The Drama and Theatre programme is delivered in partnership by the Departments of English and Theatre, and offers students a critical and historical insight into drama, alongside a creative and analytical process towards the making of contemporary theatre. The programme has an emphasis on new work, complimented by a strong awareness of the cultural and critical significance of dramatic practice, process and product across a wide spectrum of historical and social practices of theatre.
The Chichester Festival Theatre provides an excellent frame for the study of established theatre practice, while students will be encouraged to make and perform their own work in a wide range of different and radical performance contexts. Students will emerge with a confident understanding of the parallel disciplines of drama and theatre, together with a range of analytical and creative experiences designed to motivate careers in diverse contexts.
Students work alongside Acting and Theatre Students in making projects and alongside English and Drama students in critical insight into drama.
Across all three years, students work on modules designed to understand the important cultural moments in theatre history, together with practical investigations of the practical methods of, and cultural reasons for, producing key plays from different periods.
Students will work closely with our colleagues at the Chichester Festival Theatre to understand the practical dramaturgy of producing a play from the page to the stage.
Unique to the programme, will be the way that archiving and documenting theatre becomes a key practical process, particularly in relation to important applied notions of theatre.
Students will work to develop their own understanding of the practical uses of drama in the broadest context and will develop key skills in playwriting, directing and workshop leading as they move towards core vocational opportunities and careers in the creative industries.
At Level Four (first year)
You engage in a rigorous programme of introductory studies in drama and theatre. You will undertake practical classes in Narrative, Text, Physical Theatre and Cultural Identity leading to performance projects that are examined alongside Acting and Theatre students. Additionally you will work with students of English in furnishing your knowledge of the theatre texts in performance using the Chichester Festival Theatre as a key focus of study.
At Level Five (second year)
You continue on a rigorous programme of study, which, in the first semester allows you to develop performance skills in relation to writing for theatre. You will work alongside Acting and Theatre students in producing a major production of devised work. In the second Semester you continue practical classes in both classical drama and a range of contemporary methodologies. Throughout the second year you will study critical developments in drama studies.
At Level Six (final year)
The third year provides you with the opportunity to specialise in particular areas of drama studies – Shakespeare, Radio Drama, Playwriting etc – alongside practical classes that focus on directing and workshop leading. Extensive career development classes are an integral part of your final semester on the programme.
Our facilities content
At the heart of the learning experience of the Theatre department is a fully equipped 212-seat public theatre venue - The Showroom. The department uses the Showroom for student performances, practical workshops and hosting some of the best international touring theatre.
Other facilities include:
- Studio spaces exclusive to the department
- Rehearsal Rooms
- Recording studio
- Editing facilities
- Audio/visual equipment
- In-house lighting and sound technicians to assist student projects
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Teaching and assessment
There are four different types of module, shaping your experience throughout the three years of the programme.
- Skills Development: taught by a range of dedicated specialists in small-classes of about fifteen. You develop your voice, movement and compositional skills, which help to build up your technical abilities as a performer and maker.
- Critical and Cultural Studies: taught in lecturers and small seminar groups. Alongside studies on theatre theory, you will learn about philosophy, sociology, psychology and critical and cultural issues and matters.
- Projects and Productions: the heart of the programme. These are specialist performance projects that will inspire and challenge you towards making innovative theatre. You will be involved in at least twelve examined performances, including three major productions, over the three years.
- Professional Development and Careers: Taught in a practical way, providing insight of, and preparation for, a career in theatre, arts practice and related fields.
The programme is demanding in terms of time commitments: for example, in the first year, students can expect to be in six hours a week of taught skills classes, together with at least four hours of rehearsals for third-year directing exercises; six hours a week of project classes, with at least six hours of group rehearsal; two hours of lectures and seminars, with at least six hours of timetabled personal study and preparation: 30 hours in total.
Your work is assessed through a wide range of practical/performance contexts: group and individual performances, directing exercises, presentations and creative installations. There are no formal exams. Some classes are assessed through continuous assessment and through written evaluations, with several formal essays that lead to a final-year dissertation.
Entry requirements 2017 - 2018
Typical Offers (individual offers may vary):
A levels (or combination with AS / E.P. / BTEC): 110 to 125 UCAS Tariff Points
International Baccalaureate: 28 points
Audition: Candidates will be asked to attend an audition day. They will present two prepared speeches, talk with staff about their interests and ideas for making theatre and take part in a devising workshop. They will get the chance to meet current students over lunch.