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If you have an established practice and/or background in performance theory, on the MA/MFA Performance Practice as Research you can take your work to the edges of your specialism(s), exploring untouched ground, establishing new ways of thinking about and doing performance, while pushing the boundaries of your discipline(s).
You will become part of a thriving community of postgraduate scholars and practitioners working within a School-wide framework for research and experimentation. Interrogate, test and apply the most recent thinking and practices within your particular field, which may include any combination of performance practice(s), directing, scenography, composition, or live and performance art.
Emphasis is placed on a reciprocal relationship between theory and practice, where one feeds into and enlivens the other.
If chosen, a second MFA year can be undertaken, deepening the work of your first year, whilst gaining a critical expertise in a wider array of Practice as Research models.
During the MA/MFA Performance Practice as Research you might expect to:
An MFA top-up year for those with an existing MA in this subject is also available.
As the courses value the particular skills and personal proposals that individual students bring to them, the interests that you express can shape the timetable and content of course units.
On both the MA and MFA courses, you start by learning the key vocabularies and skill sets within the Critical Contexts and Performing Practices units, before moving into the individual laboratory work in the Developing Your Disciplines unit, while concurrently joining others in the MA community in the Performing Research unit. You then go on to produce the Brink Festival as part of the Laboratory of Performance Practices double unit while benefiting from select professional development sessions.
For MAs, the last term (July to September) is undertaken as a Sustained Independent Project (SIP), where you synthesise all the learning and development through a multimodal output within a dissertation.
If you choose the MFA, you return in October for your second year where, inspired by your own work in the Brink Festival and new work you investigate as part of your research, you engage in an extended MFA Sustained Independent Project (SIP). This is a supervised multi-modal thesis helping you gain expertise in the various dramaturgies, modes and models of performance practice as research through the lens of the methodologies developed in your first year, and others examined as part of your MFA research second year.
Assessment is through presentations, performances, process work and written submissions, as well as a personal documentation project or dissertation.
Graduated 2013, currently experimenting with the practice of speaking text in performance in Norway, having premiered a self-written and directed monologue in Chicago last year.
The course allowed me to interrogate my own practice as a theatre maker. Working within the methodology of practice-as-research enabled me to explore my own work in depth and has taken it to new and exciting places. The high level of theoretical reflections, combined with the rigorous practical experimentations, has truly given me the opportunity to question, understand, articulate and continuously develop my own artistic practice. I am currently working on the development of my post-dramatic performance practice of intertextuality, continuously questioning where and how the text can reside on stage and in speech: as music, as materiality, or as a body-in-itself between multiple speakers.
Graduated 2017, performance artist based in London working mostly in live art and digital film. He has exhibited and performed in Paris, Hong Kong, Italy, London and Glasgow.
MA PPR is a course about challenging yourself and pushing the boundaries of your specialism. This is something I knew entering the course and it’s why I applied. What I didn’t know is that my peers and mentors alike would care to the level they did and that they would both provoke and support me so strongly as these things are not usually in a course specification. Yet without them, and without these brilliant people, I wouldn’t have been able to challenge myself, or have pushed the boundaries of my specialism and for that I will be forever grateful.
Graduated 2017, actor and performer and devises collaborative performances in interdisciplinary projects that involve theatre, dance and music.
I am sure that this has been by far the most exciting year of my life. During the course, I had the privilege of working with people from different cultures and countries, which allowed me to become more aware of my own culture and background and its embedded relation to my practice. The nature of the MA PPR has made this journey fascinating and challenging, always pushing my boundaries as a practitioner, researcher and as a person. The course is an invitation to explore, to make mistakes, to try, to risk, to fail, to dare, to lose and recover, always knowing that there is someone willing to help and challenge you.
You should normally have an undergraduate degree in a relevant field, (drama, theatre or performance studies), although applications from students of other disciplines will be considered. Applicants without a degree will also be considered where appropriate provided they have at least two years relevant experience in a professional context. A portfolio may be required in support of your interview. An offer will normally only be made after interview.
We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.
Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to prove their English language proficiency by gaining an overall score of 7.0 in an IELTS test. We do accept equivalent English language qualifications. Applicants are advised to gain this certification as early as possible.
If you are selected for an interview for a place on the Performance Practice as Research, MA or MFA course, we will require you to prepare the following:
Each year Central hosts a number of interviews outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central travelling to meet applicants. The international interviews are designed to replicate the London-based interview experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming interview locations and dates.
Central does allow applicants to undertake a distance interview for this course. If you live abroad and are unable to attend an interview in person you may, at the discretion of the Admissions Tutor, be offered the opportunity of a distance interview. If you are selected for interview in this manner you will be contacted (normally by email) in order to arrange a suitable time for an interview. This will be conducted on Skype, telephone or by ‘live’ email exchange and will normally be based upon material you will have been asked to submit in advance. The interview will be conducted by the Admissions Tutor in liaison with a colleague who will have sight of your submitted materials.
Graduate employment and career pathways include:
Performance work developed on the course as part of Central’s Brink Festival has also been presented at The Place, The Space, The Old Vic Tunnels, the Roundhouse, Camden People’s Theatre, Brighton Festival, Beacons Festival, Adelaide Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Notable graduates of this course include:
Ben Cooper-Melchiors (2010) Assistant to the Artistic Director at the Young Vic theatre. He is also Co-Founder of YourProspect, a creative business consultancy.
Lou Coleman (2010) Developed her own practice specialising in the area of Feldenkrais, autobiography and disability working with such companies as: Candoco Dance Company, Graeae Theatre Company, Unlimited and Oily Cart Theatre Company.
Louis Orwin (2011) Auteur, creator of Pretty Ugly and The Barbie Series, performs internationally. Work featured in Wired Magazine, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and on Woman's Hour.
Androniki Marathaki (2010 ) Choreographer, dancer and facilitator at Kinitiras, Greece, creator of 'modulated choreographies', a new practice.
Sophie Robins (2012) Poet and performer, member of The Roundhouse Poetry Collective (2014), the Burn After Reading Poetry Collective (#BARPo) and Podium Poets. Co-founder of The Patchwork Paper
Melissa Booth (2012) Artistic Director of the performance company Portmanteau, having presented work at Camden Roundhouse, Oval Theatre, Camden People's Theatre, Theatre Delicatessen, Rich Mix.
View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to find out more about them.