Ensemble Theatre MA/MFA (Collaborative Theatre Making)

  • Ensemble Theatre MA/MFA (Collaborative Theatre Making)
  • Ensemble Theatre MA/MFA (Collaborative Theatre Making)
  • Ensemble Theatre MA/MFA (Collaborative Theatre Making)
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About this course

Duration

13 months (MA) 2 years (MFA)

Term Start

Start Date: October 2017

Entry Requirements

This Programme is for graduates or those with relevant professional experience.

The MA Ensemble Theatre programme explores in practice the development of ensemble performance and theatre that is innovative, imaginative and dynamic. It is for those who want to make and perform, write and direct, improvise and devise theatre.  The programme takes a physical approach to making theatre and working with text. It will begin by the development of the group to form an ensemble and concentrating on the development of the skills of the individual members of the company.

This will be followed by three different lens on the theatre-making process; performer, director and writer. Continually explored through performance, in the final stage of the programme the ensemble will be guided, directed and mentored in making and touring their own work. Throughout the programme students will work as an ensemble and form a company; expanding their practical, academic and theoretical skills through workshops, projects, performances, touring, performative writing and independent practice -research.


MA Ensemble Theatre (Collaborative Theatre Making)

Modules one and three of this programme will be run in partnership with Told by an Idiot Theatre Company.

There are four modules in the MA over 13 months:

  • Module One: Performance Skills
  • Module Two: Performative Writing/Vade Mecum
  • Module Three: Director, Writer and Performer as Theatre Maker
  • Module Four: Final Research Project


MFA Ensemble Theatre (Collaborative Theatre Making)

There are five modules in the MFA over two years

Year One

There are three modules in year one:

  • Module One: Performance Skills
  • Module Two: Performative Writing/Vade Mecum
  • Module Three; Director, Writer and Performer as Theatre Maker


Year Two

There are two modules in year two:

  • Module Four: The Widening Field
  • Module Five: Final Independent Project
     

Please click here to read the Programme Specification


Why choose this course?

The programme focuses specifically on creating an ensemble, performer training, theatre making and performative writing, informed by critical reflection and practice research. The uniqueness of the programme lies in its focus on making theatre as performer, director and writer.


Employability & Industry

Graduates have gone into Performing, Producing, Forming Companies, Directing, Arts administration, teaching or continue to further study at Masters or PhD level, including the College’s own Research Degree programmes.


Fee and Application Information

Accreditation

  • Taught
  • Mode of Study: Full Time
  • Location: London venue

Following the granting of Taught Degree Awarded Powers, students joining us in September 2017 will be registered on a Rose Bruford College award, and will be governed by Rose Bruford College regulations. 


2017/2018 Fees

MA Option (1 Year)
UK/EU fees £10,686
International Fees: £17,270

MFA Option (2 Years)
UK/EU Fees £16,686
International Fees £23, 270
 

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills provide a loan for eligible UK/EU students of up to £10,000 per student for postgraduate Masters study. Please see the video below for guidance and click here  for more information.
 

How to Apply

You can apply for this course until it starts in October 2017. Please click here to register your interest in applying.

International Interviews and Auditions
Throughout the year, we will be holding interviews and auditions in London and abroad. Please click here for our 2017 schedule and to register.

 


Course content

The MA Ensemble Theatre programme aims to explore the development of ensemble performance and make theatre that is innovative, imaginative and dynamic. The practice sets out to discover the epic in the most personal of stories, whilst treading a fine line between comedy and tragedy. Collaborating through devising, play and text, the practice aims to tell stories using a wealth of imagery and a rich theatrical language, which are accessible to all. It is for those who want to make and perform, write and direct, improvise and devise theatre.

The programme takes a physical approach to making theatre and working with text. It will begin by development of the group to form an ensemble and concentrating on the development of the skills of the individual members of the company. This will be followed by three different lens on the theatre making process; performer, director and writer. Continually explored through performance, the ensemble will be guided, directed and mentored in making and touring their own work. Throughout the programme students will work as an ensemble and form a company; expanding their practical, academic and theoretical skills through workshops, classes, performances, touring, performative writing and independent practice -research.

Module One: Performance Skills

This module is focussed around the training of the individual within the ensemble and includes skills in movement, voice, devising, play, comedy and improvisation which are taught through a series of practical workshops, projects, performances, laboratory-based activities, projects, lectures and seminars.  The module takes a physical approach to making theatre and working with text. The module fosters a sense of openness, curiosity and the desire to play. You will consistently experiment with what art can be and who can be involved, and experience work which blurs the lines between artist, participant & audience.

Performative Writing interweaves and parallels these practice modules introducing modes of study, research and praxis. You will work with a range of internationally recognised practitioners and teachers whose role is to support and facilitate and at times direct your learning.

This module aims to systemically develop, deepen and challenge your practice, knowledge and understanding of performance and making theatre, through exposure to inter-disciplinary and hybrid forms of performance training and creation. The emphasis is placed on the individual’s skills, work and place within the rigours of ensemble practice. The module aims to train performers who want to make theatre and to explore the human condition through theatre that is bigger than life. The practice acknowledges the artifice of performance and makes no attempt to put reality on stage, but rather to inhabit the space between laughter and pain which exists in the real world. The work is rooted in the live event and thrives on a sense of spontaneity and risk, celebrating the unpredictability of performance.

Module Two: Performative Writing/Vade Mecum

This module provides the theoretical and academic underpinning for the developing practice explored across all modules. The module offers a particular lens through which to enhance, deepen and inform your understanding of theatre as an historical, and contemporary cultural and social phenomenon. In particular you will explore different modes of research and reflection through; practice as research, the study of subject-specific literature and performance, verbal discourse and developmental and critical modes of writing.

Active research is a fundamental principle engendering the evolution of one’s own practice and professional aesthetic. London offers not only a wealth of international theatre work, but also opportunities to work with and participate in workshops, events, performances, seminars and symposiums in related fields. An important strand of the module is the Vade Mecum - the development of your personal book of creative and critical output through the programme. It is an essential tool for your creation and reflection and will feed directly into the exploration and development of areas for your independent specialist projects. Seminars will be led by professional writers, practitioners and specialists, supporting you as you explore different modes and registers of writing and thinking; writing as doing; writing as free exploration; writing as performance, poetic writing, critical writing, writing for performance. In addition you will be engaged in practice as research and research as practice as you test and develop your own sense of yourself as performer/actor and theatre-maker. You will be given the opportunity to present your written work in public either through performance or reading sessions. Feedback is through group and individual tutorial.

Module Three: Director, Writer, Performer as Theatre Maker

The first half of this module will focus on performance-making through three different lens; that of the director, the writer and the performer.  Intensive periods of time will be devoted separately to each of the following; the role of the director in the devising process, the role of the writer in the devising process and the role of the performer in the devising process. Each specialism is introduced separately recognising in practice that the theatre maker moves easily between a number of roles.

Collaborative work in the second half of the module begins with a process of devising a performance focussing on telling stories through performance, visual image, physical theatre, writing, sound and music. The module culminates in a production devised by the ensemble working with a range of skills and theatre disciplines and so there is collaboration across forms as well as between individuals.

MA's only

Module Four: Final Independent Project

The final module facilitates the creation of your original creative work. This may be a performance; a conceptual paper; a multi-dimensional proposition of a project that you have developed and will pitch to professional organisations; it may be the practical articulation of your own practice, or a model and vision for your future organisation. It could be a book or a proposition for a PhD; it may be the presentation of your Research and Development for a theatre production, or the creation of a show reel, professional portfolio, and material for audition. It will be the culmination and distillation of the practice and vision you have developed over the course of your studies and reflect the integrity and originality of your practice. Your final project can be understood as the proposition launches you into the professional world.

Documentation

Drawing on the style, aesthetics and mediums you have developed within your Veda Mecum this module supports you to create a document that captures and articulates your final practical project. The document will be a parallel construction alongside and in relation to your practice. This material reflects on and reveals the process of creation: its force, questions, what was left behind, the unexpected discoveries, the drive that enlivened it and its failures and is considered as much an artistic gesture as the scenic piece. The ‘spectator’ or employer will able to ‘read’ the scenic piece without needing any additional explanation. The choice of medium, register and technology deployed in the creation of the documentation lies within the agency of individual students.

 

MFA Year Two:

 

Module Four: The Widening Field

This module focuses on processes of research and development aimed at realising individualised specialist practice with the view that it ultimately achieves professional validity and viability. The module is deliberately open and flexible as each student’s journey will develop its own pathway. Students focus on deepening and widening their field of knowledge and practice via the gaining of professional experience and exposure; researching into current initiatives, models and practices, structures and organisations relevant to their particular field of interest, and synthesising their experiences to design and build their own models of practice.

The module is based around self-directed study, research into the industry and work-based learning through talks/presentations/ seminars throughout the year prior to the attachment. Students are supported in seeking appropriate work-based learning opportunities either with the College’s creative partners, their own contacts, new initiatives with appropriate organisations or ensemble companies or working within appropriate internal placement opportunities

There will be four taught weekends which offer the opportunity to test and trial the state of your practice with tutor/mentor/peer feedback and input. Each weekend will be situated in a different location e.g. London, Edinburgh, Berlin and will be focused to support the progressive development of each student’s emerging project. Specialist practitioners may be invited to support or contribute. Activities may include workshop presentations, seminars, discussions, impromptu Research and Development sessions, practitioner led sessions, student-led sessions, tutorials and feedback
 

Module Five: Final Independent Project

The final module facilitates the creation of your original creative work. This may be a performance; a conceptual paper; a multi-dimensional proposition of a project that you have developed and will pitch to professional organisations; it may be the practical articulation of your own practice, or a model and vision for your future organisation. It could be a book or a proposition for a PhD; it may be the presentation of your Research and Development for a theatre production, or the creation of a show reel, professional portfolio, and material for audition. It will be the culmination and distillation of the practice and vision you have developed over the course of your studies and reflect the integrity and originality of your practice. Your final project can be understood as the proposition launches you into the professional world.
 

Documentation

Drawing on the style, aesthetics and mediums you have developed within your Veda Mecum this module supports you to create a document that captures and articulates your final practical project. The document will be a parallel construction alongside and in relation to your practice. This material reflects on and reveals the process of creation: its force, questions, what was left behind, the unexpected discoveries, the drive that enlivened it and its failures and is considered as much an artistic gesture as the scenic piece. The ‘spectator’ or employer will able to ‘read’ the scenic piece without needing any additional explanation. The choice of medium, register and technology deployed in the creation of the documentation lies within the agency of individual students.

 

Please click here to download a pdf of the Module specifications.
Please click here to download a pdf of the programme specification.

 

“Something inexplicable happened the day I attended a workshop and was auditioned in the States. I knew that I had found my home!

When I arrived in London the entire Rose Bruford College faculty was amazing, they made sure the international students were comfortable and adjusting well (especially since this was my first time moving away from my parents).

I loved our ensemble group right from the start. We leaned on each other so much, it felt like a huge piece of the group was missing when one of us was out or doing some kind of work. I've seen a change in me not only as a performer but as a more confident person, and I have Rose Bruford College to thank for that”.

Benjamin Bean
MA Ensemble Theatre Graduate 2016
United States of America


2017 London Auditions
Book now to attend our 2017 London auditions on:
Saturday 26 August

International Interviews and Auditions
Throughout the year, we will be holding interviews and auditions abroad, including New York and Chicago Auditions at the URTA's. 
Please click here for our schedule and to register.

2016/2017 Fees
Please click here for fee details. From academic year 2016/17, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills will for the first time, provide a loan for UK/EU students of up to £10,000 per student for postgraduate Masters study. Please click here for more information.


 
 

Teaching staff over the past two years have included;

Gabriel Gawin
(Programme Director/ Song of the Goat)

Niamh Dowling
(Head of School of Performance/Movement)

Vanio Papadelli
(Movement/research methodologies)

Irina Brown
(Acting/Text/director)

Bea Pemberton
( Complicite devising/ director )  ‎

Barbara Housman
(Voice RSC)  Punchdrunk, The Bush Theatre,

Struan Leslie
(RSC)

Pip Nash
(Design)

Jeremy Harrison
(Musicality) Royal Exchange Theatre,

Colin Ellwood
(Writing) 

Kate Sagovsky
(Movement)

Jane Bertesh
(Wrestling School)

 

Shows