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Masters Degrees (Theatre For Young Audiences)

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The MA Theatre for Young Audiences (MATYA), in collaboration with Theatre Royal Bath’s the egg – one of the country’s leading TYA venues – combines storytelling, new writing, devising, puppetry, and academic study to equip students with the practical and theoretical skills to enter the burgeoning field of Theatre for Young Audiences. Read more
The MA Theatre for Young Audiences (MATYA), in collaboration with Theatre Royal Bath’s the egg – one of the country’s leading TYA venues – combines storytelling, new writing, devising, puppetry, and academic study to equip students with the practical and theoretical skills to enter the burgeoning field of Theatre for Young Audiences.

The course is designed for entrepreneurial practitioners and researchers including actors, directors, scriptwriters, producers, scenographers, and others with a relevant background in theatre and performance. It fosters collaborative work, immerses students in the operational life of one of the most innovative TYA venues in the country, and provides them with invaluable artistic, academic, and professional contacts.

Course structure and content

The MA Theatre for Young Audiences consists of four 15-credit modules, two 30-credit modules, and one 60-credit module (180 credits) delivered over three trimesters. This totals a 12-month period of study for full-time students and a 24-month period of study for part-time students.

Students will gain a practical, critical, and analytical understanding of:
• Educational pedagogy in the creative arts for young people, including workshop facilitation and experiential learning paradigms
• The broader context of TYA grounded in an understanding of the creative capacities of children
• The performance field, through examination of the work of key companies and playwrights
• Practical methodologies and processes for creating theatre for young audiences, including writing, devising, storytelling, dramaturgy, puppetry, and design
• The arts industry, including producing and funding strategies alongside the infrastructure of the TYA field.

Modules

Modules include:
• Context and Methodologies
• Writing and Dramaturgy
• Devising and Adaptation
• Puppetry
• Facilitation
• Thesis (practical or written)

Teaching methods and resources

The MATYA is delivered through a combination of seminars, master classes, workshops and online resources, and incorporates the ongoing programme of activity at the egg.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods will include both written and practical work. Students can choose either a performance or written thesis, both of which culminate in a presentation at the Thesis Showcase & Symposium at the egg in October following the completion of the MA year(s).

Career Opportunities

The MATYA will equip you with the performance, applied, academic and entrepreneurial skills to pursue a career in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences. Particularly invaluable are the industry contacts, experience, and professional platform gained through the course’s partnership with the egg.

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A unique programme for dramaturgs and playwrights - http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-dramaturgy-writing-performance/. This highly successful programme offers specialist pathways in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. Read more
A unique programme for dramaturgs and playwrights - http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-dramaturgy-writing-performance/

This highly successful programme offers specialist pathways in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. We concentrate on the process of writing for live performance, together with an ongoing evaluation of the work in process. Through practice and reflection, we enable you to establish a distinctive, individual approach as both a writer and dramaturge. Projects include site-specific work, writing for a specific audience, verbatim theatre and interdisciplinary collaboration.

We support the development of texts for performance, alongside intellectual understanding of the diverse forms and contexts in which live performance can be made and the writer/dramaturge’s role in this. We examine texts from a wide range of periods and cultures. We engage with work that is innovative, or which challenges established notions of practice.

Opportunities to collaborate

Dramaturgs and playwrights study side by side, and examine creative and dramaturgical issues from various perspectives as writers, spectators and creative collaborators. There are opportunities to collaborate on an Interdisciplinary Project with MA Performance Makers and composers from the Department of Music. Final project texts, performed and directed by industry professionals, are presented at the Soho Theatre in London, attended by key industry representatives. Graduates are highly successful in obtaining commissions, dramaturgy posts and artistic directorships. Recent successes include:

Tena Štivičić (Three Winters National Theatre 2015)
Finn Kennedy (Artistic Director, Tamasha Theatre Company 2015)
Melissa Bubnic (Beached at Soho Theatre 2015)
All students receive Professional Orientation and support towards career development.

Why study in London?

London continues to be a major world centre for a staggering range of arts activity. It is world-leading in new writing and contemporary performance. We have strong links with a large number of London-based practitioners, international networks and organisations, individuals and venues in the field of new performance writing.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Fiona Graham.

Modules & Structure

Autumn term

All students take the Writing Projects module: you will work on three diverse, short playwriting projects. Each addresses particular generic issues that relate to writing for live performance, and you will engage with the specific challenges and demands of differing circumstances of text development and production. These will vary from year to year, but they are likely to be selected from the following:

-Theatre as Event – site-specific performance
-Authenticity and Live Performance – verbatim theatre
-Writing for Specific Audiences – children’s/young person’s theatre project
-Creative Collaboration – multimedia collaboration with MA Performance Making and Studio Composition students from the Department of Music

You will also take the Dramaturgy module, which has two main elements: analysis of dramatic text (these will include classics and modern classics, as well as new plays); and analysis of live performance seen by the group (including some visual, environmental or non-text-based work). During the module you will assemble a portfolio of critical analyses and creative writing projects for assessment.

You will also take one contextual module alongside students from other Masters programmes, to be selected from a list of options that will vary from session to session.

Spring term

You will develop your work on Dramaturgy with the term-long practical workshop module Creative Intervention in Text. This will examine: translation; adaptation of work from other media for live performance; and the re-writing and/or adaptation of extant plays; planning and curating seasons of performance work. You will assemble a portfolio of creative projects for assessment.

You also start work on your Final Project the personal Dissertation-equivalent project that will be the core of your work for the next six months). You also take another option from the list of contextual modules shared with students from other Masters programmes.

Summer term

You will present the second draft of your project for another phase of tutorials and group workshops.

Playwriting projects will then be prepared for some form of public rehearsed reading or scratch performance, in extract form – with the writers involved in all aspects of the work.

Dramaturgy projects will be given practical support of an appropriate, equivalent kind. You will further develop your work, with tutorials and workshops and public presentation of work as appropriate, before writing and submitting the finished project.

Assessment

We deploy a range of assessment approaches, each appropriate to the module taken. Students taking Writing Projects will submit three short playtexts for assessment. Dramaturgy is assessed by a portfolio of analytic reviews, and Creative Intervention in Text by a series of short creative writing projects and writing exercises. Each of the contextual option modules is assessed by essay. Final Project leads to the production of a playtext (Playwriting), or a Dissertation or equivalent practical project (Dramaturgy).

Skills

Playwriting specialists will become skilled in:

the use of a range of techniques for the development and structuring of original material for live performance
working to a brief in diverse professional circumstances
evolving an individual creative vision

Dramaturgy specialists will become:

familiar with a diverse range of techniques for generating and developing new work
skilled in analysis of dramatic text and live performance
skilled in formulating a distinctive contribution to policy and practice in one or more fields of new writing

Careers

Numerous playwrights completing this programme receive high-level professional development opportunities, commissions, awards and full-scale productions of their work at major new writing centres in the UK, USA and in continental Europe.

Recent playwriting alumni include:

-Ben Musgrave, whose Pretend You Have Big Buildings won the Bruntwood Prize (2006) and received a main house production at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
-Allia V Oswald, whose Dirty Water won the Alfred Fagon Award (2007) and was given a rehearsed reading at the Royal Court Theatre
-Adam Brace, whose play Stovepipe was a High Tide Festival winner (2008), and was staged recently by the National Theatre and published by Faber.

Dramaturgy alumni include:

-David Lane, who now has an extremely busy career as a freelance dramaturg, teacher and playwright
-Francesca Malfrin, who is currently developing translation projects of Italian plays with a range of agencies, including the National Theatre Studio.

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Inform policy and practice and design your own learning on a programme that has been defining the cultural landscape for over four decades. Read more
Inform policy and practice and design your own learning on a programme that has been defining the cultural landscape for over four decades.

Who is it for?

Students come from all over the world and from all kinds of backgrounds - from fashion to film and all other sectors of the creative industries. This Masters is ideal for those who have an undergraduate degree and a passion for the arts, or those with previous experience working within the cultural sector and eclectic areas of interest they want to pursue. From digital crowdfunding to policies for the creative city, and from social media and the democratisation of opera to the motivations of young fashion enrepreneurs or museum branding, students are able to investigate their own subject and develop their individual professional path on the programme.

"To an extent, the students' own interests have helped shape the way in which the course has evolved. We learn a lot from them through their experiences, their coursework, their discussions." - Course Director, Professor Ana Gaio

Objectives

This programme is all about customising your learning so you can become a competent professional ready to start, continue or change your career. On completion of the course you will be able to evaluate and integrate the theories and practices of culture, policy and management.

The student experience runs through everything we do, from the structure of the course itself to our discussions and tutorials. The curriculum was developed with support from an advisory group that includes senior figures from Arts Council England, the Barbican, Shakespeare's Globe and the V&A. This means your learning is attuned to the latest insights from the sector.

Placements

The professional work placement is an elective module giving you the opportunity to work in the cultural sector to apply the skills you have gained from the programme so far.

When it comes to the organisation, it is totally up to you. Previous students have gained experience with the Southbank Centre, Tate Modern, The British Library, IMG Artists, LIFT, Business of Culture (consultancy), Motiroti, British Museum, Unicorn Theatre, Jerwood Space, London Fashion Week, Arts Council England and the British Film Institute.

The British Library said their placement student was "certainly one of the best interns we have ever had in our team. We are eternally grateful for the hard work and dedication she put into her work and for making her stay in our team a very pleasant one on all fronts. We were sad to see her go!".

Academic facilities

As part of the University of London you can also become a member of Senate House Library for free with your student ID card.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning is delivered through lectures, seminars, group work, tutorials, visits, workshops, verbal and written feedback, plus personal research from a wide range of resources.

You are able to apply your essay questions and academic work to the real world – and one that you know well. For example, in the marketing module, you can choose an organisation from your own country, conduct research and then write a marketing strategy, which could be practically implemented.

Modules

With 50% core and 50% elective modules, you can choose which specialisms you study from the first term onwards. This means you can design your own course and determine your direction right from the start. This flexibility offers our MA students the freedom to shape their future.

The MA is structured around a spine of four core modules taking place in the autumn and spring terms – culture, cultural policy, managing organisations and Introduction to research. The MA culminates in a 15,000-word dissertation (running through the spring and summer terms), which students complete by the end of August.

Core modules
-Culture (15 credits)
-Managing organisations (15 credits)
-Cultural policy (15 credits)
-Introduction to research (15 credits)

Elective modules
-Audiences and marketing (15 credits)
-Digital cultures (15 credits)
-Evaluation, politics and advocacy (15 credits)
-Fundraising in and for the cultural sector (15 credits)
-Global Cultural Industries, Ethics and Social Responsibility (15 credits)
-Professional placement (15 credits)
-Public culture: the politics of participation (15 credits)
-Understanding financial accounts and entrepreneurship (15 credits)
-Celebrity (Sociology) (15 credits)
-Communication, culture and development (Sociology) (30 credits)
-Popular music and society (Music) (15 credits)
-International Organisations in Global Politics (International Politics) (15 credits)
-Global Governance (15 credits)
-Designing Interactive Media (15 credits)

Career prospects

MA Culture, Policy and Management graduates find employment across all sub-sectors and occupational areas of the creative and cultural sector (in the UK and across the world).

From orchestras to the art market, and from marketing to management, 80% of our graduates are now employed in cultural roles. Here are just a few examples of our student destinations:
-Barbican Centre (London)
-UNESCO (Paris)
-Ullens Contemporary Art Centre (Beijing)
-Royal Opera House (London)
-Dongdaemun Design Plaza (South Korea)
-National Art Gallery ‘Astana’ (Kazakhstan)
-Culture Ministry (Turkey)
-Qatar Museums Authority (Qatar)
-Christian Dior (Paris)
-Arts Streaming TV (London)
-Arts Council of Singapore

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