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Contemporary Performance Making MA

Course Description

The School of Arts offers a Masters programme in performance creation that draws upon the vast resources of London and the facilities and expertise of Brunel. This innovative MA will provide you with the space to nurture your creativity through the practical and critical exploration of contemporary multi-media performance. The programme offers a combination of critical engagement and practice-based research.

The aim of the programme is to provide a bridge between academia and the professional world, giving you the opportunities to network and engage in a variety of supervised and self-managed projects.

You will undertake a programme of study under the auspices of Drama at Brunel, which is well known for its innovative approach to contemporary performance study and practice. The learning environment encourages independent thought, creativity and craftsmanship through workshops, seminars, lectures, self-directed exercises, tutorials and practical master classes. Many of Brunel’s lecturers and guest artists have international reputations in performance and direction including Helen Paris (acclaimed performance artist and director of curious performance company) and Fiona Templeton (playwright, author and theatre company founder).

We offer specialisation in directing, solo performance and performance writing and there are opportunities for professional work placements/apprenticeships that allow you to develop your own project work under professional circumstances. Students benefit from opportunities to showcase their final pieces – including solo performances and directed projects – in professional venues such as Battersea Arts Centre. These performances help to launch their entry into the professional arena.

Brunel’s proximity to the diverse performance and theatre environment of London allows for direct contact with the work of established as well as cutting edge professionals working in the industry. The programme offers you the opportunity to develop skills, increase employment possibilities and build up a network of professional contacts.

Programme Content
The MA programme has a flexible modular structure designed to accommodate both full time (30-40 study hours per week) and part-time students (15-20 study hours per week). All students will undertake four core modules and a practical project or, if preferred, a written dissertation.

The modules available are likely to include:
·Specialist options
This module runs in term one as a practical workshop and rehearsal. Students will normally elect one of three specialist perspectives - Performance Directing, Solo Performance or Performance Writing. However, students could choose to explore more than one option, but will be required to choose one option only for their final Performance Project or Written Dissertation. Students will produce two practical pieces (10-15 minutes duration, one focusing on the performer and one on mise-en-scene) together with documentation of their work.
·Approaches to Performance/Mise-en-scene Making
This module addresses the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary performance. It will give close attention to the multiplicity and diversity of approaches to performance making used over the last 100 years at an advanced level.
·Professional Placement
This module runs in the second term. In the first five-six weeks of the module students will attend lectures and workshops on professional development with staff and guest lectures/leading experts in the field. In the second part of the module, students will undertake a placement/apprenticeship (minimum three weeks/90 hours) with an established partner organisation, such as a national or international theatre company, festival organisation, or university with whom we will sign a Learning Contract. We have MA students on placements in London, the US, Canada, Romania and France.
·Research Methodologies
The aim of the module is to enhance the development of independent student thought and an understanding of interdisciplinary research methodologies in performance studies. This will be achieved through an engagement with abstract concepts and group discussions of advanced ideas and current trends in performance. In this way students will be encouraged to discuss and analyse their own and other’s approaches. This will also serve as a platform for students to test their ideas and present a series of short papers on selected topics.
·Performance Project/Dissertation
During the summer term you will work towards your practical performance project or, if preferred, dissertation. The performance project will take the form of a final presentation-performance (lasting approximately 50 minutes and including documentation with visual material and a written commentary) either in directing, performance writing or solo-performance. In the first part of term two there will be a set of intensive workshops where students will be working within their chosen specialist area with guest artists.

There are 2 x £1,500 bursaries/scholarships available for the next 2 years

Your application for a scholarship will be judged on your your written sample and your Statement of Need. If you do not have an appropriate written sample please answer the following question in 1,500 words "How do you see contemporary performance?".

You will be put forward for a scholarship once you have paid your deposit.

For a prospectus please contact:

Entry Requirements

2:1 in relevant discipline

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Recipient: Brunel University London

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