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MA Performance Design and Practice responds to and engages with tradition and change in the arena of contemporary performance and experimental theatre practice. The postgraduate course contributes to the debates surrounding the core territories of performance making, design and time-based practices.
MA Performance Design and Practice also acknowledges the hybrid nature of contemporary performance work and promotes a critical exploration of conventional fixed boundaries between fine art performance and theatre.
Central to the MA Performance Design and Practice ethos is a recognition of international models of performance design and practice - models that have shaped the debates challenging many of the established definitions, functions and roles identified with performance making. From these debates key practitioners, organisations, events and texts have emerged. It remains a core aspect of the postgraduate course ethos to give you direct experience of these models and materials through an inspirational learning placement outside the UK.
Focusing on the sphere of performance culture where ideas and orthodoxies are in flux, the postgraduate programme brings together fine artists, directors, writers, researchers and designers to set the agendas that will drive performance practice in the 21st century
MA Performance Design and Practice lasts 60 weeks structured as two consecutive periods of 30 weeks each, (ie, two academic years) in its 'extended full time mode.'
MA Performance Design and Practice is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises 3 units. Unit 1, (40 credits) and Unit 2, (20 credits) run concurrently and last 15 weeks. Unit 3 (120 credits) follows after the completion of Units 1 and 2 and runs for 45 weeks.
Students successfully achieving Units 1 and 2 may exit at this point with the award of Postgraduate Certificate.
All three units must be passed in order to achieve the MA but the classification of the award of MA is derived from the mark for unit 3 only.
In year one you are expected to be able to commit an average of 40 hours per week. In year two your study is predominantly self-managed but you are expected to commit an average of 20 hours per week. Across the two years you therefore commit an average of 30 hours per week.
MA Performance Design and Practice encourages you to question how your work relates to the broader context of performance practices while developing approaches to design, composition/ authorship and performing located within the broad and interconnected contexts of experimental theatre practice, live art and dramaturgy through design.
Experimental theatre means innovative theatrical practices that exist outside of the mainstream of theatrical production and presentation. It particularly identifies work that challenges the formal orthodoxies of theatrical language and the nature of the theatrical event. Artists working in this area include: Station House Opera, The Wooster Group, Forced Entertainment and Robert Wilson.
Live art defines a body of performance practices, which have developed out of the traditions and concerns of fine art practice. By the nature of its origin in the visual arts, it crosses many disciplinary boundaries such as sculpture, installation, video, and performance art, and proposes alternative approaches to time-based work. Artists working in this area include: Franko B, Station House Opera, Laurie Anderson and Societas Raffaelo Sanzio.
Dramaturgy through design describes alternative approaches to performance design. Central to this definition is the recognition of alternative theatrical traditions where the principal language is in a visual register in contrast to that of mainstream theatrical performance, where the written text continues to dominate. Artists working in this re defined area place 'design' at the centre of the creative process and frequently claim primary authorship of the performance. Artists working in this area include: Robert Wilson, Robert Lepage, Societas Raffaelo Sanzio and Stefano Lazarides.