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Theatre Directing

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Theatre Directing

MA
  • Option 1 year full time
  • Year of entry 2021
  • Campus Egham

The course

This is a unique opportunity to work intensively with Katie Mitchell OBE, one of the most acclaimed, important and innovative directors in Europe. You will combine your professional training with academic research providing you with complementary creative and intellectual skills.

This course is a rigorous, intensive, demanding training in theatre directing where you will work with professional actors to develop your directing skills. You will have the chance to direct in our new purpose-build performance space, the Caryl Churchill Theatre, a 150-seat flexible theatre on three levels, designed by award-winning theatre architects Foster-Wilson.

Royal Holloway's Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance is internationally recognised for the quality of its creative arts programmes. The Department has produced several theatre companies with a growing international reputation, including Ad Infinitum, Forest Fringe, non zero one and Analogue.

Please be aware that this course commences in July. When applying through our online applicant system (Royal Holloway Direct), please select the academic year 2019/20 in order to start the Masters Course in July 2020 or select the academic year 2020/21 in order to start the Masters Course in July 2021.

Core Modules

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the preparatory work that directors need to do before actors enter the rehearsal room, looking at how to study and read a play for performance. You will consider dramaturgical strategies, and examine decisions to take before working with actors. You will also assess the practical implications of interpretive decisions and their likely impact on performance.
  • In this module you will develop an understanding of how to take a prepared text into the rehearsal room, articulate a concept for a text and translate it into legible performance. You will work with actors, begin to develop a personal style and focus on how to work with a creative team and their related disciplines. You will learn how to plan a rehearsal schedule, manage the rehearsal process from the first day to final performance, and critically reflect on this process of training in relation to current directing practise.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of current trends in, and new approaches to, contemporary performance practice, including playwriting, theatre directing, devised, physical and applied work. You will collaborate with students from the other MA programmes offered in the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance, encountering a broad range of performance making processes and contexts. You will also apply established techniques of research and enquiry to the conception of a new group or solo performance project, allowing you the opportunity to provide thought-provoking response to the practices encountered.
  • The dissertation offers you the opportunity to develop some of the concepts you have explored practically in written form. With a flexible format, you may employ a number of critical methodologies. Katie Mitchell will open her rehearsal room for the autumn and spring terms for you to observe her practice, which can form the basis of your case study. The dissertation can take the form of a Director’s Log which will include documentation of your directing practice.

Optional Modules

All modules are core

Teaching and learning are primarily by means of intensive summer workshops, including eight hours of collaborative workshop and up to three hours of supervised rehearsal time a day for three weeks. These typically combine periods of seminar discussion with practical exploration and workshops. Where possible, these are student-led, with participants being encouraged to devise exercises engaging with the relevant issues and to direct their fellow-students.

Opportunities to visit theatrical performances and rehearsal rooms are also an important part of the programme, and you will be encouraged to use these as a basis for discussion and to deconstruct the performances they have seen from a variety of critical positions.

Assessment is by a variety of means including essays (both theoretical and critical) and etudes (practical directing exercises), practical projects as well as a final dissertation of 10-14,000 words. Practical projects are sometimes carried out in a group and may include an element of assessment for an individual’s contribution to group working and direction.

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