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Course content

MA Acting is a challenging course that gives you a personal methodology based upon East 15’s unique practices. On one level it is a thoroughly practical, highly intensive, vocational course. On another level, it is a thought-provoking, life-changing reflection on the function and art of the actor – exploring techniques from some of Europe’s most influential practitioners as well as innovative professional practice from the UK and internationally.

Example structure

We offer dynamic and unique course for actors, directors, technical theatre specialists and students of theatre practice. Training at East 15 draws upon 50 years of tradition combined with a keen sense of the world of stage and screen today.

First Term
In the first term, there are classes in movement, voice and singing, as well as contextual studies. The entire programme of teaching across the course coheres to lead the actor from an exploration of personal self to that of the body in time and space and from there to the creation of character and the realisation of text.

Acting classes promote the development of intuitive, creative responses which are then framed by the introduction of techniques to build character and play actions. Showings of short naturalistic scenes give opportunity to integrate and apply technical voice and movement work in the context of an acting exercise.

Second Term
In the second term, skills classes continue. The acting work begins with an intensive Shakespeare module which develops and strengthens the integration of technical skills with acting technique. This is followed by the Research Performance Project in which you engage with specific time in history and experience East 15’s distinctive Living History Project.

This signature project is a non-performed improvisation in which the actor can, through rigorous ‘actor-centric’ research and a residential period away from the campus environment, experience and identify with the practical and visceral realities, as well as the psychological and emotional attributes of the character.

Subsequent to this you devise a studio performance based on your intellectual, emotional and sensory experience. You are also given responsibilities in stage management and production to enhance your overall understanding of what it is to make theatre and to prepare you for the realities of the industry.

Towards the end of term two participants begin to research and develop their MA project.

Third Term
The first part of Term Three focuses on media. The film project teaches skills of acting for the camera and provides material for the actor’s show reel. The radio drama project teaches radio skills and microphone technique and provides material usable in a voice reel. At the same time, you begin work on your MA Projects. The MA Projects involve working in small groups on self-generated projects, in which participants are given independence and autonomy as company members. These are performed in East 15’s Corbett Theatre or in other venues as appropriate.

The second half of term 3 sees a full production of a text-based play usually in our on-campus Corbett Theatre.

Visit the Acting - MA page on the University of Essex website for more details!

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