It is predominantly an intensive practical course that integrates acting, singing, movement and voice with a view to enabling students to enter the industry. Within the structure of performance training there may be opportunities to create original work and to pursue related activities such as composing, writing, choreography and acting with instruments. MA research activities are designed to facilitate and reinforce a deeper reflection of individual processes, creative activities and personal skills development in a dynamic postgraduate culture of theatre practice.
The course comprises the following units:
- Performance and Communication Techniques
- Performing Research
- Ensemble Performance
- Contemporary Performance Practices: Audition, Showcase and Contemporary Performance
- Extended Performance
- Sustained Individual Project.
Specialist lecturers and artists are invited to deliver classes and workshops which complement a teaching staff with proven and long-term experience in the profession. Emphasis is placed on acquiring and practicing skills through creativity and performance within all aspects of music theatre, from conventional Broadway and West End repertoire to new writing and those that involve new media and alternative theatre practices. Collaboration and teamwork, imagination and creativity are valued aspects of all activities and are explored from many different perspectives.
Term One provides acting, voice and movement classes, alongside individual singing lessons that continue throughout the year. Performance workshops, actor-musicianship and choral ensemble work are activities designed to extend these skills and lead to a better understanding of their relationships.
Term Two includes an ensemble production directed by a professional team and a unit on audition techniques in preparation for the industry. The Performing Research unit runs throughout three terms, accenting professional preparation through research. Opportunities to develop composition, writing, choreography and instrumental performance may be integrated into the curriculum. Term Two concludes with an industry showcase.
Term Three begins with a full-scale public production of a contemporary work in the Embassy Theatre. The other performance unit, Extended Performance, is devoted to taking performance into the public arena, away from traditional spaces and may include performances that incorporate alternative resources, such as social media. The outcomes of this unit are currently collected under a title, ‘The Unexpected Festival’ and, once finished, are viewable on Central’s website.
Term Four is devoted to the Sustained Individual Project, the character of which reflects the student’s strengths in research, writing, performing or creating. The research, performing and creating experiences from previous units contribute to this final piece of work.
Other events and public performances typically occur during the year, including masterclasses, workshops evolving music theatre works with writer-director teams.