This innovative MA allows you to explore ways in which drama and theatre might be applied to educational, therapeutic and community contexts. Applied drama/ theatre is an umbrella term which includes the practice of drama in a wide range of settings, such as drama and theatre in education; young people’s theatre; drama, health and healing; reminiscence and heritage theatres; theatre in prisons; theatre for development and community theatre.
This course addresses the 'social turn' at the cutting-edge of contemporary theatre, where new forms of participation are blurring the boundaries between performer and spectator. During the course you will have the opportunity to explore creative and research opportunities in some of these diverse and dynamic contexts and analyse the politics and values of applied drama. You will experience radically different approaches to performance-making in both conventional theatre spaces and in non-theatrical settings, enabling you to consider the relationship between innovative performance practices and work in applied theatre. The programme considers the international dimension of applied and participatory theatre, and the local and global implications of artistic practice.
By the end of this degree you will be well prepared to work in different locations and have developed your own praxis and practical skills as a practitioner, workshop leader and artist.
- The course is taught by world leading experts in applied theatre, whose published research includes theatre education, theatre and health, theatre and refugees, devised theatre and applied drama/theatre.
- You will have the opportunity to benefit from our industry partnerships and our professional links with theatre companies. Previous students have benefitted from working with Age Exchange Theatre Trust, the Lyric Hammersmith, The Globe Theatre Education, Attic Theatre, Bravo 22 Company and many local schools, museums and hospital settings.
- The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise ranked the majority of the Department's research activities as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).
- Royal Holloway has the largest Drama Department in the UK with 25 academic members of staff working at the cutting edge of the discipline.
- We foster an excellent research environment and support a vibrant community of postgraduate and doctoral students.
- You will benefit from a range of unique performance spaces which include a traditional Japanese Noh theatre, the fully equipped Caryl Churchill Theatre and the substantial Victorian Boilerhouse.
Department research and industry highlights
You will benefit from working in partnership with professional practitioners, undertaking placements in different settings and developing your own practice. Previous practical projects have included reminiscence theatre in a day centre for the elderly; theatre with young people at risk of offending; drama and film with young carers; an interfaith installation with students of different religious beliefs; theatre with young people in hospital; theatre with young disabled performers; performance with unaccompanied refugees, and many, many more. Each project is designed and facilitated by students, and professional placements support their development.
Course content and structure
You will study three core course units and complete a dissertation.
Core course units: The MA in Applied and Participatory theatre will appeal to anyone who is interested in socially engaged art. It is focused on theatre in different institutional, therapeutic and community settings, and raises questions about how artists might encourage public participation in a range of different forms of theatre and performance-making. You will study three core course units and complete a dissertation.
You will follow a course called Applied and Participatory Theatre Workshop where you will develop your skills as a practitioner and artist, as well as engaging in critical debates about the field. The next specialist module is the Independent Practical Project, where you gain valuable professional experience in community settings.
In addition to the two modules above you will study a shared module for all MA students in the Drama and Theatre Department that considers the contexts for theatre and performance, its histories and practices. The details and assessment methods of this course are being updated for the new year and will appear in more detail on the department website once validated.
The fourth module is the dissertation on a chosen subject within your field of study with accompanying Research Methodologies course that supports students in independent research and writing.
On completion of the course graduates will have: - enhanced and applied their skills as reflective theatre practitioners - explored the scope of theatre studies and its critical and research methodologies - developed their understanding of contemporary performance practices and its contexts - explored the links between theory and practice - developed their ability to undertake independent research and analysis.
Assessment is carried out by a variety of means including essays, performance analyses, evaluative reflections on practice, and practical projects, as well as a final dissertation of 10-14,000 words. Practical projects are sometimes carried out in a group and may include an element of assessment for an individual’s contribution to group working and direction. All students undertake a summer term practical project.
Employability & career opportunities
Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different drama and theatre-related areas, including careers in professional theatre, training and education. This course also equips you with a solid foundation for continued PhD studies and many of our students go on to advanced research.