Central graduates have become successful producers – among them Sir Cameron Mackintosh, a name synonymous with Britain’s global pre-eminence in musical theatre, and David Jubb, whose pioneering work at Battersea Arts Centre characterises the vibrancy and originality of London’s contemporary Fringe, or ‘off West End’ scene. The entrepreneurially skilled and culturally literate producer works in dialogue with artists to create performances and festivals, run venues and companies, manage projects, raise funds and investment and negotiate commissions. These skills are in ever increasing demand in a competitive production environment.
The programmes will enable you to learn through active, hands-on roles in the production of real-world projects, performances and events, under the guidance of professional practitioners and expert teaching staff. While learning, you will also gain a career head start by building a vital network of industry and peer contacts.
You will undertake masterclasses in producing with key industry leaders and innovators and take an active role in the organisation of real world events, productions and projects, underpinned by a solid critical understanding of the cultural industries and creative producing, relevant theory and current research in the performance field.
The intensive year of the MA, as well as the first year of the MFA, will provide you with professional creative producing projects in areas such as:
- festival curation and organisation
- publicity, fundraising and the use of social media
- conference and celebratory event management
- theatre production and tour management
- producing community performance
- audience development.
These courses are suitable for:
- experienced stage managers or production managers who wish to develop as creative producers
- those already engaged in creative producing activities who wish to extend their knowledge in the field
- business graduates with an interest in performance arts applications
- experienced theatre or performance artists or graduates who wish to produce their own work and gain entrepreneurial skills
- arts graduates who wish to instigate or curate the work of others.
The MA is for those with existing arts practice, who wish to develop relevant knowledge and expertise, creative entrepreneurial and project management skills and become part of Central’s extensive network of industry collaborators.
The MA and MFA have a flexible ‘open architecture’ designed to allow learning through a diverse range of practical projects. Central is involved in many external collaborative projects, in addition to its own production activity. Our pioneering work in circus and street theatre means that we are well connected to a wide range of alternative theatre forms with students in producing roles this year in circus, street festivals and cabaret events as well as more traditional producing roles. This provides a context for the courses which are modelled as an in-house Creative Producing Agency (www.creativecollaborations.org.uk), with tutoring by visiting professionals. In both courses you will undertake a sustained independent project which will be portfolio-based.
Students on the MA and the MFA engage with the same core subject matter. In the first year of the MFA, you will join the MA students for two-thirds of their course. The MFA extends into a second year that engages you with further specialist subject skills. You are offered extended and sustained experience in the field, working closely with members of the related industry to establish yourself as a professional practitioner. In the second year of the course, you are encouraged to specialise in one or more directions building on the first year teaching. The MFA second year widens the opportunities to practice knowledge within a context and framework where pertinent questions can be asked, protocols tested and new structures suggested. You will be expected to undertake tutorials and occasional seminars, although these may be by Skype or virtual seminar facilities.
Within the 1200 hours of the MFA second year, you will gain a range of experience at Central with our extensive professional contacts. In addition to further independent development and in negotiation with the course team, you may use your own work-based learning as the heart of the field experience or organisations in the field. Recent examples include the Roundhouse, LIFT, Arts Admin, Fuel, Secret Cinema, V&A, and Brighton Festival. You will articulate and reflect upon your development as a professional in a substantive portfolio. This portfolio is likely to include a minimum of two case studies, a two-year personal development plan and an evaluation of the work-based learning or attachment experience.
Both courses offer a masters award. The MFA offers a further embedding of skills and concepts learnt during its second year. In some countries, the MFA is more recognised, particularly if you are interested in teaching or research in a higher education environment.