Drama at Goldsmiths focuses on theorised practice. We carry out our research as much through practice-based projects as through theorisations of performance and explorations of textual practice. We aim to make work in a variety of media that reflects on and contributes to innovation in contemporary production and performance practice.
Our written work encompasses theatre history, dramaturgy and play-writing, performance theory, criticism and interpretation. We maintain links with arts organisations and practitioners throughout Britain, and in Europe, North America, South Africa, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia. This not only provides a resource network which supports our research activity, but also enables us to offer placement opportunities for postgraduates on programmes such as the MAs in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy, and Applied Drama: Theatre in Educational, Community and Social Contexts.
Located within easy travelling distance of the South Bank Arts complex, Tate Modern, London’s West End, the Theatre Museum, the National Sound Archive and the British Museum, Goldsmiths offers obvious advantages to students of performance. The Department of Theatre and Performance works in close partnership with many of London’s leading performance venues and cultural organisations, and you will have access to one of the largest concentrations of performance practice in Europe.
Our own theatre has seating for 160 and is used for both teaching and public performances. We also have three performance studios; scenic, sound and costume workshops; and design studio facilities. Visual design, sound and video modules are taught in our own studios, supported by the College’s excellent editing facilities. The Department’s academic staff are assisted by a team of four experienced technicians.
The Department of Theatre and Performance houses the office of the British Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), a UNESCO-funded organisation which is the largest theatre network in the world. The Pinter Centre was founded as a Research Centre in 2003. It was primarily concerned with research related to performance. The Centre has now moved its remit wider, to embrace both performance and writing, becoming the focus for the many different writing courses and staff research concerned with writing within Goldsmiths. In 2005 the Centre ran a conference on Sondheim: collaborator and auteur, and in 2006 co-ordinated a major conference on the work of playwright Mark Ravenhill. The Centre has encouraged proposals for a range of interdisciplinary activities which at present include potential events within the Screen School (Department of Media and Communications) and with the Goldsmiths Digital Studios on e-poetry.
The Department has an archive of performance videos, while the College Library houses the LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) Video Collection, as well as a wide range of material on all aspects of performance. We can also arrange for students to have access to specialist collections housed in, for example, the British Library and the Theatre Museum.
Master’s degrees in the Department of Theatre and Performance
Our MA programmes reflect and contribute to some of the most exciting work in contemporary theatre-making and performance. They seek to develop specialist knowledge and skills by bringing you into close engagement with current approaches in an environment that encourages critical reflection on the work that you are making. Research methodologies are integral to all the MA programmes, preparing you for research at a higher degree level.
The programmes aim to build a bridge between the worlds of international professional theatre and the academy – aspiring to standards of work that will gain recognition in both arenas. The Department of Theatre and Performance works in close partnership with many of London’s leading performance venues and cultural organisations. A number of our staff are professional theatre-makers and we enjoy good working relationships with professional specialists and practitioners who make important contributions to our programmes. In the past few years, our tutors have come from more than fifty theatres, companies and arts organisations. These include: BAC; Birmingham Rep; Cambridge Arts Theatre; Complicité; Frantic Assembly; Heart and Soul; Moti Roti; the National Theatre; Paines Plough; the Royal Court; Sadler’s Wells; Soho Theatre; Talawa; Tamasha; Tara Arts; Theatre Centre; the Young Vic; Arts Council England; Arts and Business; Creative Partnerships; Live Arts Development Agency; LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre); PAN Centre for Intercultural Arts; and Writernet. We also benefit from lectures, seminars, workshops and masterclasses given by a large and diverse range of playwrights, performers, live artists, directors, designers and literary managers.