The course provides an opportunity to explore the city’s theatres, to understand the pressures and practices that form the theatre scene, and to consider the performances that haunt the city. It takes the urban context as a starting point for exploring key questions; as researcher, reviewer, dramaturg, and critic, the student will engage with the city and its performances, acquiring knowledge, skills, and competences along the way.
MA Theatre Studies (Performance and the City) considers how theatre shapes and is shaped by the metropolis, taking students into the city and behind the scenes in the institutions that give it its character and potency. Study is grounded in engagement with buildings, events, organisations and practices. As such, the course is excellent preparation for work in various roles in the theatre sector; a critical approach is maintained throughout, and students develop academic and scholarly abilities.
The MA is taught by way of several units, which each address a different aspect of theatre and performance studies, and offers the possibility for students to develop specialist interests. Units offer a mix of seminars and lectures, classwork, independent research, group work, field study and the development of specific outputs appropriate to possible professional fields. Some units are shared with other MA programmes, giving students opportunities for collective work with students from across the School and access to a range of visiting tutors and guests. Students can develop their particular interests or develop their prospective professional profile in the final unit, the Sustained Independent Project (SIP).
Units may include:
- Reviewing Performance
- Shakespeare in London
- Archiving Practices, Practising Archives
- Critical Contexts
- Performing Research
- Cultural Landscapes.
Each unit is intensive and, where appropriate, is delivered with the support of relevant experts (e.g. theatre journalists, arts managers, academic specialists). Students have the opportunity in the third term to take a unit from another area of the School. The final term gives students a chance to work intensively in an area of personal interest, with support from the course leader and tutors.