ABOUT MA ACTING
The MA Acting is an intensive one-year, advanced level conservatoire acting course. In keeping with Central’s tradition of innovation in actor training, it offers two specialist strands taught over an extended 42 weeks, with up to 35 hours per week of classes, rehearsals, seminars and tutorials. Successful applicants will be offered a place on one of the two strands.
The Classical strand follows the development of the theatrical art from its earliest ritual roots to the birth of naturalism:
> Greek Tragedy, Chorus and the Neutral Mask
> Clowning and Commedia dell’arte
> Shakespeare and the English Renaissance
> Stanislavski, the Method and ‘Realist’ Theatre.
The Classical strand draws on the hugely influential theories and techniques of the great French acting teacher Michel Saint-Denis, training the expressive body, voice and imagination. Working with some of the greatest dramatic texts ever written, students are asked to consider what they mean now, and how their 21st century reinterpretation and re-imagining still holds a ‘mirror up to nature’. Students are encouraged to understand the demands of both art and craft, as participants in, and practitioners of, the western theatrical tradition, through a course structure that examines, in chronological order, four key periods of innovation and transition.
The Contemporary strand addresses the actor’s relationship with the writer, from Early Modern times to the present day through the exploration of:
> Shakespeare and his legacy
> Chekhov, Stanislavski and the birth of naturalism
> the actor and 20th century playwriting
> new writing and the development of new work.
The Contemporary strand combines teaching in practical voice, movement and acting techniques with an exploration of some of the key playwrights that have helped forge the canon of Western theatre, from the Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatists to Chekhov and from Beckett to Kane. Uniquely, it explores the relationship between the two artists at the core of much Western theatre: the actor and the writer.
From Shakespeare and the King’s Men to the work of modern day producing houses, plays are frequently developed in collaboration between actors and writers, sometimes directly and sometimes mediated by a director. Students are encouraged to explore their role as creative artists in relation to writers and the written word. Throughout the course you will have the chance to work with, and alongside, writers on plays in development, both the next generation of playwrights on the MA Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media, and established playwrights with a track record of produced plays.
INDUSTRY LINKS / COLLABORATIONS
All staff are well connected to industry. In the past few years, students have participated in a research symposium and worked on the stage
of Shakespeare’s Globe, performed at the Brighton Festival, made a film with Sir Donald Sinden at the Garrick Club, taken part in workshops with Hannah Miller (Head of Casting, Royal Shakespeare Company) and attended public lectures by Judi Dench, Vanessa
Redgrave, Michael Boyd and Declan Donnellan. Students from Canada and the USA have participated in the Conference of Drama Schools
Showcase in New York and LA, and all students participate in Central’s MA Acting showcase.
Through a combination of practical and written assessments, including a Sustained Independent Project and research presentation.