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Acting - MA

Course Description

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!

(Student Profile)

Sky Bembury

“Coming from what I believed to be the epicenter of the theatre world, I am still constantly asked why, out of all the drama schools I applied to (and was accepted for) in New York city, I chose East 15 Acting School.

What I found unique about East 15’s approach, was the focus on the importance of acknowledging different cultures and influences in the theatre directing course. Coming from a theatre design background, I had already discovered the value of utilizing the diverse cultural flavors of the world in my theatre work. The courses at East 15 catered to this philosophy.

So far I have worked with and learned from individuals from just about every continent and I have been able to study in Indonesia and Russia. This meant that, on top of all the big name British directors we connect with on a weekly basis, we are fortunate enough to be able to make professional contacts with working directors and performers from all over the globe.

I have also grown to love the student community, we often work with students on the other acting courses and we have all become part of a huge family of like-minded personalities. Walking around the beautiful Loughton Campus, it’s rare to come across a face that you don’t recognise.

At the risk of sounding clichéd, I have to say that my time here has been the best of my life, and from what I have been equipped with through this course, I feel ready to take on the world.”

(Student Profile)

Bayan Shbib

"Throughout my year at the Loughton Campus, I gained an amazing array of techniques and skills, as well as an enriching human experience that involved cultural bridging, leadership, conflict resolution and a profound transformative self-development.

I found each of my classes to be a challenging place of cultural understanding, somewhere we could abandon our judgments about each other’s ethnicities and work together. Languages and traditions enabled a very colourful experience of dialogue and interaction between us. This diversity was a reinforcing tool in helping us all to become authentic actors. MA Acting (International) taught me to see the world differently; I have learnt that we are all connected and affected by each other. I am grateful to East 15 for giving me this freedom as an actress.

Since graduating, I have been invited back to UK to work at the National Theatre. I feel inspired by my international classroom, tutors and friends, and able to bring the international discourse I experienced in East 15 to a wider audience."


Entry Requirements

Our applicants need to undertake a successful audition or video audition, plus have a first degree of Upper Second Class or suitable previous life and/or professional expertise. We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of Essex

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