What you'll study
The first and only MA of its kind to focus on queer performance, this course offers broad training in a range of queer performance practices, delivered by renowned queer artists, theatre-makers, academics, and researchers.
Fiercely socially engaged, political, experimental, and interdisciplinary, the course provides an in-depth, comprehensive examination of queer performance practice, studying its themes, methodologies, and untapped possibilities.
By collaborating closely with other queers in a supportive context, the course develops and expands your individual practice by offering opportunities to contextualise your work while collaborating with others.
We welcome all students with an interest in engaging with queer performance, whether primarily as maker (in theatre, live art, drag, cabaret, writing, video and moving image, sound art, digital arts), researcher, critic, facilitator or producer.
Course modules are subject to updates and may be modified*
Why choose this course?
Experimentation and innovation
Be part of the world's first postgraduate training in queer performance practice, building on important histories you will innovate approaches to making theatre, live art, cabaret, digital work and new writing for contemporary audiences.
Through in-depth training and study in both intensive in-person residencies and online sessions, you will develop your artistic and academic expertise within established contexts alongside dynamic opportunities for making solo and collaborative performance work.
You will be taught, guided and mentored by experienced world-leading staff with international reputations in queer performance as you explore different processes and develop new skills.
This course creates a pedagogical culture dedicated to providing advanced, rigorous and challenging learning and development opportunities. Develop key skills in researching and thinking through queer methodologies and articulate how queer approaches inform the creation and reception of performance.
You will be encouraged to share work with audiences beyond Rose Bruford, including online, in club spaces, galleries, theatres and festivals. You will create and share an original work in any form, supported by a professional mentor.
Industry contacts and networking
Development of a professional network of creative relationships.
More about the course
This hybrid course is designed to take place in person and online over 15 months. As a cohort, you will have four intensive in-person residencies together, three in the UK and normally one abroad.
Seminars, discussions, tutorials and mentorship will be delivered online, weekly throughout term time. As such, students can live anywhere globally, but are required to travel to be in attendance for the residencies.
You can study this course full time (over 15 months) or part time (over 28 months).
Accessibility and learning styles: The course is designed with accessibility considerations across all aspects, although we will always strive to improve and collaborate on improving our access provisions.
All written assessments have optionality for alternative spoken/performed components.
Module 1 : Thinking Queerly
Residential: The programme begins with a 14-day London-based residential intensive in September including taught sessions, artist-led practical workshops, sharing and discussion of where we have all come from, our current positions and future aspirations, and to set our pathways for evolving ideas together.
- This module will examine how performance art, drag, theatre, street performance and cabaret has played a central role in the development of trans, lesbian, bisexual and gay lives in various global cultures. And in turn, how major historical moments for LGTBQI+ communities and queer critical theory has influenced the development of performance strategies.
- We will use interdisciplinary perspectives to draw connections between artists, historical events, queer social life and theory. Students will be encouraged to question dominant narratives and methodologies of theatre and performance, and think about who has been absent or forgotten in established archives, histories and stages.
Module 2 : Creatures of the Night
Residential: This module will also be introduced in the 14-day London-based September intensive through practical workshops, shared trips and seminar discussions.
- Subsequently, you will be encouraged to research, watch and share queer cabaret, drag, durational, one-to-one, music-based, digital, dance and other experimental nightlife performance in your own local contexts or through digital practice.
- Via professional mentorship, classes and peer support you will develop performance works for a public festival held in the UK at the end of the module.
Module 3 : Queer Dramaturgies
Residential: This module includes one normally international residency between 7-10 days with leading queer performance practitioners.
Intensive practice-based research in making/devising critical and creative performance work in collaboration with each other.
- Including options for creative writing, video, sound, design and digital performance.
- Each group will be mentored by a leading queer performance practitioner.
Module 4 : Independent Research Project
Each student can choose to do a supervised dissertation project:
- Written, performed or curatorial/produced project.
- These will be performed or presented in London during our final residency.
Get a flavour
Dr Phoebe Patey-FergusonRead their profile
Director of Research and Academic InnovationRead their profile
Professor of Theatre & PerformanceRead their profile
Associate Artist, Queer Performance MARead their profile
Associate Artist, Queer Performance MARead their profile
Dr Phoebe Patey-Ferguson
Phoebe Patey-Ferguson is an academic, artist and producer. Their research expertise is on international theatre festivals, rooted in the Sociology of Theatre and Performance. This work frequently intersects with their further research interests in live art, contemporary British theatre, and queer theory. Phoebe’s Doctoral thesis examined the history and practice of international theatre festivals in Britain, with particular focus on the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) and its social, political and economic context.
Phoebe is a practising live artist and frequently works as a dramaturg for contemporary performance makers. They have worked as a producer with LIFT, In Between Time (IBT), and VFD delivering international festivals of theatre and live art. Phoebe frequently collaborates with organisations to create public talks programmes and symposiums, this has recently included Buzzcut Festival, the Live Art Development Agency (LADA) and Scottee & Friends.Read their full profile
Director of Research and Academic Innovation
Stephen Farrier is an academic and theatre maker whose work focusses on queer performance, popular performance forms and the ethics of research. Through a long-lasting fascination with the representation of identity, he is drawn to lesser told narratives. His research focusses on creating space for erased, invisible and silenced voices and the prominence and accessibility of queer performance. He has published widely on queer performance and has presented academic work extensively in international settings.
Stephen’s work in ethics has seen him active in the sector in several ways and he is often invited to present about ethics and performance research. Stephen has extensive experience of successful PhDs supervision in the areas of gender, sexuality, queerness and identity and is regularly called on by a range of institutions to support PhD work in this area.
He helps sustain the health of his area by supporting projects and theatre companies alongside peer review and editorial work for a large range of international scholarly journals and publishers. He makes small scale work for fringe festivals, particularly collaborating with solo performers in the traditions of queer performance.Read their full profile
Professor of Theatre & Performance
Brian Lobel is a performer, teacher and curator, who is interested in creating work about bodies and how they are watched, policed, poked, prodded and loved by others.
He has shown work internationally in a range of contexts, from Harvard Medical School and the Sydney Opera House to the National Theatre (London) and the Lagos Theatre Festival, blending provocative humour with insightful reflection.
His book Theatre & Cancer was published in 2019. Brian has received commissions and grants from the Wellcome Trust, Complicité, Jerwood, UMS (Ann Arbor), the British Council and Arts Council England, among others. Brian is a Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fellow and the co-founder of The Sick of the Fringe.Read their full profile
Associate Artist, Queer Performance MA
Travis Alabanza is an award-winning writer, performer and theatre maker from Bristol. Their writing, performance and public discourse centres on trans and Black identities. Their work is interested in audience, risk and unclear conclusions. For stage, Travis wrote and performed in their debut show Burgerz which won the Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, sold out at Southbank Centre and Traverse Theatre and toured internationally.Read their full profile
Associate Artist, Queer Performance MA
Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi (crazinisT artisT) is a transwoman who works internationally but lives in Kumasi, Ghana. Fiatsi is a multidisciplinary ‘artivist’, curator, mentor, the founder and artistic director of crazinisT artisT studio and perfocraZe International Artists Residency (pIAR) which aimed at promoting exchange between international and local artists, activists, researchers, curators, and thinkers.Read their full profile
How to join
Institution code: Not required for this course.
Course code: Not required for this course.
Applicants for Masters Programmes will be expected to have a good undergraduate degree in a related subject area. The College also encourages applications from those without formal qualifications who may be accepted on the basis of professional experience.
The application deadline for Postgraduate courses is 29 February 2024.
To apply, please submit an online application . You will be asked to submit:
- A detailed personal statement (500 word or a two-minute video recording). This should include why you want to study Queer Performance, what you would bring to the course and what your current interests and passions are.
- Documentation/links to two previous works (these can be a video of a performance, a script you have written, a video work, a performance text or score, an exhibition/festival you have curated, creative writing, academic writing/essay, digital work, critical writing/reviews, an audio work, written reflection on live work).
There is no minimum or maximum length for these works, but we will usually watch no more than 10 minutes of a video or read more than 1000 words so if you are sending longer pieces you might want to send an extract, or indicate which section we should watch/read/listen to.
Each applicant will be invited for an online interview (approximately 30-45 minutes). Questions will be sent in advance, and there will be an opportunity for the applicant to ask questions about the course as well.
Postgraduate course discount for Rose Bruford alumni
We offer a 5% discount on fees for our postgraduate courses for alumni who’ve completed an undergraduate course at Rose Bruford. Get in touch with our Admissions team on [email protected] if you’re a graduate or current undergraduate student to find out more.Funding and Financial Support
Mode of study
Full time / Part time
Course Fees (2023 Entry)
Course fees for 2024 entry have not been published yet
UK & Republic of Ireland Students
You will need to budget for travel, sustenance and accommodation while on residencies. The full dates and location of residencies will be shared with you prior to the commencement of the course.
You will need access to a device that connects to Zoom and/or Microsoft Teams with a stable internet connection for online sessions.
Please note that due to the delivery methods of the Queer Performance MA course, with a combination of distance learning and in-person residencies, international students on this course are not eligible to apply for a student visa. International students wishing to undertake their studies predominantly from their home country should ensure they’re able to travel to the UK during specific periods during the course, in order to undertake in-person residencies. For more information on visitor visas when planning travel to the UK visit gov.uk/standard-visitor, or for further guidance please contact our Admissions team on [email protected]