and/or with young audiences. The first weeks will be dedicated to the study and practical exploration of relevant theories and methodologies from applied theatre practice and arts management, covering a range of contexts including Theatre in Education (TIE) and Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA).
Arts and the Individual
The module will introduce the broader notion of the ‘individual’ in the arts, and how this notion is manifest in a number of artistic movements beginning with nineteenth-century Romanticism. You will study a number of specific topics relating to the individual in the arts, which might include the idea of the suffering individual, key artists of the avant-garde, and the performer.
Practice as Research
You can choose to engage more practically or in written form as you explore an area of interest in greater depth.
Tech Performance Management
The module will consolidate design principles that have been the focus of prior production modules. You will have the opportunity to put these skills into practice throughout an extended period of creative production work.
You will be introduced to the inner workings of a theatrical technical team and will develop those skills that are potentially locally specific. This might take the form of a broad induction to the workplace environment and working practices that are pertinent to that specific building. The module will also give you the opportunity to develop an awareness of production skills that are broadly relevant to technical work within the theatre, but do not form the mainstay of the technical training at levels four and five.
Multimedia Performance Environments
Multimedia performance embraces a new technology as means of extending both the self and place. Artists use the projected image to create alternative scenographies, social media systems to provide interactive environments with which to engage the audience, motion tracking devices to remediate movement and exist as virtual bodies.
Company stage management involves a high level of wide-ranging skills including clear communication, pastoral care, conflict resolution, complex scheduling, touring logistics and liaising with production departments and venues. You will examine the context within which these roles operate, which might include West End productions, regional companies, small touring companies, community arts practice, and street theatre.
Theatre Design 3
The module acts as a natural extension to the design input at levels 4 and 5. It aims to broaden your awareness of design methods that move beyond the physically representative to explore the relationship between performance space, audience and the place of the object as a devising catalyst.